Instant Impressions: Barn on the Farm 2016

Hey guys!

Just a few days ago I returned from a little trip to England.
I was over to attend Barn on the Farm festival in Gloucester, but also stopped by in Manchester, Liverpool and London to visit friends.

This trip was the first one in four years that wasn't work related, which honestly felt strange.
It was a lovely little holiday which I got to spend with a lot of friends.

But, I wouldn't be myself, if I didn't have a camera with me.
So despite being there off-duty, I had my Lomo'Instant Wide with me to document the trip with instant photos. 
I adore the process of instant photography and how it pushes you to think things through.

Armed with my precious camera, I was ready to have a wonderful time in the good ol' United Kingdom.

In case you're not familiar with Barn on the Farm;
it's a festival which takes place on an actual working farm in Gloucester, UK.
For those of you who don't know where Gloucester is (I didn't!), it's in the South West of England.

Surrounded by fields and animals, the festival area is a beauty itself.
The team behind the festival shows that their love for independent musicians is just as present as their skills of booking "the next big thing".

Acts that played the previous years are James Bay, Ed Sheeran, Bastille, George Ezra, Hozier as well as some house in the sand favourites; Ryan O'Reilly, Adam Barnes and Rhodes.

Barn On The Farm online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

I've been wanting attend this festival for a few years now and am very pleased I finally got to go.

Below you'll find a bunch of photographs paired with little comments and links to amazing musicians you should definitely check out.

As some of you may know, I'm not the only person writing and photographing for HITS anymore.
We have a small team of wonderful people and one of them is Liam McClair.

Before he joined the team, I've featured him multiple times, as Liam is a fantastic singer/songwriter.
He's also an amazing Manchester tour guide and a wonderful host who has helped me to feel very welcome in Manchester.

Go and give Liam a follow: Music Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Instagram

Manchester definitely became one of my favourite cities within the last few months, mainly because of the wonderful people and the amazing music community.
(The pubs are quite fabulous, too.)

Regular readers of the blog will know The Arkanes - they basically are the most featured band on HITS.
Unfortunately they aren't an active band anymore, but that doesn't mean we can't hang out anymore.
In fact, I spend a ridiculous amount of time working with Chris pretty much all the time.

The lads were lovely enough to spoil me with food, drinks and shoe shopping. What else could I ask for, right? (no, it wasn't glamourous. I had to buy wellies.)

It's just always great to see my little sister and have a little sing-song to DNCE songs.
 Thanks, me luvs!

Chris Pate online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | YouTube | Instagram
Dylan Cassin online: Facebook | Instagram

Made it to Gloucester, where Barn on the Farm takes place.
After spending quite some time setting up the tent, it was time to catch our first set.

The incredibly talented Laurel was one of the acts I had on my "to see" list. Her voice demands your full attention and her classy, edgy and rocky vibe is super refreshing.
Have a listen!
Laurel online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Black Honey, my new favourite band!
I actually found out about the band when I got to review the amazing subscription box that is Flying Vinyl. (you can read my review here)
I immediately fell for the band's grungy, badass vibe and knew I had to catch their set at Barn on the Farm this year. And boy, it was great! It was rock'n'roll, it was entertaining and it made me shake them hips! (Even in the rain!)

Make sure to check them out!

Black Honey online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Instagram

Alright, let's be real - the animals at the farm were the actual highlights.
I even fed an ostrich!!! It doesn't get much cooler than that!!

I loved how respectful every festival goer seemed to be towards the animals.

Back in January I had the pleasure to interview Hannah Grace and also watch (and photograph) her support slot in Manchester.
Hannah Grace has that kind of voice that you wish you had yourself. And if you did, you'd never stop singing.
But reality hits you and you realize you don't have that voice.
So you're quiet and just enjoy her live set. With a lot of impressed gasps every now and then.

Her intimate set had its' focus on Hannah's voice accompanied by light and jazzy guitar, played by Tadgh Walsh-Peelo. 
The stripped back performance of Hannah's new single "Mustang" was definitely what you'd consider brilliant!

Hannah Grace online: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Overall, the weather was fantastic. The first day was a mix of sun and rain (good for rainbows!). For a little German who's used to slightly warmer weather, the temperature could've been a little warmer, but it seemed like a fabulous weather for the crowd.

The decor and set up of the festival was magical. There were beautiful lights everywhere, colourful garlands, cozy sitting areas, original and farm themed food stands - the detailed set-up was one of many proofs that Barn on the Farm is a special and magical place to be.

Saturday's highlight for many of the festival goers was the exclusively formed Farm Band.
Consisting of Joe Keogh of Amber Run, Hannah Grace, Gabrielle Aplin and Hudson Taylor, the band was a combination of Barn on the Farm's favourites. All of these artists have been part of the festival for a while.

The musicians were supported by a fabulous backing band which definitely deserves credit.

The collective of friends performed some of the best known up beat tracks, as well as a few beautiful ballads to give the crowd some moments to calm down.

Opening the full band set with Hudson Taylor's energetic "Battles", the Farm Band sure managed to make the crowd sing and dance from the very start of the set.
They took Gabrielle Aplin's "Sweet Nothing" to another level of cheerfulness, check out this clip I posted on Instagram.

Another highlight of their performance was the acapella version of Amber Run's "I Found" which you can view here.

The Farm Band definitely represented the lovely friendship that everyone seems to be a part of at Barn on the Farm.

Earlier this year I've met Gavin James for an interview in Berlin. I was incredibly tired after being in the recording studio for 48 hours, but Gavin turned out to be the bubbliest person I've ever interviewed. That definitely made it super enjoyable and kept me focused.

Unfortunately I had to fly back home and therefore couldn't catch his show.
But Barn on the Farm 2016 had me covered and so I could watch Gavin James play a fabulous set at The Wooden Barn stage.

His music could be described as absolutely stunning, emotional and moving.
Yet his personality turns his gigs into proper entertainment on a rather funny level.

Gavin played some of his well known songs, such as "Bitter Pill", "Nervous" and "Remember Me".
His cover version of "The Book Of Love" probably always stands out and could easily make you cry.

For the final song he played a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing In The Dark" together with two music friends and his sister. Class!

It was also super nice to bump into Gavin after his set and to have a short chat about the festival.

Gavin James online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

It looks like I'm shouting angry things at the camera, but I wasn't, I promise!

I really need to mention how fabulously the festival was organised.
Everyone was so friendly, so relaxed and so passionate - it was such a beautiful atmosphere to be in and I know for sure that I'm going to attend the festival again next year.

With a 2000 people capacity, the festival is very intimate and could be considered as a rather small festival.
I can totally recommend the festival and would love to see some of you there next year!

Another highlight!
I'd definitely consider myself a little food nerd. I could eat all day, every day.
Yet I only eat vegan food, so I was a little worried about maybe not finding much to eat at the festival.

But of course I didn't have to be worried, the Bangra Bus was one part of the catering at the festival.
It served vegetarian and vegan food and my god, it was fabulous.

I know this post is meant to tell you more about the festival, but I'd like to take a few moments to ask you for a massive favour.

In case you are not familiar with veganism, or more importantly, why people decide to be vegan - please educate yourself.
Before I was introduced to the cruelty and awfulness of the meat, egg and dairy industry, I didn't know why people would go vegan.

I'm a firm believer that we don't have to kill or make living creatures suffer in order to survive ourselves.
Head over to PETA and learn more about this big issue. It's honestly so easy to make a change.

Rhys Lewis is hands-down my favourite discovery of the festival!
Whilst I had a lot of artists on my "to see" list, there was an hour where I didn't feel the need to watch anyone in particular, so I decided to head to the Over Barn Stage and watch a random set.

When Rhys came on stage and started performing his songs, only accompanied by an electric guitar, the magic started.
His incredibly warm (and beautiful) voice transported the emotions of his songs in such honest and heartfelt manner.

Paying attention to his lyrics definitely proves my point; his songs are very personal and also very relatable.
His guitar playing varies from calm and soothing fingerpicking, to soulful strumming - all of it supporting his expressive voice.

"No Right To Love You" was one of many tracks I immediately enjoyed.

Please go and check out Rhys' music, I'm sure a lot of you will thoroughly enjoy it!
This is definitely not the last time I'll speak about him on HITS!

Rhys Lewis online: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

Good ol' Mr Brown! I was delighted to catch his set as I've interviewed and photographed Martin just a couple of months ago when he supported Jack Garratt on tour.

Like I've mentioned in those posts, I've already featured Martin Luke Brown a few years ago and have enjoyed his music ever since.
He appears to be one of those ever-growing artists who develop and improve all the time.

Thanks to his technology skills, Martin manages to create a full band sound (including Britney Spears as a backing vocalist) which definitely adds a lot of dynamic to his performance.

With a lot of confidence and a lot of passion, it didn't take long until the crowd started dancing.
Absolutely fantastic atmosphere!

So lovely to randomly bump into Martin and George beforehand.
It was weird without the cats though, wasn't it, guys?

Martin Luke Brown online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

I have listened to Dagny beforehand and couldn't wait to catch her set at Barn on the Farm.

Her sound is so refreshing, so much fun, so edgy and so badass.
My little nerdy self had the best time singing along to her badass and cotton-candy-like pop anthem "Backbeat".

I can definitely recommend checking out Dagny's music, especially when you get the chance to see her live - she's an excellent performer with an adorable stage personality.

Dagny online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

There was one blank space in the little festival programme which left everyone really intrigued.
The second last act on the Wooden Barn stage turned out to be Hudson Taylor, one of the farm's favourite acts. (And they are some of house in the sand's favourites, too!)

Due to Harry having an accident earlier in the day, only Alfie appeared on stage with the band's backing band.
He explained the situation, then FaceTimed Harry, who was still at the hospital, so he could watch the set.
Together with Hannah Grace and Gabrielle Aplin they played a fabulous set and definitely kept the spirits high.

The crowd was singing along super loud which was absolutely beautiful!

Hudson Taylor online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

It was super lovely to briefly meet Gabrielle Aplin, who's been featured on HITS a couple of times.
As mentioned above, she performed as a part of the Farm Band.

In case you are not familiar with Gabrielle's music, please do check it out.
My personal favourite songs would be "Skeleton", "Home", "Wake Up With Me" and "Light Up The Dark".

Gabrielle Aplin online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

My personal highlight was Jack Garratt.
I've been slighty obsessed with his music ever since I first heard it. After seeing him live in Munich a few months ago and also interviewing him, my respect for this artist has grown even more.

Jack's set leaves you with all the emotions.
There are those upbeat tracks where all you can do is dance and sing along, like "Breathe Life" and "Worry" for example. (also, can we take a second to appreciate his drumming skills?)

And then there are the beautiful, rather slow, songs such as "My House Is Your Home" and "Weathered"

The crowd loved his impromptu cover of the Spice Girl's "Wannabe" and then returned the favour when Jack had to face some technical issues.
He started playing the instrumental of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's theme song and the entire crowd sang the words. It was hilariously beautiful! Here's a clip! (the rap part starts around 0:40)

I don't think I've laughed, danced and sang that much during a gig in quite a while, so big up's to Jack for this killer set!

Jack Garratt online: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | YouTube | Instagram

Returned to London after four years and it was lovely!
Spent the noon feeding squirrels at the park, spent the evening in a pub with a fabulous name.
As you do.

Massive thank you to Chris and Livia for coming to see me. I had a marvellous time with you!
Hope we can meet up again soon! (when I don't feel like I haven't slept five years! Sorry for being so tired, guys!)

I really hope you enjoyed this post and got an idea of how fabulous this little trip was for me.

Let me know if you have been to any festivals so far! :)

Much love to everyone I got to say hi to, I can't even comprehend how special it is to know everyone who made this trip a wonderful one.
You're a great bunch of people!

Thank you for your visit!

Credits // Text & Photography: Vanessa Jertschewske | **Lomography Germany kindly sponsored their Lomo'Instant Wide camera for house in the sand to use**


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