Festival review: Truck Festival 2016

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25 Jul 16

Truck is an excellent small festival with great location outside of Oxford, a good line-up and lots of boutique attractions. 2016 was the first year the festival has moved to a larger, 3 day format and we were there to see how it fared:

  • Would it manage to retain its boutique charm while scaling everything up?
  • Or, would that get lost in an attempt to make everything ‘bigger’ and ‘better’?

The answer is a bit of both. First, here are the things we loved.

We Loved The Line Up.

Moose Blood followed by Neck Deep on Friday, Swim Deep and Recreations on Saturday and Blossoms, Black Honey on Sunday. Every day had a share of essential performances, all of whom seemed genuinely happy and excited to be playing which made for a great atmosphere.


Copyright, Ross Silcocks Entirety Labs, Truck Festival 2016

We Loved The Food.

Generally this is something of a grumble at major festivals; chain burger vans selling over cooked, plain food. But not here. There was a genuinely full range of great options: Freshly cooked artisan pizzas, authentic Thai noodles, classic British pie and mash and modern, fresh kebabs. And all surprisingly well priced too.


Copyright, Ross Silcocks Entirety Labs, Truck Festival 2016

We Loved The Cinema Tent.

This is far from an original idea, but it was really well done. Such an easy thing to pull off: classic films and TV, beanbags. It really is that simple. But a great way to pass a few minutes, or simply crash down and relax at the end of a night.


Copyright, Ross Silcocks Entirety Labs, Truck Festival 2016

There is so much that Truck Festival did well this year. But, as I said in my preview – this really was, and is, a crossroads.

At times we felt that there wasn’t really enough variety to fill 3 days, and we even made a trip out to Oxford in the sunshine on Sunday morning (another advantage of the location). If Truck is to stay at 3 years going forward I’d love to see them embrace its boutique status and look further towards the arts for more content.


Copyright, Ross Silcocks Entirety Labs, Truck Festival 2016

A theatre area would be a welcome addition, or readings or talks from various interesting intellectual people, or perhaps a comedy tent. All of those ideas would add another element to what is already one of the UKs best small festivals, in need of a larger lifestyle element in order to sustain the fun.