Circuit Sweet Interview, Feature

2000 Trees Festival Founder Special- Andy Rea

July 5, 2015


For the last few weeks, in the lead up to one of the most renowned UK independent festival’s opening those gates again, we’ve been chatting to a handful of artists performing at this years 2000trees festival based in Cheltenham. We’ve asked artists to shed light on their festival experiences, what they plan to give to the audience at this years event and who they’re looking forward to catching live.

In just a matter of days, 2000 trees festival will commence for its 9th year. With so many festivals now on our doorstep it’s hard to pick the best one to attend; one that’s the best value for money, one that’s booked a wide plethora of talent to tick everyone’s boxes, one that guarantees to show you the best time. That being said there are a few festivals we thoroughly recommend, those that we’ve been busy pushing with each announcement made and 2000 trees, which has continuously worked hard each year to provide exactly that, the best festival. This Thursday trees will soon boast it’s efforts when the gates swing open to welcome this year’s attendee’s and the festival’s best supporters- their fans.

The award-winning 2000trees Festival this year celebrates its ninth year near Cheltenham, on 9-11 July. Featuring the very best new and underground music on six stages, plus comedy, DJs, a silent disco, quality food and drink and children’s entertainment. The festival have announced it’s exceptional line up which include Alkaline Trio, Deaf Havana, Idlewild,And So I Watch You From Afar, Mclusky*, The Skints, Future of the Left, Kerbdog, Pulled Apart By Horses, Rory Indiana, Arcane Roots, The Xcerts, Bury Tomorrow, Allusondrugs, The Twilight Sad, Benjamin Booker, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Turbowolf, The Lion and The Wolf, Feed the Rhino, The Cadbury Sisters, Boston Manor, and Defeater to name a few.

Having already published a few special line up interviews with artists playing, and with a few more to hit the site prior to Thursday, we had the pleasure in spending some time with one of the founders of the festival, the hard working Andy Rea, who has been spending his time making sure we all know about this year’s events, the line up and the excitement in store for us. We had the pleasure in chatting to Andy to find out what he can let on for this years festival, the importance of 2000trees, scooping up awards, that killer line up and more.


Andy (Third From Left)

  • Firstly thank you for spending time with Circuit Sweet.

No worries

  • We want to know the ins and outs of this renowned and adored festival- so before we get to find out more. Introduce yourself and your involvement with 2000 trees?

I’m Andy, one of six friends who founded Trees together in 2007. I’ve watched it grow and grow – in confidence if not in capacity (we restrict it to 5,000 people) and it is one of the most amazing things in my life.

  • The festival is now, respectfully in it’s eighth year, but casting back to it’s first year -how did the festival first begin and how has it since evolved through this time? (Editors note: Even after counting on my hand I still got the number wrong, maths is not my strong point)

Actually this is year nine! (Big birthday plans are already afoot for 2016). It began with a drunken campfire conversation at a major festival, where we all denounced said event as pretty darn woeful. We tore so many pieces off it that we decided there and then to start our own – it was probably a very early mid-life crisis! Its evolution has been gradual, organic, a labour of love, and we make far fewer mistakes these days!

  • Where did the name come from?

Anyone who has been to Upcote Farm knows how beautiful the site is and we wanted to convey that as well as try to be a bit different.

  • What’s 2000 trees main goal for everyone?

Friendly fun in a field, with an amazingly diverse line-up of 100 acts on six stages, with great quality food and locally sourced beers. We keep it small, intimate and independent – it’s what everyone wants.

  • How would you describe what this treasure provides over the course of 3 days, what makes this experience so special?

Go discover your new favourite band, have fun with your friends, go crazy and party hard – then wake up in the picturesque, tranquil Cotswolds and do it all again – twice!

  • The line-up over the weekend of 9th –11th July boasts a variety of incredible original acts from across the globe- you’ve curated a truly exceptional plethora of talent to hear and see- how did the line-up come about?

Thanks! We love music, it’s that simple. Obviously there’s thousands of hours of work involved, but it’s about bringing together the most exciting acts we can find and an emphasis on new and underground talent – for example George Ezra played to 50 people in our woodland stage in 2011 and look at him now…

  • What’s the process in finding the right headline act for this year’s monumental event?- We want to know more on Alkaline Trio!!!

To say we’re delighted is a massive understatement, because for many rock fans Alkaline Trio defined a summer with ‘From here to Infirmary’ and songs like Private eye and Stupid Kid are pop-punk anthems known the world over. So if we’re excited about the act, and the fans have told us they want to see them, and the band says yes, it’s a goer! This is undoubtedly the best we’ve ever had in terms of diversity across six stages, from internationally famous names to local heroes.”

  • Is there still time for people to get their tickets?

Yes, just!

  • Is there a band/act you personally just can’t wait to see perform live

I hate this question, there are so many! I love Turbowolf and they’re having a tremendous year so that will be brilliant, but for me it is all about discovering your new favourite band – it’s the one that takes you by surprise as you wander past a tent that is the most exciting.

  • What do you love most about booking acts and promoting the festival?

We didn’t even know if we would do a second year, this was purely a dream that has turned into a reality – and with year 10 on the horizon there’s a huge buzz about the place. I love the people – the hundreds of helpers, friends, family and downright awesome people that all play a part. And I love seeing happiness on everyone’s faces at the event. Proud!

  • If you could describe 2000 trees in just ONE word to entice more to support the event, what would be that word.


  • How did you find the reception to the artists booked and the event in previous years?

We’ve enjoyed a steady growth in support that keeps coming back, tells us what we did right and wrong and has a strong hand to play in the event. To be honest it’s overwhelming how much people care about Trees and that love is 100% reciprocated.

  • Is there anything new this year that you are excited to promote/ or anything that makes 2015 the best year yet?

This year we are having our first wedding! A proper wedding, in the forest, on the Thursday (not open to the public though), which is really exciting – they met at Trees five years ago, he proposed last year and they will obviously have to come back to celebrate their first anniversary next year!

Sorry, not relevant but very exciting! Erm, we have grown each area of the event but after introducing a new stage last year it was time to let the site breath a new life this time around, so we will see what difference this year’s tweaks make.

  • Other than the incredible talent on offer over the 3 days what else will the festival be offering to the attendees?

My favourite fun of the entire weekend is the headphone disco, which runs until 3am on two different venues – the main stage (outdoors) and the Cave (indoors). It is so much fun! There are secret sets aplenty, loads of market traders, activities, children’s fun and games, sports to try like adult space hopper races and twister, plus some of the finest ales in the land!

  • The established event has won many awards over the years, what have these been for and how has this come about?

Can I just say for being good? For caring about what we do? For running an entire festival on behalf of the audience, rather than pursuing profits at all costs?

We won the A Greener Festival award, twice the Grass Roots Festival award and most recently Supporter of Emerging Talent award. We are absolutely chuffed because most are voted for nationally by fans – which makes us very happy.

  • Give us some festival advice- what one thing would you urge everyone to bring with them for this weekend?

A hat. Not just any old hat, but one to define who you are for all to see. Seriously, some of the hats we see each year at Trees are spell-bindingly good. Oh and fancy dress – this year the theme is ‘literal translations of band names’ – I can wait to see someone try Pulled Apart by Horses!

  • Tell us what this event means to you.

More than my favourite food! It’s been a constant factor in my life for almost a decade, I work with amazing friends and I’ve met so many fantastically talented people because of it. I love it!

  • Are plans for next year’s weekend already underway and if bands or any helpers wanted to get involved  whats the best way to go about contacting the festival?

Yes, we can’t stop talking about it – a 10th anniversary seems very special. We could have a big band/ helper mud fight or Twister party and the winners get to perform/ help? Or they could email us, if that sounds like too much effort.

  • Finally, any last words?

I’ve tried to keep it brief, but if you meet me you’ll know how much I love doing this and how I could go on for hours – in short, thanks to everyone, including you guys at Circuit Sweet!

Oh, and the mandatory plug –

Andy, what an honour! Not long until you can see and enjoy the teams hard work- see you Thursday!

We’ve got a few more artist interviews to follow but what are you waiting for. Thursday is quickly approaching, there is a small number of tickets left so if you’ve not got yours yet then don’t delay.

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