Leopallooza: The greatest house party in a field bids its farewell

Words and photos by: Anna Hatfield and Lucy Williamson

Photo by Lucy Williamson

The last EVER Leopallooza. Let that sink in.

There’s so much to say about this festival, the eclectic lineup and communal spirit made it unforgettable. Despite the mud, the atmosphere throughout the whole weekend was so incredibly special. And there are simply too many highlights to mention…

Let’s start with reliving the energetic excitement of Friday night with Mother Vulture who got the crowd moving in preparation for the rest of the weekend.

The 4-piece punk rock band truly shows the top-quality music, talent and stage presence being produced in the South West at the moment. With a stage invasion from two members of Crooked Little Sons and Fluff, they really gave Leopallooza the sendoff it deserved. If you missed them this time round, then you can catch them on their tour in the coming months. We highly recommend grabbing a ticket or three.

Photo Gallery of Mother Vulture by Anna Hatfield (below)

Onto Saturday now… and there is just so much to talk about. Put shortly, a music and mud-filled extravaganza.

Amidst the rain, indie-folk artist Ollie Dixon and skilled musician Lee Croad took to the iconic Raven’s Fury Stage, shaped like a pirate ship, to put on a mesmerising performance. With Ollie’s evocative vocals echoing through the air, each note resonated with raw energy and emotion. Their set was undeniably captivating. Certainly, one to watch.

Photo Gallery of Ollie Dixon by Lucy Williamson (below)

Looking to an artist a bit further afield now, the Dublin band Sprints gave the idea of stage invasions a run for its money. The garage post-punk band drew a crowd for their incredible set, including a lot of festival-goers dressed to the theme “The Lost Party of Atlantis”. With the invitation of “Do the crustaceans want to come and join?”, the fancy-dress festival-goers took to the stage for the final song. The set ended with smiles all around! Sprints’ song “How Does the Story Go” was the perfect song to get over the festival blues.

Photo Gallery of Sprints by Anna Hatfield (below)

Up next, Mystery Jets brought their infectious riffs, melodic vocals, and trademark indie rock energy to the Ade Burt Memorial Stage. The four-piece band put on an exceptional live performance with a blend of classic hits and newer tracks that had the audience swaying, sliding and dancing in the mud with overflowing excitement. A wholesome highlight of the weekend.

Photo Gallery of Mystery Jets by Lucy Williamson (below)

Another was Snayx. From seeing them before in London, supporting Kid Kapichi, they completely stole the show and did the same on Saturday night, taking the Mono stage with full force. The three-piece consisting of Ollie on Bass, Lainey on drums and Charlie on vocals really packed a punch. They had the crowd completely hooked and Charlie even took a few trips into the midst of it all during their performance. Seeing them live is a complete treat both musically and visually. We highly suggest catching a show of theirs soon or at least giving their stuff a listen.

Photo Gallery of Snayx by Anna Hatfield (below)

Sticking closely to the Mono stage on Saturday, Bad Nerves are certainly a band to watch. We have a feeling they’re on the brink of becoming a household name, with high energy from start to finish, they are the perfect mixture of rock with a sprinkling of pop, and they have the look to match. Sunglasses on and high jumps at the ready because if you don’t already know Bad Nerves, you will soon.

Photo Gallery of Bad Nerves by Anna Hatfield (below)

Now, this review would be missing a huge chunk of the weekend if we didn’t mention Crooked Little Sons’ performance. Frontman Josh Bessant made an appearance during many a set over the weekend but the whole band blew the roof off the tent with their set on Saturday night. Not only do they sound fantastic with heavy riffs and rock and roll vocals, but they also look the part. Their suits managed to stay out of the mud for most of the performance (although this can’t be commented on afterwards) and were the icing on the cake for this charismatic band. Crooked Little Sons encapsulate what punk rock n’ roll is all about and seeing such a diverse crowd respond so well to them was a highlight in itself. There are some exciting things coming soon from these guys so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

Photo Gallery of Crooked Little Sons by Anna Hatfield (below)

Haunt The Woods’ performance was absolutely and undeniably incredible. The four-piece alt-rock band collectively wove together emotive lyrics and powerful vocals layered with synths, guitar riffs and beats. Standout moments included their captivating performances of ‘Elephant’ and ‘Fever Dream’, just wow. If you get the chance to see Haunt The Woods live, make sure you do. They are yet another testament to the boundless creativity emerging from the South West’s vibrant music scene. And we are excited to see what they have planned in the months to come!

Photo Gallery of Haunt The Woods by Lucy Williamson (below)

Another familiar name in the scene is one man punk band Fluff. Now we believe that Leopallooza was Fluff’s first-ever festival performance. And this year, he managed to perform not once, but twice on two different stages! He kicked off his weekend of performances on the Raven’s Fury stage, it felt only fitting that he also ended with a water theme, except this time the water was coming from the sky. Undeterred, he got the crowd into a long rowing chain before jumping back on the stage to finish a belter of a set with as much energy at the end as he started the weekend with. His second performance at the festival? In the renowned Mono tent. Bin bags at the ready for rowing session part two!

Photo Gallery of Fluff by Anna Hatfield (below)

Headlining the Ade Burt Memorial Stage on Sunday night was AURORA, who absolutely blew us away with a magical performance. From the moment she ran onto the stage, it was evident the crowd was in for something truly special. Her ethereal vocals were perfectly matched by both the lighting design and the entrancing stage presence. One word… sensational. It was the perfect finish to the perfect weekend.

Photo Gallery of AURORA by Lucy Williamson (below)

The final edition of Leopallooza was a true celebration of fantastic music with a welcoming open-armed community. This beloved grassroots music festival will hold a special place in our hearts.

With exciting announcements on the horizon, we’re intrigued to find out what The Wyldes have planned for the future.

For now, thank you Leopallooza. You were incredible.