Set in the Peak District Hills with views over Manchester the Rec Rock Festival is the perfect antidote to those monster mud festivals of the summer.
Set up by Verve and Charlatans drummer Pete Salisbury and his wife Pam this boutique style festival with a capacity of around 1000 donates any profit to the local community, and in keeping with this sentiment, most of the bands play for free or petrol money at the most.
Although in its infancy Rec Rock attracted and eclectic mix of bands and artists covering the whole range of musical genres, with a good cross-section of established and upcoming young bands along with local performers.
Headliners were The Farm, Frankie and the Heartstrings and actor Paddy Considine’s band Riding The Low but there was not a bad band on all weekend.
The festival site was compact which meant getting around the three main stages was easy and you were never far from a bar or food, with prices very reasonable(non of the £5 a pint malarkey). A Tim Peaks area with sofas and a large Endure Brewery Tipi with tables and benches ensured there was plenty of room to chill out .The nature and setting of Rec Rock meant the festival goers were slightly older, often with children so the large dedicated children’s field with a large climbing wall, huge sandpit, cinema in a tent and other activities was a welcome attraction.
Obviously what makes a festival are the bands and with over sixty acts it would be impossible to mention them all, here are some of the outstanding moments for me.
Friday night saw Bolton’s Jade Assembly play a storming set on the main Barn stage and an incredibly young looking band White Eskimo throwing themselves around the stage looking very smart in their black suits and ties.
Saturday the main day, saw an early performance from the Brinks before one of the festival highlights The Drum Company played the Tim Peaks stage. Made up of drummers Pete Salisbury and Kasabian’s Ian Matthews with DJ Man Parris the band produced some incredible music.
The last two bands of the day were the crowd pleasers, Riding The Low with their lead singer, actor Paddy Considine and the legendary, iconic The Farm ensuring the crowd went back to their tents happy with a chorus of All Together Now resonating around the fields.
A night’s heavy rain failed to make any impression on the festival site and with the sun out Sunday was very relaxed chilled out day, with a more acoustic feel around the stages. The exception to this was the north east band Mouses who as the festival’s penultimate act produced a blistering set on the Tim Peaks stage which gained them a lot of new fans.
Rec Rock was an excellent well planned and executed festival and talking to some of the bands they were full of praise for the setup and the way they were looked after with many staying on after their sets.
Hopefully, the festival will remain a similar size if it happens again but with such success and recommendations that may be difficult.