The tenth Evolution Festival took place over Saturday, May 28th and Sunday, May 29th in Newcastle and Gateshead. While the crowds may not have matched the numbers seen in previous years, there was still plenty of fun to be had and great music to enjoy.
Evolution Festival 2011 managed to mix already established stars with emerging acts as they performed across the event’s four stages: Spiller’s Wharf (the main stage), Baltic Square, Ballast Hills and UMT Emerging.
The range of acts meant there was something for everyone. A great example of this was the two headliners on the Saturday. Spiller’s Wharf saw Iggy & The Stooges getting his top off for punk rock fans, while Katy B was ‘on a mission’ on the Baltic Square stage, providing a younger audience with some R&B music.
Other acts that took to the stage on Saturday included Two Door Cinema Club, The Kills, Spank Rock and Billy Bragg. While the acts put in great performances, the Saturday line-up lacked in big names. Nevertheless, Sunday’s line-up didn’t disappoint.
The bill for Spiller’s Wharf on Sunday was headlined by Plan B, with Tinie Tempah, Example and Darwin Deez also performing, much to the delight of the teenagers in the crowd. Meanwhile, on the Baltic Square, Sub Focus and Annie Mac joined headliners, Caribou. The choice was fantastic.
Evolution Festival is a supporter of WaterAid, a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people. Not only was money raised for the organisation through a proportion of the ticket sales, but there was plenty of awareness with the distribution of WaterAid tattoos and footage on the Spiller’s Wharf screens.
While the running of the festival was to a great standard, there are still a number of improvements that could be made. For example, the walk between Spiller’s Wharf and Baltic Square (of approximately 25-30 minutes) proved problematic for those switching between stages.
Another difficulty was with accommodation. With no camping facilities and very limited places in nearby hotels, those staying for the full weekend were left with having to make alternative arrangements.
On the whole, Evolution Festival was an enjoyable weekend for everyone who attended. The great line-up, especially on the Sunday, ensured there was plenty of choice and lots to keep people occupied. Evolution Festival just keeps on growing and growing, year by year.