Tag Archives: Macmillan Fest 2017

MACMILLAN FEST 2017 – Nottingham, 02/09/2017

Macmillan Fest 2017 poster


PHOTOS of The Treatment by CALLUM GROVE

As the summer festival season drew to a close for another year, a corner of the centre of Nottingham was taken over by the Macmillan Fest, which was now in its eighth year raising money and awareness for the great cause that is Macmillan Cancer Support, and has become a fixture of the city’s rock music calendar.

This was my second time covering it for this site, and in terms of the weather on the day, there was no comparison to the first.

Last year, the festival took place under grey skies and torrential rain, but this year, it was blue skies and glorious sunshine all the way.

With the opening bands kicking off their sets around half past one, I got to the press accreditation tent, situated around the back of the legendary venue that is Rock City, as the clock struck 1pm.

Having got my wristband and press pass, I made my way into the Black Cherry Lounge, an adjacent nightclub that was doubling for the day as a press and band preparation area.

There, you could see roadies shifting equipment about, vocalists undertaking rigorous singing exercises, and musicians making final tweaks to their instruments before they ventured on stage.

With my first interview of the day, with Welsh post-hardcore quartet Holding Absence, under my belt, it was time to head over to the Rescue Rooms, which was playing host to the majority of the day’s sets, with the building holding three of the stages. It lacks the prestige of its neighbour, but is a great venue nonetheless.

Opening up the place’s main stage were local metal five-piece Centurion. They had earned that spot on the bill after winning the festival’s Battle of the Bands competition back in June, and judging by their live performance, it was easy to see how they had won.

Centurion gig photo

The set was delivered with much feistiness, whether it was coming from the strong vocals and stage presence of frontwoman Esme Knight, or the band’s sound, much influenced by the classic metal of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and “The Big Four”.

It must have been daunting for them to be the opening act, what with being handed the task of warming up the crowd, who at this point in proceedings, had yet to really get into the swing of things, but after seeing the band perform such a confident set, actively involving themselves with the audience, it seems to have been taken with relish.

Directly upstairs from this, another band native to Nottingham were playing another strong set.

Say The Word are classed as a pop-punk outfit, but their sound is not stereotypical of the genre, with the quartet also taking influence from the likes of the Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen.

Say The Word band photo

With more of a compact space, the crowd were able to get up, close and personal with the band members, who all performed with high energy, which by its conclusion, had left them, and much of the patrons, covered in sweat.

Currently enjoying a rising reputation, this was probably the last time you would have had the opportunity to see them play such an intimate stage.

After that, I decided to cool down by taking a little stroll outside around the back of the Rescue Rooms, where there were stalls offering free samples of whisky, charity head shaves, clothing and other merchandise, as well as a barbecue and a raffle (with a cuddly Chewbacca as one of the main prizes).

Then, it was back to the Black Cherry Lounge to conduct some interviews, which you will be able to see on this site shortly.

All of the bands I chatted with, including locals Skies In Motion and Beckon Lane, Lincoln outfit Borders, and one of the headliners, Hacktivist, who had recently supported Korn, were comprised of nice, down-to-earth guys. You could tell that they were there to raise money and awareness for a worthy cause, rather than using the festival as an opportunity to inflate their egos.

One of these were metalcore five-piece Our Hollow, Our Home, who were performing a stone’s throw away in the basement of Rock City, and their set will be looked back on by the people who were there to see them as one of the highlights of the day.

Our Hollow, Our Home band photo

The Southampton quintet certainly knew how to work the crowd, with heavy sounds that made you feel as if there was an earthquake going on, and the frontman actively encouraging the crowd to form a moshpit, which gradually grew from just a few die-hard fans at the front, to, by the set’s conclusion, pretty much the entire room, creating an electric atmosphere.

On my way to the Rescue Rooms to see one of the main draws, heavy rock five-piece The Treatment, I bumped into a devout fan of theirs who told me that this would be the 13th time he had seen them live.

Having not seen them play in the flesh once, I thought they must put on a great show if they’re good enough to have been seen that many times, and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

The Treatment gig photo 1

The Cambridge outfit are now at the stage where they can attract a devoted following wherever they play, and this was made clear with the almighty roar, more akin to that experienced at a football match, the crowd gave when they emerged onto stage.

They started playing at full throttle, and even towards the end of their hour-and-a-bit set, not one of the band members showed any signs of slowing down, performing with energy in abundance.

The Treatment gig photo 2

The quintet’s enthusiasm was matched by the audience, who were eagerly singing along, word for word, to the lyrics, even to the tracks from their most recent album ‘Generation Me’, as well as bobbing their heads to a sound that was a mix of classic rock, heavy metal and punk.

The Treatment gig photo 4

The Treatment really do know how to work a crowd, with frontman Mitch Emms issuing rallying cries in between an intense vocal delivery, and the guitarists, comprising of two brothers, treating them to some great riffery.

The Treatment gig photo 3

I would highly recommend seeing this band at your earliest opportunity, because in this age of Autotune, much choreography and where image is seen as more important than talent, it was refreshing to see something where real rock ‘n’ roll played by gifted musicians took centre stage.

Some have said in the recent past that rock is dead, but judging from what I saw across the stages, these people must have a defeatist attitude, because if you look beyond the mainstream and delve just a little into the underground, you will pleasantly find that it is actually in very rude health.

My review can’t end without me acknowledging everyone who selflessly gave up their free time and worked incredibly hard in order to make sure such a substantial event ran like clockwork, and that as much money and awareness as possible was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support, a great charity that helps people unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with a terrible illness that has devastated the lives of many people over the years.


















Macmillan Fest 2017 poster


Next Saturday, the centre of Nottingham’s rock scene will be taken over by the Macmillan Fest, an all-day festival which is now in its eighth year.

It promises to be bigger and better than before, with over 60 bands and artists, including The Treatment and Hacktivist, confirmed, playing across seven stages, all to raise awareness and money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

One of the many people working very hard to make sure everything will run smoothly, and confident of adding to the £21,000 raised since 2010, is one of the festival’s founders, Kris Davis, who went into more detail about what will surely be a fantastic day.

How did you first come up with the idea for Macmillan Fest?

When I was 16 years old, my tutor at the time was diagnosed with a brain tumour. At that time, my classmates and myself were cretins. I’m not sure how he dealt with us! After discovering his diagnosis, I felt quite bad, and heard that Macmillan Cancer Support had helped him.

Being in a band playing drums at the time and starting to find my love for live music already, myself and a friend thought it’d be great to do a benefit gig to raise money for Macmillan as a way of saying thank you. After that year, it went down so well, I thought i’d make it a regular thing.

The year after, I did Macmillan Fest in a pub called The Central. After that, we moved to our current home of Rock City & Rescue Rooms, where we have had the pleasure of helping hundreds / thousands of people pay their gratitude to Macmillan and the work they do.

It’s the people’s stories and experiences that makes us continue this festival and wanting to better it year on year.

When did you start planning for this year’s festival?

Around last December / January. For next year, however, I have already had a couple of artists confirmed.

Which bands/artists playing are you personally looking forward to seeing?

After the hype surrounding them, I am personally looking forward to seeing Hacktivist, especially after coming off two dates with Korn in London!

Others I’m looking forward to seeing are: Black Ink, The Dandylions, Anticlone, Holding Absence, Wearing Scars and Anavae!

Music isn’t the only thing going on at the festival this year. Tell me about the other stuff that’s happening.

We have head shaves taking place, photo booths, free drinks (but go visit our kind sponsors in Fireball sooner rather than later), waxing of all areas of the body (depending on how drunk you are) and some great quality food stalls!

Will you be looking at putting on Macmillan Fests in more cities in the future?

We currently run another Macmillan Fest at the awesome Thekla in Bristol (it’s essentially a boat party!) We would love to run it elsewhere in the UK in the future, but only when the time is right.




FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/MacmillanFest

TWITTER: twitter.com/MacmillanFest