‘It’s kind of like indie, but for wankers’ – overheard in Bristol the Sunday after the festival, the literal man on the street’s view of ArcTanGent. Little does he know he’s missed out on the most mindblowing weekend of music for the 4th year running. Enough about him however, how about some views that matter – those of the bands that played. We caught up with a number of acts to get their words on the number one date in the world math calendar.
Paul (guitar): It’s everything. We’ve been here since the beginning and it just feels like where we belong, our home. It’s Math Christmas!
Al (drums): There should be more presents though, some sort of grotto…
Paul: And we should all sit down for dinner… crackers…
Dan: If it wasn’t for ArcTanGent, we might not have lasted as a band as long as we have. We’ve met so many people who discovered us here. When we saw the lineup for the first festival surface online we emailed the organisers offering our left bollocks to play and we ended up getting on the bill. Since we played that first time our audience here and elsewhere has just grown and grown.
Calvin (bass): It’s a very individual festival. I don’t think there’s anything like it in the world.
Dan (vocals, guitar): Everyone comes together and there’s just no dickheads!
Ollie (guitar): That’s one of the main selling points isn’t it, no dickheads?
Dan: And yet they let this guy into the festival every year…
Calvin: They’ve asked us to play it twice so they’ve got no choice have they?
If anyone ever asks us ‘What’s the festival you’re playing? ArcTanGent? What’s that?’, my normal response is ‘you wouldn’t understand…’. If you don’t know, you don’t know. And you’re not welcome, basically…
Ollie: I wouldn’t say not welcome…
Calvin: I’d say not welcome. And that’s why I don’t run my own festival, because no-one would come.
Bearded Youth Quest
James (guitar): This is our first time at the festival and we’ve been really impressed with how, as soon as a band finishes, everyone migrates to another stage on the dot. It’s beautiful. Everyone is here so absolutely for the music.
Andy (drums): It’s not just a lifestyle thing like other festivals. It’s more like ‘we’re here because we want to see as many fucking bands as we possibly can!’. So at 11:30am the whole tent is full! It’s unbelievable.
Jolyon (bass): It just goes to show how supportive this whole scene is as well. People are so much more invested in the music beyond going to a festival to get completely wankered.
James: It does happen…
Andy: Yeah, but it’s getting wankered and then still getting up early to watch bands!
And So I Watch You From Afar
Rory (guitar): The first time we played it was a very busy year for us, it was one of a lot of festivals we were playing all over Europe. But the hour that we played turned out to be one of the best shows we’d ever had. And we realised at that moment that this was the place for our little weird corner of music. It’s nice to have a lot of people that come to a lot of our shows and to a lot of our friends and peers’ shows all in one place. It’s really incredible. And any year we’re not playing we’re always looking at the lineup wishing we were there as part of the party. Well that one year we didn’t play anyway!
Mark (bass): It’s like the Woodstock for the scene that we come from. We were in the States a couple of months ago and everyone kept speaking to us about it and telling us how lucky we are to be so geographically close to this unbelievable world-class lineup.
Lewis (guitar): I think a lot of people didn’t think the festival was real. When we posted the line-up a lot of people in the States thought it was one of those fake Photoshopped posters people make for Coachella.
Mark: I think this particular year I’m already marking in my mind as one of those things that I look back on in ten years, pinching myself like ‘that didn’t happen’. I’ll just be looking at that poster going ‘how did all of those bands play in a field in Cheddar?!’.
Miss out this year and want to see what all the fuss is about? Still raving about the festival yourself? Tickets for next year’s ArcTanGent are currently on sale with 10% off 2016 prices for a limited time only at arctangent.co.uk/tickets.
All press photos taken by Jose Caamano, on behalf of Fecking Bahamas.