There’s a reason that Barn on the Farm call their crowds the ‘Barn Family’. Wherever you look on the site there is a friendly face – whether it’s from the audience, the volunteers, the artists or even the ostriches in the paddocks next to the outdoor stage, you can be sure to feel welcomed. But it would be impossible to pin down why this festival holds such a warming atmosphere. It could be because of the authentic feel to the location and the kooky decor. It could be because of the passion that is exuded from both the artists and the organizers. Or it could just be because of the intimacy of the performances. Whatever the reason though, you can’t deny that Barn on the Farm is a festival like no other and you’d be an idiot to not want to return year after year – I know I will be.
Saturday couldn’t have kicked off better than with a set from The Academic. The four-piece make the sort of indie-rock anthems that epitomize the whole festival ideology, leaving their large audience with a smile on their faces as they rocked off the stage. Judas was similarly armed with an unmissable anthemic sound over on the Outdoor Stage. These guys whipped up their forceful sound, tempting out some of the first dance moves of the weekend before gifting their crowd with free copies of their EP.
Somehow Brother & Bones were even better than we expected them to be – their addictive, gutsy rock/folk sound was enough to send shivers down your spine and make your hair stand on end, their set definitely earning them a fair amount of new fans. But, before long, it was Black Honey’s turn to flaunt their seductive rock tracks. Their set was drifting between sultry and rebellious, the hypnotic aura that surrounded them both entrancing and enthralling onlookers.
Meanwhile Vant were dominating the Main Stage – they effortlessly pelted out their die-hard sound as they formed what was arguably one of the best sets of the day. It was easy to see that the audience were under the band’s command as they batted out their staple raucous spirit. But for those who are more up for dancing in the rain, Ady Suleiman’s slot on the Outdoor Stage was the place to be. The rain may have poured but no spirits ended up being dampened as the crowd huddled together, moving in time to the artist’s irresistibly feel-good sound.
Despite admitting that they never prepare for shows as much as they should, Flyte delivered one hell of a set – proving that they probably don’t even need to do that much preparation. The whole set was as seamless as it was energetic though, their final track ‘Light Me Up’ provoking one of the strongest sing-a-longs of the weekend. Following Flyte was Clean Cut Kid who we had pegged down as one of our ‘unmissable’ acts for the weekend and they definitely proved us right. If there was one thing these guys succeeded at it was undoubtedly making a large group of people smile. The four-piece’s buoyant indie sound was enough to give the push of energy needed to make it through the night.
It was the Farm Band who brought one of the most special performances to the weekend. The band, a mix of Amber Run, Gabrielle Aplin, Hudson Taylor and Hannah Grace (who are all BOTF favorites), performed a refreshing, tender and poignant set that brought together tracks from both the artists back-catalogs and elsewhere, meaning that the audience had no problem joining in and raising the tent’s ceiling. Closing the night was Oh Wonder who’s set surpassed everyone’s anticipation as the heralded duo failed to put a foot wrong, creating the sort of ambiance you could only dream of.