How time flies!! It didn’t seem two minutes since we were all enthusing over the first ever Stonedeaf Festival back in August of last year, yet here we find ourselves back in Nottinghamshire for another great day. Stonedeaf is located at the Showgrounds in Newark-on-Trent, UK (a short journey from the city of Nottingham and a couple of hours from London) and is the result of the hard work put in by a few veterans of the Castle Donington “Monsters of Rock” festival as it was known back in the day.
The plan is simple: a one day, one stage rock show…and it’s a plan that worked fantastically well in 2018. Upon arrival,it was once again nice to be greated by friendly and helpfull staff before entering the main arena. When folk talk to the Stonedeaf crew they listen and as a result I noticed a few small improvements, including a bigger, higher stage than last year. With nine bands set to appear during the day, there was no time to waste as Samarkind hit the stage at 11:30. With the venue still filling up, it was already very hot as the opening act went about it’s business and it was good to see plenty of free drinking water available for the growing crowd. Just another touch that the organizers, being music fans themselves, treat the paying customers as people and not just a number.
As with any other festival venture, a budget has to be adhered to and a balance of new bands/established artists has to be reached. With Aussie rockers Massive, the much improved The Amorettes, rock legends Diamondhead and Geoff Tate on the bill plus one of my current favorite acts, Wayward Sons. The Stonedeaf guys got it right again. With Motorhead legend, Phil Campbell, plummeling us for an hour before Inglorious and headliner Glenn Hughes rocked us in the sweltering heat. A great line up for $50, Stonedeaf has in an incredibly short time gone from a “mm,ok let’s have look” gig to one of the first to be pencilled in on the calender as a “must attend” gig.
For all things Stonedeaf, visit www.stondeaffestival.co.uk and we’ll see you in a field next year!
Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons
All photos by Pete Key and Steve Johnston