Festival Review: Community | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Festival Review: Community

Social Sec Sorcha Hornett reviews the second outing of Finsbury Park's own celebration of indie rock's finest, Community Festival

Following the success of their debut year, Community Festival took over Finsbury Park for a second year on the 1st of July. Last year saw the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Wombats and Slaves headlining, and this year proved just how successful the event had become with Two Door Cinema Club, The Vaccines and You Me At Six taking over the lineup. Community Festival is a one-day event, and, with it being on a Sunday, the music started at 1pm and finished at 10pm, the perfect amount of time to spend listening to established and emerging indie/alternative artists in the British sunshine.

There was a photo wall for people to get that perfect Instagram before entering the park. It was in that moment I knew this festival would be every millennial’s dream
The festival was packed from the moment I picked up my wristband. Walking towards the main entrance, there was a specific photo wall for people to get that perfect Instagram before entering the park. It was in that moment I knew this festival would be every millennial’s dream. I managed to catch the end of Sundara Karma’s set, instantly recognising 'She Said' and 'Flame', arguably their most popular songs. Sundara Karma are still quite a small band so to grace a massive stage and capture the audience so well was something I wasn’t expecting. They were naturals and, by the end, had a massive group of people dancing and singing along at the front of the stage. Once they had finished their set I knew that this day would live up to my high expectations because I was already having a great time.

After grabbing a drink, I went over to the smaller stage to catch Yungblud’s set; my friend told me to check them out as I had never heard of them. I was pleasantly surprised by how good they were, they had amazing stage presence and catchy songs with poetic lyrics. My favourite they played was 'Anarchist', which they said was for ‘anyone that felt like they didn’t fit in’. Despite the cliché, the song lyrics delivered just that.

After that we went to catch Circa Waves on the main stage. I have always wanted to hear 'T-Shirt Weather' and, with the weather on the day, it seemed like it was meant to be. They closed their set with it and it was one of my highlights of the day; everybody was in high spirits and so many people had gathered to the main stage to hear it. Everybody was dancing and singing along, and you could tell everybody was enjoying it.

After this, we headed to the guest area as we were very kindly gifted guest wristbands for the day. This was my favourite part of the festival as it seemed like a different world. There were deckchairs and beanbags for people to sit on, proper toilets (not having to use a porta-loo was the BEST), food stands and a separate bar. The atmosphere was so relaxed, and what I didn’t realise was that the acts came and hung out there after their sets. Seeing Sundara Karma, Yungblud and Pale Waves in the flesh, arm’s length away, was definitely something I wasn’t expecting, and being able to rest in-between acts was a bonus.

After grabbing food, we headed back to the smaller stage to catch Pale Waves. They were incredible live, their stage presence wasn’t the best of the acts I had seen but their music definitely made up for it. Despite being a fairly new band, they drew a massive crowd, and everybody knew the words to their songs 'Television Romance' and 'The Tide'. Their similarity to The 1975 was undeniable after hearing them live and my friend said they were like a cross between The 1975 and Melanie Martinez, a combination I can definitely get behind. They were my favourite band of the day; they sounded as good, if not better, live as they did on their records and the crowd atmosphere was amazing.

Pale Waves were my favourite band of the day. They sounded as good, if not better, live as they did on their records
Leading on from them was Tom Grennan, which I managed to get front row for. I’ve seen Grennan before and knew he would put on an amazing show. He opened with 'Royal Highness', his most catchy song in my opinion, and it instantly got the crowd going. He had incredible stage presence and, between songs, would keep talking about how football’s coming home, leading to lots of chants from the crowd. Tom played songs from his forthcoming album, including 'Aboard' and 'Make ‘Em Like You', which, despite the crowd not knowing, went down well. He closed with fan favourite 'Found What I’ve Been Looking For', which everybody danced and sang along too, leaving everyone in high spirits for the headline act: Two Door Cinema Club.

Two Door Cinema Club took the main stage at around half eight. They were the only act left to go therefore everybody in the festival had gathered to watch them; the crowd was huge. They opened with 'Undercover Martyn' to a confetti canon going all over the crowd. It was the perfect start to their set; everybody knew the words and was dancing along. They played an hour and a half set and it was a continuous set of hit after hit, not only reminding you how much you love them, but of how incredible their music really is. My highlights were 'This is the Life', 'Bad Decisions', 'Changing of the Seasons' and 'Something Good Can Work'. They closed the show with 'Sun' and a firework display over the whole of the park, and it really was an incredible moment.

Despite this only being the second year of Community Festival, it was well run and had an amazing line up. My three highlights of the day had to be being front row for Tom Grennan, seeing my favourite songs ever from Two Door Cinema Club and dancing in the sun to 'T-Shirt Weather' by Circa Waves. I couldn’t recommend this festival enough, especially as it is only a one-day event and great value for money for the amount of acts you see. I am already looking forward to Community Festival next year and to see if they can top the incredible line-up this year.

social secretary & third year english lit student that drinks a lot of coffee and thinks she can write. (@sorchahornettxo)


18th July 2018 at 9:00 am

Last Updated

30th July 2018 at 4:24 pm

Images from

Aryok Mateus