Teddy Rocks Festival totally blew me way last weekend, some of the most UK’s up and coming and renowned bands came together all for one special cause. Just to put it in context, the festival started with a small gig in 2011 to raise money for Teddy20, a children’s cancer charity founded by Tom Newton and his family after he lost his 10 year old brother Ted to a very rare bone cancer. Now Tom has brought together a family of rock to help him achieve the charity’s dream and this year was their best year yet as they raised an incredible £76,659! Despite the festival being fairly small, it created an amazing community and I managed to make so many friends which I struggle at times at festivals.
The first band I managed to check out on the Friday was pop punk band Home Wrecked who completely owned the Vocalzone stage. The South Yorkshire band played Common Ground and from the start you could tell that these guys had plenty of potential! They finished on Anxious Minds Think Alike which was another great track from the guys and they certainly kicked off a great evening of rock. Check out a recorded live stream of the band below!
Next up, I managed to catch New Forest pop rock band Natives as they played one of their upcoming singles Pray which was a real treat for everyone who turned up to watch them on the Ted Newton stage. They also played a classic of theirs which was Passion and lead singer Jim Thomas started to rule the stage. We managed to catch Chasing Lions which you can check out below.
Then for me, the best band on the night then took to the same stage as lead singer Sammy Clifford and WSTR showed the festival exactly what pop punk was and knew how to get a crowd going. They played Featherweight from their latest album Red, Green or Inbetween.
Sammy summed up the festival in three words which was ‘Fucking Great Cause’ as they then played their shortest song Gobshite before playing Graveyard Shift from their debut EP SKRWD. What more they even gave Teddy Rocks Festival an exclusive with the first time playing Eastbound & Down live. And you can check out Graveyard Shift live below!
As Oasis tribute act headline Oas-Is finished at the Origin Stage, which was also home to a great bar, Twin Atlantic then took to the Ted Newton stage in style after fellow Scotsmen The Xcerts entertained a lively Teddy Rocks crowd. As a big crowd started to gather the main stage, lead singer Sam McTrusty, put on one hell of show alongside Barry McKenna on guitar, Ross McNae on bass and drummer Craig Kneale. As they played songs from their latest album GLA and played their classics Crash Land and Hold On. The flame managed to warm the crowd up as the Scottish alternative rock band played their hit song Heart and Soul which was a perfect way to end the Friday.
Of course Friday wasn’t totally finished as the unique silent disco then came to life as the enclosed area was surrounded by trees and played some classic tunes on the earphones. What more I was surrounded by some really nice people which was the main theme of the festival.
As I slowly woke up and took a bus down to Blandford Forum for an amazing price of a £1 donation (many gave more) each way, I knew I was in for a real treat throughout the day. I managed to catch The One Hundred at the Ted Newton stage which created a real big crowd for their set. Not only that but it created a sick mosh pit which I think the festival was lacking on Friday. With the flames flowing out of the stage, The One Hundred managed to bring their catchy songs with a mixture of metal and I can honestly say I was impressed by these guys. The band then played their new song Monsters before the amazing Kingsmen and Downfall which you can check out below!
After that great set, I decided to check out The Vocalzone stage once again as Metalcore outfit High Rise took to the stage. The band played Memories and then Reborn off their latest EP Left It For Everything. Despite not having many people watching at first, lead singer Jovic Staddon totally owned the stage by the end as people walking past began to see how much energy these guys had. Check out the band below!
Now a very special pop punk band The Bottom Line then took to the Ted Newton Stage and got everyone on their feet with the festival organiser Tom taking to the stage on guitar. With lead singer Callum also helping Tom organise the event, it was a very special and emotional moment for the band and the crowd. The pop punk band played one the first Teddy Rocks Festival which was merely in a pub, and to see it grow so much, it was an amazing feeling to part of.
They also played a great cover of Smash Mouth’s All Star as they played songs from the latest EP I Still Hate You and of course their debut album Role Models. A kid called Tyler then walked on the stage as the band introduced him and revealed that he raised an incredible £515. Check out their All Star cover below!
Next up was Long Island band Patent Pending who just finished their UK tour and it was certainly a perfect way for them to end it. Patent Pending played their classic song Psycho in Love as lead singer Joe really got everyone on their feet and singalong to their songs. What was great was that everyone just had smiles on their faces and this takes a very special band like Patent Pending to do so.
The band usually play a game of International Crowd Swimming as Joe challenged organiser Tom to a race to the stage from the crowd. This is something Joe won but really the true winners was the festival. Patent Pending managed to create a mosh pit with the lively crowd as they then played one of their more well known songs Let Go. These guys have been going for a fair bit of time now and it wasn’t surprising that Joe managed to get everyone doing jazz hands. What was even greater about their set was that Joe took around two minutes of his time to talk about how great the festival and cause was and spoke very fondly of organiser Tom which brought a fair few to tears. The band ended on Hey Mario and Douchbag. Check out some crowd surfing as they played I Already Know (She Don’t Give A Shit About Me)
I went back to the Vocalzone stage after this as Southampton band Our Hollow Our Home set to completely dominate the stage as a rowdy crowd went on to mosh throughout. Also on the stage beforehand saw the brilliant I, The Mapmaker and Griever who were fairly local to the festival coming from Bournemouth. Lead singer David Seymour certainly used his powerful force to get the crowd behind him as the band played the likes of A Pure Heart and others.
David also joined Our Hollow Our Home on stage which was awesome to see and the heavy metalcore band played songs from their new album Hartsick which went down a treat and created a lot of buzz throughout the festival. You can catch a snippet of their set below!
Dubstep and electronic band Modestep finished off the night on the Ted Newton stage as they knew how to get everyone into the festival mood with classics such as Another Day and Sunlight. There were a lot of people there, the crowd was just constantly on their feet dancing a long to some of the sickest beats the festival has every heard. Despite not being a huge fan of the band before they managed to convert me and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it. As Saturday began to close, I managed to catch a little bit of Sunday’s wet weather before going home.
With Sunday seeing the likes of Fort Hope, VANT and Pop Rock band Scouting For Girls, it was a shame I had to miss it. Despite this however the festival was one of the best experiences I personally have ever had and it with being so intimate, I predict this festival getting bigger and bigger. Teddy Rocks Festival certainly deserve some national acknowledgement and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are to win a national award for the three days. This festival is an emotional roller coaster with an inspiring story so make sure you donate to Teddy20! Check out a gallery of the festival below!