Festival Review: Dot to Dot Bristol

Each summer since 2005 – minus the global gap-year selflessly booked in by the pandemic – Nottingham and Bristol’s Dot to Dot Festival has continued to amplify any pre-existing cracked cobbles with its remarkable music.

Kate Nash and Johnny Flynn befittingly headlined 2005; 2011 saw a minor-league Ed Sheeran support loftier artists, and now, a decade later, Dot to Dot’s 2021 festival gives way to the likes of Drug Store Romeos, Grandma’s House and Wu-Lu.. albeit 4 months later than envisaged.

Spurred by Bristol’s expansive Voi scooter amassment, well-timed students, next-generation indie kids, and Bristol natives rode through Saturday’s shenanigans with ease.

Well, let’s see where the Magic Wheels took us this year!

The Cool Greenhouse // Top Deck Thekla
First up on the I-must-see-before-they-get-so-big-I-can’t-get-a-ticket list, we have The Cool Greenhouse. After the success of their 2020 eponymous album, the band’s underground fanbase quickly outgrew said greenhouse and bloomed into a forest. The performance was brimming with songs old and new – each with punchy, post-punk attributes set to expose the middle-class in new-found creative ways. For their preliminary song, the band performed ‘Alexa!’, for which the crowd’s gratitude was displayed by a collective rehashing of frontman, Tom Greenhouse’s on-the-nose lyrics.

Sorry // Bristol O2
Skrrrting over to the Bristol O2 Academy for Sorry’s 5pm set left fans budging one another for space with an ironic lack of apology. All five members, including 22-year old besties and band-founders, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen entered the stage with force. Throughout their 30 minute set, the tracks bounced between grunge, jazz, and trip-hop, before calmly ending on a soft number from their 2020 album, 925.

Sports Team // Bristol O2
After seeing Billie Martens 8pm set at Bristol Beacon, we boarded the Voi’s Magic Wheels for a final time to watch first-time headliners’ Sports Team run laps around both the stage and our minds. Lead vocalist Alex Rice carried the band’s alt-rock presence throughout their 45-minute set. Once again, the 6-piece did not disappoint on the mosh-pit front, nor with the crowd surfing and the stage dives. Here’s The Thing: if only their performance could have encompassed the entirety of the 2020 album Deep Down Happy, I may not have immediately booked to see them at Brixton’s O2 Academy. Then again, with a performance such as the one witnessed at Dot to Dot festival – I probably still would have.

Author avatar
Molly Triscott

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