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.
You couldn’t have woken up to a better sound than the dulcet tones of Ardyn. With their harmonious vocals that felt softer than silk, their set on the main stage was both a welcome and gentle wake up call – getting festival-goers slowly but surely into the festival spirit. But, once you were awake, Pleasure Beach took it upon themselves to shake away any groggy feelings as they got the blood moving with their carefree sound. It was easy to lose yourself in the rise and falls of their lively and upbeat melodies.
Hidden Charms then went on to blow our expectations out of the water. To the farm they brought their irresistible 60’s style that went down a treat with the captivated audience. And, whilst they almost didn’t make it, The Amazons similarly delighted the Outdoor Stage with their dramatic and soon-to-be iconic sound. Just like BOTF made artists like Catfish and the Bottlemen big, The Amazons are bound to get the same treatment.
Meanwhile, over on the Main Stage, it was time to dance: Fickle Friends had entered the farm and they were taking no prisoners. The band were armed to the teeth with delicious pop-melodies that were as addictive and feel good as caffeine, meaning you wouldn’t have wanted to be free of their sonic powers anyway. Eliza and the Bear then followed on the only way they knew how, by belting out one of the best songs of 2016: ‘Friends’. The band were happy enough to go out and share the love after their thundering performance too, proving how close Eliza and the Bear are with their adoring fans.
One of the most unruly sets of the weekend was delivered over on the Outdoor Stage courtesy of The Hunna. It was no surprise that a pit formed in the latter half of the set as these guys are undoubtedly one of the most addictive entities in the music industry at the moment – it’s impossible to hear just one note and not get sucked into the careless, free spirit they boast so proudly. Rationale’s performance may have lacked in the raucousness of The Hunna’s but definitely didn’t lack in a similar raw passion – with every lyric the artist sung, it was obvious he was devoting them to the BOTF crowd.
One of the most anticipated moments of the weekend was who the mystery act that would be over at The Wooden Barn. The curious members of the Barn Family were not disappointed as Hudson Taylor took to the elevated stage like the angels that they are. Albeit one man down, their set was unforgettable a they introduced even more surprises in the form Gabrielle Aplin and Hannah Grace to help them increase the magic. But it was Zak Abel’s voice that I still can’t get out of my head even till this day. He was slicker than could have been expected as he charmed the audience with his unmistakable voice and hooking pop melodies.