2Q FESTIVAL, LINCOLN 2017 – A RETROSPECTIVE

So, It’s been a few days since the first ever 2Q Festival in Lincoln took place, and whilst the recovery process is almost complete and while the city remembers fondly, we look hopefully to the future towards not only the return of 2Q, but other projects and events just like it that will wake Lincoln up and inject it with the same life it had on the 28th of October 2017. You may have already read our gig reviews on Life, Circa Waves and Jaws, but now were going to take an overview style look back at 2Q Festival 2017.

Were you there? I should certainly hope so, and if you were then none of this will be news, just a recap. If you weren’t however then I don’t know what the hell you were doing that could possibly warrant missing one of the most exciting days Lincoln town centre has ever seen, and I certainly hope that by the end of this article, you’ll regret your decision to miss it. As 81 different bands and artists were ready to perform on any of the nine different venues involved, already the statistics alone are staggering. How on earth could such a feat be achieved? The answers simple. Hard work. Hard work and ambition mixed with community spirit and local support were the only elements required in creating such an event and all these elements were heavily present on the day as a team of staff and festival management came together to piece together the entire project which took six months of labour and planning to pull off. To them we say thank you. The hard work and vision of these people turned an otherwise sleepy city centre into a melting pot of musical fandom, bringing every type of music lover out of the wood work and giving them something fantastic. The sight of these nine venues all packed out to capacity with enthusiastic and intrigued festival goers is an image that will remain burned into my brain. 

The event itself proved to be more eclectic than anticipated also, as we started our day listening to the soothing tones of Lewis Canner at the Angel Coffee House, before heading off to Liquor to find Northern Captives playing a riotous, loud punk set to a packed room… and this was all by 12.45pm. Lunch time had barely passed and already the festival was in full swing. “If it’s this crazy in Liquor, what will everywhere else be like?” we wondered, before wandering over to Red Five to find that it could barely contain the people within. The ‘This Feeling’ tour was taking place at Red Five and my word did these young, talented musicians show us a thing or two. We watched The Himalayas perform an amazing set to a huge crowd and were impressed by the stage presence and song writing ability they already possessed. They have it all, and I’ll be listening out for their name being mentioned in many other circles before they make it big. We found ourselves in places we’d never normally dream of going as we spent hours upon hours at corporate nightclubs that I’d normally never enter for some “ethical reasons”, but as Circle and two floors of Home were playing such huge parts within the festival, we had to venture inside and what a job they did. As multiple different artists such as Jaws, Sam Varlow, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, The Sherlocks and Peace drew gigantic crowds, the venues were more than capable of looking after everyone and keeping the show on track. It was a joy to be present and a joy to see what these places could do when a substantial focal point was the reason for such a gathering. As well as the aforementioned venues there was also Back To Mono record shop which featured a much more laid back, acoustically centred line up and it was very much needed. After kicking off the day with a variety of DJ sets (one of which being by yours truly) we began to see promising young stars like Lauren Rycroft and Paisley Atlanta take centre stage, and after a day of wandering around the city, a quick coffee and an hour of something more down tempo was exactly what the doctor ordered. After this quick break, it was time to head over to the student quarter and visit The Swan, which as far as a student bar when you’re not a student goes, was absolutely brilliant, and I’ll be returning for a pint very soon indeed. As headline slots approached all around the city, you could imagine that Home and The Engine Shed would be filling up to capacity, but a more intimate setting at The Swan made Eliza & The Bear’s performance even more wonderful. That and their Halloween outfits anyway…

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If you’ve read our Circa Waves review then you know how the day ends but as base of operations and the largest/main stage for the entire festival, The Engine Shed deserves a lot of respect for delivering as it always does. A lively and equally as enthused crowd as what started the day was present for the festival headliners and it was time to dig down for any remaining energy I had left, as prepared for the grand finale. Upon Circa Waves final song, as ticket holders continued to party all over the city, it was time to get a taxi and reflect on the day. Had it worked? Was Lincoln ready for 2Q? You’re damn right it was, and if it wasn’t for everyone that decided they wanted to be a part of history and go and get a piece of what was being offered to them, then it couldn’t possibly have worked and there wouldn’t be any possibility of its return, however, I remain hopeful that the sights and sounds of 2Q Festival aren’t gone, but just waiting. The pride I felt for Lincoln city and its inhabitants will not only last but be outdone next time, and as always, just as we always say here at Mojo20, good music wins again. This time, it won big.

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Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)

Photography by Steven Haddock (Twitter: @stevenhaddock FB: @stevenhaddockphoto) StevenHaddock.co.uk

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