2000trees 2023 previews: Big Special

One of the most beloved weekends on the festival calendar, 2000trees returns this month with a line up stacked full of Upset faves.

The festival, which will take place in Cheltenham from 5th-8th July, will host sets from the likes of (Upset cover stars) The Xcerts, plus The Wonder Years, American Football, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Empire State Bastard, Joyce Manor, Prima Queen, Brutus, Kid Kapichi, Loathe, Martha, Sprints, Dream State and loads more.

We caught up with a few of our 2000trees up-and-coming faves to find out what they have planned. Next up, Joe and Cal from Big Special.

Hello Joe and Cal! How’s it going? What are you up to today?
Going sound at the moment, thanks; just on our way to the second day of Dot To Dot Festival in Nottingham.

2000trees is a festival with its own strong sense of community – have you been before, either playing or as a fan?
Cal: I’ve been before, and it’s easily one of my favourite festivals, full of real music fans and no egos. And the layout is great; you ain’t got to walk 45mins between acts to see another band.

What was the first festival you went to as a fan? What was it like? Who did you see?
Joe: I went to Glasto in ’09 with some schoolmates and saw Neil Young and Springsteen. I’ve not been back since; only been there and Green Man, which I loved also, but excited to get to some more and chuffed to be doing 2000trees.

What’s your favourite thing about playing music festivals? How does it compare to a normal gig?
We try to give every gig the same energy and give it full whack for anyone who’s bought a ticket, so for us, we just take what we do at any club venue and… put it in a field.

Do you change the setlist up for festivals compared to your own shows?
We have our full-on hype set full of bangers, and we have one with a few mellower moments tucked in there, and we tend to read the room and play it by ear.

What are the key elements of a good festival set, do you think?
Depends on the time of day; we are on at 11am at 2000trees, so we can’t be too hard on the hangovers. But we probably will be.

If you could book any 3 bands to headline three nights of a festival, who are you taking?
Well, if it’s a fantasy, we have got to pick three dead folks, so it’s gotta be ghost Hendrix; Cal’s dream was to see Nirvana and Nina Simone for sure. But if they have to be alive, we’d pick Billy Woods, Benefits and Lankum.

2000trees is doing a lot of work on being a sustainable festival. Is that something that’s important to you when playing an event?
It’s nice to see 2000trees doing their bit for sustainability; it also gives us more time to push the band before the world explodes.

What else are you working on at the moment?
Cal has just re-planted all his veg and has got some grouting to do; other than that, we are gigging like mad and putting out singles until we can release our album; we’re sitting on a tonne of eggs and can’t wait to share them.

Taken from the July 2023 edition of Upset. Visit 2000trees.co.uk for more information about this year’s festival.