Returning to a sleepy suburb in Stockport for it’s 4th year is Manchester’s first credible music festival with camping. Combining the amazing music performed in Manchester’s city centre and the surrounding countrysides tastiest food; (and great drinks to wash it all down) Blackthorn Festival provides everything you could wish for.

Whilst most small festivals around the country are content with putting the same bands on every year and pleasing a small crowd, Blackthorn Festival is constantly growing and doubling in size. This is down to their incredible ability to source the best bands from the local area and further afield and bring them all together in a celebration of the nations independent music scene.

Spanning 3 days Blackthorn Festival has combined everything you are looking for in a small festival and made it easily accessible to people coming from far and wide with their camping and glamping facilities, including posh loos and hot showers!

Blackthorn Festival isn’t just about the music on the stages, there are hidden gems around the site with dedicated areas for live art, acoustic acts and spontaneous live art installations that litter Etherow Country Park. This year Blackthorn Festival are also working alongside Chesire Wildlife Trust (CWT), providing a scenic backdrop with the site of some of the regions beautiful wildlife and a chance to see Kingfisher and Yellow Wagtail birds – and the elusive white-letter hairstreak butterfly may pay a visit!

The incredible food, drink and sceneries are enough to pull you to the site alone, however here is our selection of bands to catch whilst you’re there:

No Hot Ashes
No Hot Ashes are rapidly becoming one of the biggest bands to come out of Stockport since the Blossom’s rocket to success. Having recently sold out Sound Control the band are bringing their incredible funky sound to Blackthorn Festivals main stage on the Saturday. No Hot Ashes are our hottest tip for the weekend and are a Pentatonic favourite.

With their anthemic songs perfectly suited to the open air Corella will be a highlight of the weekend. Songs like ‘Waterfall’ will sound incredible pouring over the devout following they carry with them. Corella are set for big things in the future and will no doubt be going onto bigger festival lineups.

Already on track for musical domination, Larkins will bring an incredible energy to the festival with their upbeat and bouncy indie-pop. You’ll be walking away with their songs stuck in your head, and having just released their catchy single ‘Sugar Sweet’ I have no doubt that this will be one of them. Larkins are sure to gather a large crowd and many new fans.

The Claremonts
The Claremonts are an amazing band that have been doing the circuit supporting some of Manchester’s best new bands; the likes of No Hot Ashes and Larkins. They’re catchy riffs and fast paced vocals are proving popular with their adoring fans and are a great act early Sunday on The Paddock Stage.

A favourite at most small festivals around Manchester, Dantevilles have developed a name for themselves as being a great live band. Their bouncing guitar riffs and high pitched vocals will catch your attention and have you hooked from the moment you walk by.

Ravellas are one of the greatest indie-rock bands playing around Manchester. The Wigan based band are supporting Tom Clarke (The Enemy) on the Manchester date of his tour, and
impressive achievement and a perfect band to warm up the crowd for The Enemy’s songs. New songs ‘Blush’ and ‘Cause You Could’ show the real potential this band posses and fan favourite ‘Puppettes’ will have you falling in love with them.

The Jade Assembly
The Jade Assembly are arguably the strongest band around the Northwest in recent times. They will be returning to the Blackthorn Festival along with their large following and incredibly powerful indie-rock sound. They are one of the most established bands at the festival and will put on an excellent show that you’ll have to fight your way to the front for.

The Blinders
Hot on the heels of Cabbage (quite literally supporting them on Cabbage’s tour), The Blinders are the next band to break out of Manchester’s (originally Doncaster’s) music scene and take over the country with their raw music.They will put on one of the most mesmerising shows at Blackthorn Festival and their frenzied stage presence will drag you in.

Puppet Rebellion
Puppet Rebellion are an experienced band who have developed a great fan base along the road. They’re a strong band and show their experience onstage as they deliver a great performance packed with great songs.

Kashmere are growing rapidly in Manchester and are headlining Gorilla in August, an great achievement for the Stockport band. Their lyrics are incredibly catchy are will have you singing along, even if you’ve never heard them before. They’ve been building up a steady following and are now ready for the headline gigs they deserve. Kashmere have just released upbeat single ‘Hoxton’ and it will go down amazingly in Etherow Country Park.

This is certainly not an exhausted list of bands to see and I could go for days telling you about all the amazing bands playing at Blackthorn Festival; without even mentioning the headliners Reef and Lightning Seeds. Don’t just take my word for it, get down to Blackthorn Festival and immerse yourself in the incredible music, it won’t disappoint.

Words: Stuart Daley