After a two year hiatus, the return of the indie darling of festivals proved to be a truly momentous event.
While the annual summer gathering at Cheltenham has long been a cherished tradition and one of the UK's most important, independently run mid-level festivals, the reality of withstanding the deathblow of Covid almost flatlined the fest.
Forced to cancel not once, but for two consecutive years, the team behind 2000trees spearheaded a crowdsourcing campaign that reinforced the kind of community at the core of the congregation. The effort saw thousands of donations to the tune of £119,378 in less than 30 days - an initiative that not only allowed organizers the financial bandwidth to fight another day, but reiterated just how unique this festival was - the kind of gathering that mattered less about who was performing and more about the experience overall.
The resilience of organizers, reinforced by the love of the fans that showed their unwavering supporting during the darkest of times, added a heightened sense of celebration over the fest's four day stretch. In addition to a performance bill that was among the strongest and most diverse to date, the fans that convened on the grounds once again fully embraced the ethos of the indie fest and exemplified how community and concert culture can intersect in remarkable ways.
See the celebration capture by photographers Gareth Bull, Jez Pennington, Joe Singh, and Mac Praed.