11 Highlight Performances at Rock Oyster Festival 2023

Words by: Lucy Williamson
Photos by: Sara Getson and Lucy Williamson

Photo by Sara Getson

Grab your biodegradable glitter and wellies and get ready to relive 11 stand-out performances at Rock Oyster Festival 2023. 

Let’s start with Friday night when The Howl stage was brought alive with Pattern Pusher. Propelling soaring vocals, tight musicianship and an undeniable sense of joy, the retro-pop band turned the tent into a dancing disco party. The crowd grooved to catchy hits like Come Along and Happy Place and an electrifying cover of Praise You. Benny G on the bass also made his famous leap into the crowd for Pattern Pusher’s penultimate song in the set. What a performance. What a night. A Pattern Pusher show is always a gooden.

FFO: Plastic Mermaids, Haunt The Woods, Fleetwood Mac, The Lottery Winners

Photo Gallery of Pattern Pusher by Sara Getson (below)

Singer-songwriter Maisy Grace brought her rhythmic anthems to the main stage on Saturday afternoon. She played tracks from her newly released album Based on a True Story, which encapsulates her authentic storytelling and intertwined emotions of growing up and living in Cornwall. Her heartfelt song about Polzeath bridged the small gap between the festival and the village just a few miles away. And the anthem Circles radiated an infectious beat with catchy loops, making it a real earworm.

FFO: Hana Lili, VC Pines, HUNNY BUZZ, Kai Bosch

Photo Gallery of Maisy Grace by Sara Getson (below)

West Country girl Jo Hill graced the main stage with her dynamic pop sound, vibrant melodies, soulful undertones and a hint of country flair. She and her fully-fledged band put on a magnetic performance with tracks from Jo Hill’s new EP Cinematic Baby. She also debuted an unreleased single inspired by the famous Falcon Bus and going on classic nights out (Free cider was included!).

FFO: Nieve Ella, Maisie Peters, Gatlin, Olivia Dean, Clario, Remi Wolf

Photo Gallery of Jo Hill by Sara Getson (below)

Over at The Howl stage, the incredible performances continued with indie-folk musician Peri Rae. Honest story writing and a melodious voice weaved together stories of dating, mental health and everyday life. With poetic lyrics, Peri Rae’s music takes you on an emotional and heartfelt journey that leaves a deep connection with you. With such an awe-inspiring stage presence and a performance full of energy alongside a close-knit band, the feel-good atmosphere flooded throughout the tent. After the final song of the set, the crowd erupted in a chant of “Peri Rae! Peri Rae! Peri Rae!”. It was the cherry on top of such a memorable moment at the festival.

FFO: Nina Nesbitt, Lizzie Mcalpine, Gabrielle Aplin, Joely, Grace Davies

Photo Gallery of Peri Rae by Sara Getson (below)

Hailing from Newquay, Mopes brought a storm of vibrant chords, raw energy and a dreamy shoegaze-like sound to The Howl stage. The indie rock outfit even played their track Down for the first time live, rounding up a brilliant set. Mopes are making their mark on the South West music scene, and we’re excited to see what they have planned in the months to come.

FFO: Joy Division, The Rills, Wunderhorse

Photo Gallery of Mopes by Sara Getson (below)

Now if you haven’t heard of Barry and the Crumpets where have you been? Known for their quirky name and energetic stage presence, this 4-piece funk fusion band incorporates a variety of genres in their music. Playing tracks from their album Baked Beans on Coast, the band knows how to put on a fun, upbeat performance, for sure!

FFO: James Brown

Photo Gallery of Barry and the Crumpets by Sara Getson (below)

Long Tonic is another band that is no stranger to knowing how to put on an incredible show! The five-piece took to the Howl Stage in long patterned dresses, giving off an energetic charisma as they played groovy, bluesy tunes that got the audience dancing and bopping throughout the set. With their soulful vocals, funky basslines, rocky riffs, drum beats, and exciting trumpet solos, the band was incredibly close-knit and full of excitement. Long Tonic wrapped up their absolutely stellar set with their latest single (and certified tune), California.

FFO: Ocean Alley, Sticky Fingers, Pentire, Luna Blue, Horses on the Beach

Photo Gallery of Long Tonic by Sara Getson (below)

Up next, Land of the Giants: a festival must. The funky and upbeat six-piece collective from Plymouth packed out The Howl tent on Saturday night with an electrifying performance. Land of the Giants combines vocals, trombone, bass, lead guitar, drums and trumpet to create an incredible fusion of sonic brilliance. Land of the Giants will have you grooving from start to finish, guaranteed.

FFO: Mumford and Sons, Jack Savoretti, Pattern Pusher, Willie and the Bandits

Photo Gallery of Land of the Giants by Sara Getson (below)

Lily Ward graced The Howl stage on Sunday afternoon with her remarkable talent. With her stunning, honeyed vocals and a harmonious blend of lively yet relaxed pop melodies, Lily created an atmosphere of pure euphoria. Her acoustic version of Shelter stood out as a real gem. I especially loved her chatty interludes between songs, which sparked an intimate connection with the crowd.

FFO: Holly Humberstone, MUNA, Taylor Swift, Luz

Photo Gallery of Lily Ward by Lucy Williamson (below)

The Busketeers are just full-on brilliant. The band performed at The Howl stage, and their ability to seamlessly blend covers and originals like Arrows while swapping instrument roles throughout the set truly showcases their exceptional musicianship and dynamic creativity. It was during their cover of Bittersweet Symphony that their harmonies literally gave me goosebumps. The crowd also became an extension of the band belting out the medley of timeless classics like Thunderstruck, Seven Nation Army, Sweet Dreams, and Living on A Prayer. The tent was full of pure joy.

Photo Gallery of The Busketeers by Sara Getson (below)

Sunday headliner, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, took to the Main Stage with her band to play chart-topping hits like Murder on the Dancefloor and Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love), and the audience was dancing, swaying and singing along in the rain! The set was a disco-pop extravaganza with lots of sparkles, a fitting grand finale to a fantastic weekend at Rock Oyster Festival 2023.

Photo Gallery of Sophie Ellis-Bextor by Sara Getson (below)

Tickets for Rock Oyster Festival 2024 are available now: https://www.rockoysterfestival.co.uk