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Muddy review: Meadowlands Festival, Nottingham

Festival season is back with a bang! Muddy heads to the inaugural Meadowlands on the banks of the River Trent. Lucie De Lacy pulled on her Docs just for the occasion…

I love music festivals. The chance to dance in a field like a five-year-old and discover loads of new bands is utterly delicious, so I was super chuffed to find out there’s a newcomer to the Nottingham festival scene: Meadowlands

THE LOCATION
Held at Nottingham’s Victoria Embankment (near Trent Bridge), Meadowlands immediately had the feel of the well-established Splendour fest in Wollaton Park.

If you’re thinking of attending next year, from the train station to the site is a leisurely 15/20 minute stroll, and you’ll pass the lovely Embankment pub and Brewhouse & Kitchen if you fancy a sneaky gin en route. If walking is off the cards, there are loads of buses that run the city loop to West Bridgford so hop on any that are heading to Trent Bridge.

As Meadowlands is only a one-dayer, if you’re wanting to make a weekend of it, West Bridgford is packed with brilliant restaurants and bars to try out when you’re done with your glitter and wellies. 

Photo by Jacob Flannery

THE VIBE
You certainly couldn’t tell this was Meadowlands first year in action. Put together by established live promoters FKP Scorpio, the site itself was plenty big enough to accommodate the three stages without the sound bleeding across. Also, the line-up was well spaced out so there wasn’t too much of an overlap between bands.

Judging by the sea of t-shirts around me, most people were in attendance to catch headliner Gerry Cinnamon – the Scottish singer-songwriter who is known for his ‘brutally honest’ lyrics – but there was definitely a buzz around some ‘smaller’ names too – RATS and The Reytons drew massive crowds. 

Security was super tight and efficient. The three huge bars were well staffed and managed, and there were TONNES of toilets across the site. Along with your usual festival scran, there were a few foodie trucks serving up delicious stone-baked pizzas and fresh falafel salads (win for the veggie!). 

Overall, it was definitely a younger ‘bouncy’ crowd but there were some pockets of diversity in the audience – families with teens picnicking and gal friends catching up with a coffee. 

THE TUNES
More of an indie billing – not strictly one for pop lovers – but it was great to see so many awesome female artists and musicians. 

The main stage hosted The Mysterines and Black Honey earlier in the day – both are personal faves so I was suitably blown away. Proud scouser Zuzu went straight on my playlist after her incredible set on the second stage. And the BBC Introducing stage showed the breadth of East Midlands talent coming through – Emzae’s sample-packed set was fab, and I fell in love with CatMilk who balanced folky vibes with a sprinkling of grunge. 

Black Honey photographed by Jacob Flannery

Brighton curly-haired pop-rockers The Kooks had the main stage crowd singing along, and although I didn’t stay for Mr Cinnamon, some friends on site thought his set was “amazing!”. 

Gerry Cinnamon photographed by Jacob Flannery

THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: First-time festival goers, and those who can’t commit to a full weekend of festival fun. All-dayers are also ideal if camping isn’t your thing – get home in time for a shower and a cuppa!

Not for: Families with little ones – it’s a 14+ festival with under 18s accompanied by an adult.

£££: Tickets were £45 for the day, which for a festival is a bit of a steal. Drinks prices were on the expensive side, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find any lower at the big names this year.

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