Y Not Festival 2016: Six Things We Learned

Y Not Festival offers a combination of big-name acts with the feel (and price tag) of a smaller festival. In it’s 11th year, the 25,000-capacity event was a sell out, with Editors, Noel Gallagher and Madness topping the bill. Here’s what we learnt from a weekend spent partying in Derbyshire.

1. Noel knows everyone’s waiting for an Oasis track

Heading straight into a run of ‘Everybody’s On The Run’, ‘Lock All The Doors’, ‘In The Heat of The Moment’ and ‘Riverman’, the Oasis mastermind didn’t even stop to say hello. Finally, he teased the crowd with a “this one’s for the Oasis fans” before staggering into ‘Chasing Yesterday’ solo track ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back’. A cruel joke or maybe a thinly veiled message, but one ill received by the plethora of Oasis T-shirt wearers. But Noel is the puppet master and an acoustic ‘Champagne Supernova’ sing-a-long later and all was forgiven. Four more Oasis songs made their way into the hour and 15 minute-long Saturday night set – ‘Digsy’s Dinner’, ‘Half The World Away’ and ‘Masterplan’ all echoed around the festival before set closer ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ set off mass hysteria and Noel’s job was well and truly done.

2. Catfish and the Bottlemen could have headlined

The Y Not bosses missed a trick in not booking Catfish to top the bill – the most anticipated band of the weekend, bar Noel. Combining the best of ‘The Balcony’ and ‘The Ride’, they kicked off their Saturday evening set with Homesick, before slickly moving into ‘Kathleen’ and ‘Sound Check’. New tracks ‘Twice’ and ‘7’ got an outing between classics ‘Pacifier’ and ‘Fallout’ rip-roared their way over a crowd armed with flares and blow up alligators – a nod to their latest album art. As the final crescendo of ‘Tyrants’ faded away you could almost hear the stadiums calling.

3. The world is ready for Blossoms’ debut album


It’s been ready since we first heard the anthemic ‘Blow’ – Sunday evening’s opener – back in 2014, but the Stockport lads have kept us waiting. With the eponymous debut out this week, the crowd were treated to a preview of some of the album tracks. From the slow burning grooves of ‘Deep Grass’, to the ’60s nostalgia on ‘Cut Me and I’ll Bleed’, August 5 couldn’t come sooner.

4. The Cribs can still set off a mosh pit or two

The Wakefield boys provided the first moshing opportunity of the weekend on Friday afternoon. ‘Mirror Kissers’, ‘Different Angle’, ‘We Share The Same Skies’ and ‘I’m a Realist’ all made their way into the boisterous set before those familiar chords of ‘Men’s Needs’ hitched it up a level. Culminating in some impressive guitar based gymnastics (Ryan) and some rifling through a fans wallet that had been chucked on stage (Gary) – before sending us off with thunderous ‘For All My Sisters’ track ‘Pink Snow’.

5. The Hives’ Pelle Almqvist is a lesson in how to frontman like a boss

The Hives turned up on Sunday to make us all forget our hangovers and get down to some good old ’00s rock n roll. The key component? Self confidence, if Pelle is to be believed; “What a band, I feel so honoured to be in this band” he mused after a particularly energetic run of ‘Abra Cadaver’; “Do you like this guitar riff? How could you not,” he stated before ‘Go Right Ahead’; “We’re usually one of the best, but tonight this is special – one of the best of our careers and the best you’ll ever see,” he confessed before ‘Walk Idiot Walk’.

6. Circa Waves are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up

The Liverpudlians’ Saturday afternoon set was full of punchy pop goodness. ‘Fossils’, ‘Getaway’ and a host of hits from last year’s ‘Young Chasers’ floated through the Saturday sunshine, with set closer ‘T-Shirt weather’ proving it was practically written for festivals.

Words: Anna Matheson