Festival review: Neighbourhood Weekender 2018 - Saturday
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Every indie kid's wet dream came true this weekend, as the likes of Noel Gallagher, Blossoms, Courteeners, Jake Bugg and Miles Kane arrived in Warrington for the first edition of Neighbourhood Weekender. Following the success of its sister Neighbourhood Festival that takes place across various inner-city venues in Manchester each October, Neighbourhood Weekender took place in Warrington's Victoria Park over two days. The atmosphere seriously felt like a mini Leeds Festival - even the stages set out similar to that of the NME tent, BBC introducing stage and main stage - and there were various food stalls, rides and bars laid out across the park. The Main Stage stood at the bottom of the park, playing host to some of the biggest names on the bill, while the Second Stage was the only one inside a tent. However, the 'third stage' was pretty special. Named the Viola Beach Stage, after the Warrington band who were tragically killed two years ago, hosted the 'up-and-coming' acts and was poignantly decorated with rainbow umbrellas - a Viola Beach icon after featuring on their single cover for 'Swings & Waterslides’. Ten Tonnes kicked off our weekend as he took to the Second Stage with his uplifting indie including tracks such as 'Lay It On Me' and 'Silver Heat'. This Saturday was a gloriously sunny day, and even though he was on the only 'indoor' stage, singer Ethan Barnett's chilled out tunes still brought the sunshine into the tent. Closing with 'Lucy' (not sure why that's my favourite...) his pretty packed out audience sang along to every word. Brighton pop quintet Fickle Friends' set was great, their tropical infused pop complementing the beautiful weather Warrington had been blessed with wonderfully, 'Wake Me Up' being a definite highlight. Then The Big Moon brought a nostalgic-feeling crossover of pop, rock'n'roll and grunge to the Main Stage playing tracks from their debut album Love In The 4th Dimension. This was my first time seeing these gals, and they’re so impressive - vocals on point, amazing stage presence and a strong set list. Grunge trio Hey Charlie sassily tore up the Viola Beach Stage, treating fans to explosive tracks such as ‘Love Machine’ and ‘Hey’. They’re a band full of energy and excitement, and it’s almost impossible not to feel completely thrilled while watching them strutting about the stage doing their thing.
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Take a bow, Neighbourhood Weekender.
Read our Sunday review here.