I had never been to Takedown Festival before, and considering this was my first experience of the event I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect when I first arrived. The festival, based in Southampton’s Student Union, was set-up in a similar fashion to the Vans Warped Tour UK at Alexandra Palace, both sharing several stages and featuring several bands playing simultaneously across the stages.
Conveniently, a map for the festival was available for two-pound, which also gave you a Jägermeister lanyard – a life-saver on more than one occasion! Takedown Festival was one of those places which was very easy to get lost in amongst all of the merchandise stands when going from stage to stage. The merchandise was packed into every nook and cranny of the building, which was certainly tempting for all festival-goers attending Takedown (myself included).
That being said, the Student Union was very spacious and could accommodate the large crowd without that feeling of sweaty claustrophobia which often accompanies festivals. With the weather on our side, there were also many opportunities for spectators to spend some of their time outside whilst waiting for the band they had come to see.
There was a pleasant atmosphere at Takedown Festival, the kind of atmosphere where you couldn’t help but feel the excitement whilst standing in the crowd, whether you had heard of the band about to take the stage or not. When some of the bigger bands such as Kids in Glass Houses, began their set, the feeling of spaciousness soon evaporated.
In the foyer of the main building of the Student Union, you could find a signings table and at different times throughout the festival a few of the bands would take turns sitting at the table and made themselves available for signatures or photographs. Some of the bands at the table included Kids in Glass Houses, Yashin (Read out review of Yashin at Takedown Festival), Canterbury and Blitz Kids. (Read our review of Blitz Kids playing live at The Fleece)
Watch this amateur footage of the festival to get an idea of the atmosphere:
The day moved along quite quickly and as the night progressed, the more well-known bands appeared as well as the larger crowds. True festival fashion!
Funeral For a Friend headlined the Jägermeister stage, Rise To Remain headlined the UPRAWR stage and Heavens Basement headlined the TotalRock stage. Then Lost Alone headlined the Big Deal stage and Bristolian band Ashestoangels were headlining the Introducing stage. As you can tell, this was a festival packed with quality artists and there was never a dull moment.
In terms of negatives from my experience at Takedown Festival, one of the few things I can think of is that the TotalRock stage were running a little behind, but considering all bands billed to play still played their sets and with all the energy that you could expect, tardiness is something that can be excused. The movement and enthusiasm of the crowd around me showed I was not the only one to excuse them.
The night at the TotalRock stage was over around 11pm, the time of curfew in England for concerts, and the baton was passed to the UPRAWR stage who saw the night into the early hours, alcohol on a continuous flow. Overall, the quality of the Takedown Festival is unparalleled and I cannot recommend more that you get yourself a ticket next time the festival comes around.
If you’re interested in Takedown Festival, make sure you find out more:| Facebook | Twitter |