Snug in the Derbyshire countryside Indietracks is an annual festival so unique and wonderful it’s hard not to be completely smitten by its charms. The Cutter certainly fell head over heels after our first of several visits to twee heaven in 2013. We wrote about it here.
Featuring a rather lovely mix of indiepop and steam trains the annual three-day event has previously played host to such majestic acts as Teenage Fanclub, Saint Etienne, and Cutter favourites The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. This time out the line-up is stronger than ever before with the mighty Wedding Present joining an impressive roll-call of delights that includes Martha, The Tuts, Cate le Bon, the Wave Pictures, and Joanna Gruesome.
Now in its 11th year the family-friendly festival has seen some fresh lip-gloss applied to it with the addition of Beck Conway, Standard Fayre’s Emma Cooper, and Jasmine Allen to its diligent team of incredible organisers and volunteers.
Ahead of a much-anticipated weekend of (hopefully) sunshine, glorious music, and smiles we caught up with Beck, Emma, Jasmine, and long-standing devotee Nat Hudson to discuss what’s in store.
Full steam ahead!
DC: When planning another year do you start with a blank piece of paper or does it naturally evolve as the months go by?
Jasmine: We agree on headliners and approach them as soon as we can in the planning process. In terms of smaller bands, we all have a few ideas of those we’d like to book but we also keep an eye out for new bands at gigs, look at the Anorak forum wish-list and also listen to hundreds of bands who apply through our open application process to complete the line-up.
DC: In planning this year’s event how important was it to retain the distinctive feel of Indietracks and its proud legacy?
Jasmine: Really important! Having attended Indietracks for a number of years we were all fans of the festival before joining the organising team and wanted to ensure it continued to provide a unique opportunity for small/DIY bands to play to appreciative large audiences!
Nat: As a long-standing member of the team, I feel it’s really important that we retain the identity and atmosphere of Indietracks, and we hope that changes to the organising won’t make any difference to that at all. However, we’re also really keen to keep the festival feeling fresh, and so we’re always on the lookout for new bands that are a perfect fit for us. I think this year we’ve got a really great combination of new faces such as Cate Le Bon, Shopping and Personal Best, as well as familiar faces such as The Wave Pictures, The Tuts and MJ Hibbett.
DC: What changes can we expect this time out from previous years?
Jasmine: We’ve made a couple of changes but didn’t feel that we had to do too much. We love Indietracks as it is! There is perhaps a slightly stronger emphasis on the DIY scene, hopefully adding more diversity across the line-up, and we’ll be providing more activities for younger children this year.
DC: How much of a draw is the unique setting/atmosphere of Indietracks when booking acts?
Jasmine: Holding the festival at the Midland Railway, Butterley, makes the festival so special. There aren’t many festivals where you can see a band playing on a steam train! You’d be surprised how many people get excited about the trains! I’ve had at least two bands tell me how excited they are to be playing at Indietracks because they love trains so much!
DC: Who are you personally most looking forward to seeing at Indietracks 2017?
Beck: I’m really looking forward to seeing Martha headline on the Friday night – they’re hugely popular with the Indietracks crowd so the atmosphere is going to be amazing! There are so many other bands that I’m excited about too, like Peaness and Cola Jet Set.
Jasmine: Suggested Friends, Chorusgirl, the Hayman Kupa Band, Joanna Gruesome… I could go on because this year’s line up is great and I’m worried how I’m going to see them all!
Emma: The Hearing is an act I saw in Stockholm a few years ago and I was blown away. I can’t wait to see them play Indietracks.
Nat: Indietracks will be very different for me this year as I’ll be bringing along my four-month-old baby, but I’m particularly excited to see Cate Le Bon, Shopping, Model Village, Teen Canteen and also some of the fab bands we haven’t announced yet!
DC: If someone is reading this who is unaware of the festival why should they check out the website and come along to the party?
Jasmine: Because you will see a variety of excellent bands across indie/pop and punk genres, many from a DIY scene. You’ll also meet some lovely people, see owls, ride a steam train and enjoy some real ales and ciders too.
Beck: If you like your festivals small and friendly but still want to see lots of amazing new and established artists, come to Indietracks! You’re guaranteed to leave with a bunch of new friends, new favourite bands and tales of the steam roller can crusher!
If you’d like to experience one of the loveliest, laidback weekends imaginable tickets for this year’s event – along with all relevant information – can be found here with early bird discounts available until Sunday May 15th.