Teddy Rocks started as a solitary show back in 2012 with the means to raise money for children’s cancer, and ever since, it has continued to grow whilst also raising an astonishing amount of money for an incredible cause. This year Teddy Rocks returns bigger and better in every way. The line-up is stacked with exceptionally varied acts and the production quality rivals the biggest UK festivals. With each return the quality keeps improving. Luckily this year the festival was gifted with glaring sun and a great turn out.
To ease us into day number two was Dream State on the main stage. Straight away, coming onstage oozing confidence, it became quickly evident that they were made for stages this big. Each song performed impressed the early risers in the crowd with their mix of alt-rock and post-hardcore. The incredibly catchy singalongs paired with both the melodic and aggressive elements, made for a high energy set. From the get go every member was using the space on stage, rarely stagnant. They didn’t fail at bringing the crowd in to the barrier. They were perfectly natural on the big stage and it is very clear that Teddy Rocks will not be the last time they play a stage like it. 8/10 Across the field, over at the Vocalzone stage I, The Mapmaker play one of their biggest shows yet. The Bournemouth based tech influenced melodic hardcore band hit the stage in a big way with beginning to end energy. Every song looked like the band were giving everything they had.
It was clear that the concept behind the band was well thought out for a live setting, through their consistent emotion during the set. They blend their technical riffs with their huge choruses perfectly, with the juxtaposition between the abrasive aggression from the lead vocals and the softer singing. There is a lot of potential within this band and they will definitely be doing big things in the near future. 7.5/10 Up next at the Vocalzone stage, Shields. As soon as they came on, the set was filled with confidence. They were completely at ease and sounded like the hardest and heaviest that Teddy Rocks had to offer so far. Something everyone must have heard from the other side of the field, because they drew a decent sized crowd for a mid-afternoon set. They showed amazing energy and a great performance. Even getting a previously hesitant crowd to start moving. All of the above, mixed with big choruses, brilliantly crafted melodic parts and hard breakdowns, made for a fantastic set, that went down a treat with the crowd. 8/10
Headed back to the main stage for Dougie from McFly’s new musical project, INK. This set showcased their brand-new music,
with this being INK’s 2nd show ever. Except for the mildly inappropriate and forced in-between song banter from Dougie himself, the songs sounded like a good punky twist on pop music. It was also nice to see that he doesn’t take the lead role in the band, as the singer did a great job in the performance. All of their individual styles added to a uniquely mixed, and quite interesting image. But it is clear that they will be doing very big things when they become more polished. 6.5/10 A highly anticipated set next, in the form of Loathe. As they have been taking over the heavy music scene in the last year it was interesting to see whether or not they could translate well onto the festival stage. Which, of course, they did. Their ever consistent and unique aesthetic entrancing everyone. Having their own screens on each side of the stage, was a brilliant addition to add to the whole spectacle, and just adds to the whole visual aspect which it seems is very important to the band. Their songs are full of gigantic sing-alongs mixed with crushing heavy parts. They cement themselves as the best heavy band around at the moment and it seems like they can’t be stopped. 9/10
Turbowolf took the lead over at the main stage. Performing their interestingly unique take on rock. Their performance from the beginning created such a positive vibe with the audience, really showing off how much a crowd-pleasing band they are. They radiated charisma and confidence the entire time. So much, it became infectious. 7.5/10 Next on the Vocalzone stage are Palm Reader. Not sure how you would pigeon hole this band into a genre but the closest would be math infused anger. As soon as they took to the stage, the set was non-stop raw, ferocious and relentless until the end. Hopefully Palm Reader get their time to shine as a band and get the credit they deserve, because it seems like they will never disappoint. 8.5/10
On the main stage, Eliza and the Bear bring their catchy, funky pop songs to Teddy Rocks and they get everyone watching and smiling. They are clearly a band that thrives in the summer. They went down really well as they brought life to, sadly, one of the smallest crowds of the weekend. The band looked like they were thoroughly enjoying the set, as they were all smiles and dancing. As an added bonus for the band, their new songs went down a treat with the audience. They really were an excellent addition to the line-up. 7.5/10
It’s time for the Saturday night's Teddy Rocks headliner, Feeder. From the beginning their set was filled with wall to wall huge anthems. They sounded completely flawless, and so tight. Hearing the choruses that they were performing and the response to them, it became quickly surprising that they aren’t regularly headlining UK festivals. With each passing song, the crowd becomes more and more vocal and excited until the peak when they played 'Buck Rogers' and 'Just a Day' to a stunning firework display and a frequent use of pyro. Everyone in the crowd seemed to leave completely satisfied and anyone who wasn’t a fan before, is now. 9/10