It’s hard to know whether to be too honest about how the festival was, because frankly part of the reason it was brilliant was because it was exactly the right size: big enough for awesome bands, but small enough for a great atmosphere and no ridiculously long walks to the campsite-arena etc.

Here’s hoping they don’t massively extend the capacity next year.

Having plenty to do until 3am was a very nice touch too, with bands, the silent disco, and the Bowtime Bar all providing after dark entertainment.

Seeing the likes of Sylosis, InMe and Andrew O’Neill chilling out around the bar were nice surprises too.

Here’s a quick review of the first bands of the weekend, in order of performance:

Never Means Maybe: 3.2/5. Got the crowd going for the weekend with human pyramids, circle pits and fights for their drumsticks. Their sound does lack something without their second guitarist however.

Sylosis: 4.2/5. Brilliant songs, brilliant reaction from the massive crowd, new songs sounded awesome. Mumbling new vocalist Josh could do with a charisma injection though.

Alice Cooper: 3.7/5. One hell of a showman, but he played the big numbers too early in the set.

Chrome Hoof: 3.5/5. If any band could have clashed with Alice Cooper and put on an equally memorable show it was this crazy troupe: like the giant robotic ant creature they brought out, they have to be seen to be believed!

Lacuna Coil: 2.9/5. Not bad but a little early in the day with the set lacking proper singalong tunes like Heaven’s a Lie or Enjoy the Silence.

Soulfly: 4/5. Rooooooots bloooddy roooooots. Nuff said.

Fear Factory: 2.8/5. Would have been a nice set if not for the guitar sound cutting out for a time and, more unforgivably, the band screwing up the intro to Replica. Maybe they should focus on practicing their songs rather than changing the line-up every five minutes.

Papa Roach: 2.7/5. Lukewarm set that went down much better at the front than from where I was standing I’m sure.

Part #2 is here.