Thursday, 30 June 2011

Question Time! How would you describe Indietracks?

Now, obviously we at Team Indietracks love the festival and everything about it. So we're bound to tell you it's brilliant every time. But what do your regular Indietracks-goers make of the event? We've gathered a few kind folk to answer some questions about it for the blog.

So, question 1: How would you explain Indietracks to someone who doesn't get indiepop? Check out what everyone said, and post your own answer as a comment if you like...

It's an awesome party in a great location full of amazing people who like some music that you don't like. You're welcome to join us anyway.
Dan Hartley, Sheffield (The Sweet Nothings; Pop-o-matic DJs)

With great difficulty usually! I generally just end up saying that it's a load of bands that I really like and that there's also steam trains!
Chris Gillies, Glasgow (The Hermit Crabs)

Gosh! Tell them it's like being kissed on the brain by the one that got away.
Ray K, Birmingham (City Sacker zine)

Take indie music and suck all of the pretentious posturing and pretence out of it with a giant hoover, dress it in corduroy trousers and a band T-shirt and enjoy!
Toby Marshall, Birmingham (but from Wolverhampton)

Um... utopia for a weekend? You don't have to like indiepop to get it, I think. The bands are a big part of it, but I think you can have an awesome time there even if you're not into the music – there's just so much love goin' around everywhere!
Sandy Gill, London (Stolen Wine Social DJs)

It's a beer festival, with steam trains. Whoops, sorry. A music festival with steam trains.
Carys Kennedy, London (The Give It Ups; Fall Out Make Up DJs)

It's a festival where the music, people and atmosphere just make you want to smile.
Jane, London (pop fan)

It's too difficult to explain without saying the obvious jangly guitar, handclaps, cardigan twee thing. It's much more than that. They'd have to come along and see for themselves.
Paula McCann, Nottingham (artist and superlative baker of cakes for popshows)

"Don’t worry," I’d say... "It’s not all twee." I think it’s difficult to go to a festival like this and not enjoy it. If afterwards you still don’t want to admit you like indiepop that’s fine. You can just pretend you’re Louis Theroux, you’re Louis Theroux and his wry smile.
Robert Fairs, Derby (Seas of Mirth; Alice Ferguson; Dayglo Tokyo; Apples For Discos gigs)

It really is difficult to convey the specialness of Indietracks to someone who doesn’t get indiepop. You can share its general details: it’s a three-day festival of indiepop bands in the countryside with the added attraction of steam train rides, defunct carriages and railway history peppering the site. It’s not Glastonbury or Reading festival; it’s small and perfectly formed, created and run by volunteers with a love for DIY ethics and indiepop. That’s about as far as I go with co-workers who don’t share my passion.
Jennifer, London (Colour Me Pop DJs and gigs)

Great company, lots of old trains and the occasional mad Spanish band. You don't get any of that at V.
Simon Tyers, Leicester (Sweeping The Nation blog and gigs, occasional reviewer/writer)

I'm forever telling people how Indietracks is a fun way to discover loads of ace new bands, but without a lot of the stress and hassle of bigger festivals. One of the things I love most about Indietracks is the friendly, DIY atmosphere, and I think that's definitely something that's starting to appeal to an increasing number of people.
Nat, London (A Little Orchestra; Team Indietracks member)

A bunch of great people having the time of their lives in a beautiful location with steam trains.
Tim Hall, Belfast (Words and Smiles blog)

I would tell them that it’s just like a normal festival but everyone is lovely, even the staff, and you get to watch bands on a moving steam train.
Colin Meney, Glasgow (Half My Heart Beats DJs)

As someone who doesn't get most indiepop, my attitude to Indietracks is that it's a chance to sit outside drinking, have a go on trains, catch up with and meet lovely people and indulge in outfit envy while maybe discovering some brilliant bands. Also if it gets too much you can always sit on a train with your headphones in for a bit. I tend to go for a bit of Jethro Tull on those occasions.
Hayley, Nottingham (A Fog of Ideas gigs)

It's this festival, right, where everyone's dead nice to each other. And some of the bands are slick as fuck and some can't play. Some are cutesy and quiet and look like they don't know what to do in front of other people, and some look like they're having the time of their lives. Some are awesome and life-affirming, and some are a bit more morose. You might know some of them but you won't have heard of most of them. Anyway, it all works. And seriously, everyone's DEAD NICE. If you don't have a good time at Indietracks, you're doing it wrong.
The beer's not bad either.
Will Fitzpatrick, Liverpool (The 255s)

Fun. That is the best way to describe indiepop. It doesn't mean sugary and twee, though some indiepop bands are. Think of bands who look like they are having an amazing time playing, making music that they really want too, for people who just want to hear them playing it and have a dance. I can recall the terror in some kids' faces the year that Art Brut were booked, but we always knew they would be perfect as they are a great indiepop band. They make music which makes it almost impossible not to enjoy yourself, especially when Eddie Argos is bounding through the crowd shouting about how much he loves comic books.
Dan and Hannah, Manchester (Pull Yourself Together gigs/DJs)

The truth is, I'd probably keep them in the dark about it.
Daniel, Sheffield (pop fan)

The word 'festival' doesn't do Indietracks any justice really because it's nothing like other festivals. Not that I've been to any, but I hear they're ghastly. It's a world of beauty and surprise and kindness and endless sparkliness, and dancing 'til you don't feel your feet. The real world is a massive disappointment compared to it but most people won't know those heights of joy ever, so I guess it's lucky to have ever been there and lived it.
Marianthi Makra (Atomic Beat Records; Spiral Scratch gigs and DJs; Team Indietracks member)

It's a festival in steam train museum with gigs on trains and fun music. What's not to like?
Josh Owen Morris, Cardiff (Grand Canonical Ensemble; Eruption Button DJs)

If you've been to Indietracks before, how would you explain it to someone who hasn't? Post your answer in the comments below – and look out for question 2, coming soon on the Indietracks blog...


  1. I very nearly shed a tear reading this. I'm so glad Indietracks exists, I don't know what I'd do without it.

  2. Indietracks is like nowhere else on Earth... If God exists and designed a festival it would look like this!

  3. Helen H in Brum2 July 2011 at 10:32

    Indie Tracks for me is fun, chums, tunes, trains and blue cider!

  4. ...but don't let the blue cider put you off, folks!

  5. If Glastonbury is the bully who beats and bruises, Indietracks is the friend who hugs you and kisses it all better. It's impossible to compare it to other festivals; it's nothing like them. The music is apart of it, certainly, but so is the atmosphere, the people, the festival site, and the beer.

    You really need to experience it at least once (or more likely once a year!)

  6. A gathering of the The Mild Mannered Army

  7. It's great going to see loads of small artists you never knew and coming away with your next new favourite band. And it's great making stop motion animation, brooches and pictures at the workshops. And it's great riding on the trains! But the best thing is the people - you feel totally safe in the knowledge that everyone there is lovely!

  8. As per Trembling Blue Stars' "The Sea Is So Quiet", Indietracks is, quite simply...

    ...a place of good deeds.