This weekend saw Leicester's Summer Sundae Weekender reach ten, a rarity in today's saturated festival market. Now a three day family event, it has progressed naturally, with both facilities and acts suited to a wide range of audiences, with music of numerous genres, comedy, food from around the world and areas for children, providing a chilled out atmosphere over the sun-blushed weekend.
With a choice of four stages of music going on, it was the main stage that brought most of Friday's highlights whilst the rain threatened but never followed through. America's new afro-beat five piece Givers brought fun and joy to the occasion as their upbeat tunes won the crowd over. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were watching Vampire Weekend at times but that is now bad thing and these were a real 'musical treat' like the festivals tag-line suggested was on offer. The samba style continued over at the Last.FM Rising Stage with Canadian group Born Ruffian's who ended the set with the fiery Hummingbird whilst the main-stage continued to host a variety of sounds thanks to The Bees and Graham Coxon before the headliners closed day one. The Maccabees have had a quiet twelve months, hidden away working, on their third album which they showcased a lot during their welcomed return in Leicester. The band opened with a newie, ended with one too and they delivered plenty more throughout which the crowd took-in. The new sound is slower with a build-up that highlights the bands progression and they were welcomed well but the crowd really got going when the band played old favourites, First Love, No Kind Words and Precious Time. This was a test for The Maccabees on their first ever festival headline slot and they passed it with ease.
Saturday morning started with sun shining and the day flowed with musical variety again, first was some more indie delights with Flashguns and The Heartbreaks in DeMontfort Hall, the plushness of the venue lost the festival atmosphere but that didn't affect the performances. Local 70's cheesy pop group, Showaddywaddy delighted the family crowd on the main stage, decked out in brightly coloured blazers and a set of old time classics that was uplifting. The Last.FM Rising Stage supported more overlooked talent including Little Comets and Pete and The Pirates but it was Chapel Club who stole the show back in DeMontfort Hall. The London five-piece covered the best from their debut, Palace as well as a couple of new tunes that showed a new direction and promise for the band. Main stage headliner Newton Faulkner proved to be a nice surprise as he took to playing drums and guitar whilst singing, his on-stage banter was well suited for the family crowd and his rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody went down a storm.
The Sunday crowd was much younger than the previous days as teenager girls giddily ran around the site full of excitement for the final headliners McFly but there was a lot more before that. The Last.FM Rising Stage hosted the brilliantly dark singer-songwriter Kyla La Grange whilst the ever-loveable quirkiness of The Young Knives shone in the sunshine on the main stage. Rowdy Londoner's Factory Floor didn't disappoint and Warpaint showed why they have many the highlight of many festival goers this summer and Everything Everything played their effortlessly catching material from last years debut album. On the main stage Example caused a sing-a-long during hits such as Kickstarts and Changed the Way You Kissed Me. McFly closed the festival with a set of top ten material from all eras in their lengthy career, they even stuck a Tinie Tempah cover in for the over excited crowd who went home happy.
At a time when festivals are coming and going at a frightening rate, it is obvious why this festival has kept afloat, the variety, friendliness and organisation made this a successful and enjoyable weekend.