This article is a long over due, but lets get into it anyway!
It’s been a while since I attended a festival but even longer working one!
I thought it might be appropriate to write a piece about my time at Long Division Festival as it is a little gem of Wakefield. Although, the music scene is unique for its underground niches that once thrived in the 90’s and 2000’s, it is now struggling and overshadowed by its busier neighbouring cities. Venues have closed and hung from threads to stay open especially with the Pandemic and Lockdowns of recent times. I think having a city-spread festival is exactly what a small city needs to boost morale and bring a sense of community.
Long Division has prided itself on being accessible to all people of all ages and backgrounds and I admire that those under the age of 18 can purchase tickets for £1 to get the youth involved.
I also admire that many of the venues also allow the public to enter for free, to get as many people involved, however, this causes issues in financing for the festival in future. At smaller gigs, I always purchase a ticket to support the artists and all those involved and I encourage others to do the same, as these people are putting their hearts, souls, education and experience into the arts and music industry and deserve to be paid and supported.
Long Division also promotes neighbouring facilities and businesses in hopes to bring in more support and encourage the public to learn and explore the city which is a brilliant way to give back after businesses have been supporting Long Division Festival since 2011!
I have lived around the city pretty much my whole life and even I’m still discovering some sweet classy little places!
My day started with a short walk from the train station to the Arts Centre to pick up my passes for the entire day, there was a short queue upon arrival but festival-goers soon flooded in behind me.
Kicking the day off at The Mechanic’s Theatre, Little Planets played a lively funk-pop set with duet vocals lush harmonies, uniquely fronted by two women. The driving forces are rich bass and sparkly guitar riffs. Leeds based band is undeniably relatable, focusing on relationships, leaving quite a cheery impression on the audience.
Then next up was Pit Pony that brought their raw crunch from Tyneside, with grungy guitar and bass riffs with strong vocals that portray confidence and never-back-down attitude.
The audience were a little unsure of what to expect but then soon warmed up to the unstoppable forces. Toe-tapping became head banging by the last song. “Supermarket” still leaves quite the impression on me even a month later in ever increasing dynamics and time signature.
Over at The Counting House awaited Pleasure Centre, although some technical difficulties ensued, This group really pulled through. The last time I saw this band was back in March at The Key Club and I’ve been quite obsessed since. But now at a different venue, You can really hear the gentle waves, reverb and shoegaze influences that was a little drowned out previously, all whilst the engagement and performance still living up to big-stage counterpart.
Word about MEMES also got out around CRB Head quarters, so it was ideal to pop back over to The Mechanics Theatre to scope them out. I wasn’t so confident on the name however, was completely surprised by the indie-punk duo captivating the audience with noise and chaos. absolutely infectious baselines and impressive solos and catchy choruses.
MEMES also made for some great diverse photo opportunities, I love their energy through the lens equally!
Later on in the evening, I made a visit to the Town Hall with interior rococo style room that made an interesting stage room, but was ideal for the elegant ladies in VENUS GRRRLS whom are breaking the boundaries for women in rock by combining hard alt rock and poppy synths to create a strong astrological sonic sound. I noticed immediately there were younger girls in the audience of which was heart warming as this band is surely the right role models and examples of inspiration for them.
To put it briefly, this is one of the most iconic all girl rock band I have witnessed. And finally I made my way to Vortex for the final show of the entire day, Bored At My Grandmas House - a singer songwriter whom wrote all of her dreamy, indie chill-pop tunes right from her own bedroom supported by her friends and band on stage.
I loved the mix of warm bass and sparkly guitars and soft breathy vocals- this was a perfect relaxing ending to such a busy tiring day.
I had a brilliant experience across the entire festival and city with so much to explore and new material to experience and listen to as well as being able to talk to the staff behind the scenes, a great time for both a visitor and someone stepping foot into the active music industry in the local area. I do believe this is my favourite summer highlights so far and I do encourage people to attend their local festivals.
I was a little disappointed that the large stage in the city centre wasn’t available this year, but I really hope to see it next year.