LIVE: Hit The Deck Festival – 20/04/14 – Nottingham

The Easter weekend saw the return of Hit The Deck Festival, with Bristol hosting the event on Saturday 19th April and Nottingham on the Sunday. The line-ups on each day are virtually identical, giving fans from across the country the chance to see the wide selection of up-and-coming and well-established bands on offer. As usual, the line-up had a heavy bias towards pop punk with other alternative bands thrown in for good measure.

The Nottingham event was spread over several venues in the city all within a two minute walk of each other. Rock City acted as the central hub during the day and featured the main stage, as well as a smaller stage in the ‘Basement’ area of the club. Bands on the main stage were generally well-received and attracted decent crowds; Hawthorne Heights in particular drew an impressive number of people keen to relieve their early teenage years with a band who, for many, would have been one of their first experiences of alternative music. The band put in a solid performance and the crowd willingly lapped it up. The Summer Set and The Front Bottoms followed and, whilst not quite matching the appeal of Hawthorn Heights, both put on decent shows which were musically tight and involved a good amount of audience interaction.

A brief foray into The Rescue Rooms next door to see Neck Deep revealed a room packed to the brim, so much so that there was a ‘one in one out’ policy in on the door. From this extremely short encounter, however, it was clear to see that the band deserved the size of their crowd. Back on the Rock City main stage, Pulled Apart by Horses and Saves the Day both justified their high line-up positions with excellent performances before Brand New finished the day in style with a sublime show that was the perfect end to a great festival.

The festival itself was well organised, with sufficient places to buy food in the immediate vicinity plus a merchandise tent outside which helped to prevent overcrowding in the building. Overall, an enjoyable event which provides great opportunities for smaller bands, and one which will hopefully continue in the future.