Bushstock Festival 2016 Review

MULTI-VENUE city centre festivals have become more popular of recent and the bite-size Bushstock Festival held in Shepherd's Bush, in the heart of the capital, proved to be no exception. The sixth annual Bushstock Fest, organised by Communion Music, was all hit and no miss with a winning line-up of artists, new and those already established, who are championed by the label. 

Previous artists to have played the festival include the likes of Ben Howard, Nick Mulvey, James Bay, Hozier and Daughter to name a few. This year headliners included Bear's Den, Dan Croll and Palace and nobody was left disappointed. 

As the action kicked off in St Stephen's Church with Harry Foxx, a secret set was announced at the nearby Albertine Wine Bar. What makes Bushstock so unique and enjoyable is that all of the venues are so close, making it easier to rush from one artist's set to another. Luke Sital-Singh was the first secret set of the day and the venue reached capacity in no time, leaving many fans out on the street without a chance to catch his performance. 

Over the road at Defector's Weld, Brighton babes MarthaGunn took to the stage with their moving tunes. Tracks such as 'Heaven' hang gloriously in the air and receive a rapturous applause from the packed out crowd, quickly filling another venue to capacity. One crowd member is overheard saying their set made him feel "a bit weepy". 

At The Courtyard Stage Gillbanks keep punters entertained with subtle layers of zipping guitars and a dreamy dose of drums. The atmosphere of the intimate outdoor venue is buzzing with anticipation in the air and the majority of audience members are clad in trendy denim jackets. North London lad, Tom Prior showcases a setlist packed with soulful, catchy numbers a short while later whilst converting new fans by the second. It's pretty heart-warming stuff. 

An hour or so later the gravitational pull of The Big Moon draws fans in. The band are both mesmerising and commanding and it's clear this year belongs to them from the off. The four-piece all-girl group revel in their hit-packed set, which features effortless indie anthems such as: 'Eureka Moment', 'The Road' and the much-loved rework of Madonna's 'Beautiful Stranger' that bursts with playfulness. 

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the day belongs to The Big Moon through and through. They're certainly one of the most exciting guitar bands around at the moment and their next step is set to be incredible. They've found their stride and they're sticking to it and playing intimate venues like The Courtyard at Bushstock will soon become a thing of the past for The Big Moon. They are more than destined for bigger stages. 

Bushstock 2016 was truly a success, providing an opportunity to get up close and personal with the artists who will triumph in the future. We're already looking forward to next year's Bushstock, long shall it continue. 

Words Lauren Wade

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