FINALLY! This was the first year I was able to attend Tech-Fest and what a great experience I had!
Tech-Fest took place at Newark Showground, which was an easy place to navigate to and has ample parking. Although, there were no parking marshals, so a row of cars got boxed in by people creating a 3rd row. I spotted this and ended up playing it safe and parked against a hedge.
Instantly there were good vibes from the venue, I had a joke with the security and the staff were friendly and efficient. The camping area was directly in front, so for those with a lot of gear, set up was no issue and although you got searched every time you re-entered, there was no issues doing a few trips to your car. (Yes, I forgot to take the sack truck! Noob! Haha)
There was a good selection of food available to suit most pallets and a market hall in between the 2 stages… where you could pick up a nice pair of Tech-Fest shorts for example ;) Also in the market hall was a bar serving a good range of beverages. To compliment this, a stall outside the building was selling Viking horn drinking vessels. \m/
There were 2 stages on the go, playing back to back Metal. This was great as there was never any issues missing bands due to conflicting set times. Everything ran like clockwork, credit to the guys back stage and on the sound, they did a fantastic job.
The biggest challenge was the heat! The festival took place during the peak of our British June/July heatwave! Both stages are in enormous industrial sheds, which got extremely hot when filled with a mass of energetic and sweaty people! Haha
During the festival several masterclasses took place in a separate building, so even with a band playing it did not overpower the volumes of the masterclass. I managed to catch Voyager’s Ashley Doodkorte, “Drum Programming and Creativity Masterclass”. It was his first ever clinic and he did a wicked job.
The line-ups were extremely enticing bringing in some big names in the industry. Every year when the line-ups get announced I have always thought to myself, I should really go to this festival!
The festival had a great atmosphere. What became very apparent was, everyone was there for the music. People were in good spirits and respected the people around them, it felt like a very safe place to be.
In all honesty, I cannot critique this festival. As far as improvements, it would be nice to see the second stage get some more attention, the transition between the 2 stages was like going from a festival stage to a very well done private party, but did not distract from overall experience.
If you have never been to Tech-Fest, this is definitely a festival to check out and I am going to make a point to make this an annual event.