Where other boutique festivals have kept on growing until they become unwieldy, it's a pleasure to return to Summer Sundae to find it has retained its intimate size in its 10th year.
It keeps its line-up eclectic so as to please everyone, with hip-hop, indie rock, country and pop all featuring. This year, with the grime artist Tinchy Stryder, blues artist Seasick Steve, folk rockers Mumford and Sons headlining, and the X-Factor star Diana Vickers and The Besnard Lakes and Caribou appearing elsewhere on the bill, all 6,000 festival-goers a day were catered for.
Unfortunately, taking place on one of the rainiest weekends of the summer, it is to Summer Sundae's credit that the second stage is indoors. Not that the torrential rain put off the crowds who gathered to see Turin Brakes.
The indie pop duo provided one of the most nostalgic sets of the weekend with songs from their decade-old Optimist album. The perfectly crafted indie-pop of Teenage Fanclub, the Glaswegian legends – which included their new excellent album Shadows – was a wistful favourite, while Mark E Smith of the post-punk legends The Fall was typically uncommunicative with the crowd – a mixture of old fans and the curious.
Tinchy Stryder performed a confident, hit-heavy set befitting a Saturday night. But it was on Sunday that the sun came out for the best line-up of the weekend. Summer Camp's blissed-out synth-pop and girl-boy vocals, and The Crookes, four literature graduates from Sheffield, both offered uplifting melodies and marked themselves out as ones to watch.
The folk-rock flavour of the day reflected the chart success of the genre. The Low Anthem's songs were gorgeous and melancholic, and Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit, watched by their London folk peer Marcus Mumford, were both captivating in the thoughtful poeticism of Flynn's delicate and intricate songwriting and their fiddle-driven barn dances.
Mumford and Sons had the biggest crowd of the weekend. The Mercury nominees proved themselves worthy of their first festival headline slot, engaging the crowd in mass sing-alongs to their heart-warming and rousing numbers. They best encapsulated the joyful mood of the festival.Reuse content