Bloc Party, Hercules And Love Affair, Beach House, Metronomy, Laura Marling, Wolf Alice…the list of bands to have played Dot To Dot Festival prior to their major breakthrough goes on. See them here.
Dot To Dot has long-prided itself on its reputation as the best British festival for new music and breaking bands, leaving a legacy that builds year-on-year. 2017 was no exception, taking place in three different cities – Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham over the late May bank holiday weekend.
Backstage at Manchester’s Old Granada Studios, bands linger around post-show drinking warm cans of Red Stripe, photographers stare into laptops editing pictures and the walls are adorned with sharpie-written signatures of former Coronation Street and Loose Women cast members – both shows were shot here until the studio closed in 2013.
Now an exciting cultural hub for the city, the venue hosts one of two main stages for Dot To Dot 2017. California-based “beach goths” The Growlers headline Old Granada Studios, with Reading’s Sundara Karma heading up the historic Albert Hall just down the road. Dot To Dot spreads out through the city across 27 different venues.
Earlier in the day, local new music took over the Fred Perry Manchester shop. The Crimsons describe themselves as “Melody makers, hip shakers, more flower power than your local bakers.” They have quickly cultivated a strong local presence that recently expanded into their own monthly Northern Quarter club-night: ‘Club Crimsons’. They play to a packed-out shop, stopping the public on the street outside to watch their entrancing live show.
18 months ago FREAK was stacking shelves in his local Chelmsford Co-Op, now he plays his second packed-out DTD show in a row at Bristol’s 02 Academy. His show roars with energy, recalling the live shows of Slaves and Rat Boy.
Elsewhere across the city, newcomer Liv Dawson plays Thekla - Bristol’s famous boat-turned-live-music venue. Her soulful show is a stark contrast to the punk energy of FREAK. Her recent single ‘Searching’ produced by Disclosure is a particular highlight.
Day 3 of Dot To Dot, and unofficially the biggest day of all. Acts start performing from 1pm running through to 3am DJ sets. It’s a bright bank holiday Sunday in Nottingham, and venues are quickly filling up.
Meeting acclaimed indie girls The Big Moon in the artist car park they are slightly tired having played Radio One’s Big Weekend earlier that day in Hull, but excited to play later that evening. “Both days so far have been great” says singer Juliette. They take to the stage a couple of hours later at Nottingham’s Trent Uni to a full house, delivering the stand out set of the weekend.
In 2016 Sundara Karma were on the Dot To Dot line up as ones to watch. In 2017 they return as headliners, taking to the stage at Nottingham’s iconic Rock City venue to close the festival.
The crowd immediately sing along to opening track ‘Flame’, setting the scene for a rowdy set encouraged by an excitable crowd.
By the time encore track ‘Explore’ finishes the crowd are covered in confetti from huge on-stage confetti canons, sweaty and smiling.
See the entire 2017 Dot To Dot line up here.