Truck Festival in Steventon, Oxfordshire, was one of the first ‘small festivals’ and continues to go from strength to strength. Organised by the Bennett family, the mixture of local community spirit and awesome bands helps the festival remain one of the highlights of the festival calendar. Whether it be overdosing on banana smoothies or queueing for your dinner cooked by the Rotary Club, there’s a certain charm to the festival that is unique and enchanting. This year’s festival, taking place from 24-25 July, is the thirteenth Truck and will be headlined by Mew and Teenage Fanclub – hence it being billed as Truck Thirteen(age Fanclub). For the early birds, 23 July will see a host of local Oxford bands opening the festival. I first went in 2006 and haven’t looked back since. Back then the main stage was headlined by The Futureheads and Mystery Jets with the likes of Hundred Reasons and Forward, Russia also making appearances. But the stage in the Barn was the real highlight – Buck65 followed by Regina Spektor? Go on then, that’ll help you forget about the smell. The following year saw the disastrous flooding that saw the festival rearranged for the end of September – Idlewild headlined and Foals caused chaos when their set was upgraded from a small tent to a packed barn. On leaving the festival, people were rattling tins collecting money to make up for the losses that festival had made with the rearrangement. This is the only time I have ever seen people fighting to the front to give away their money – especially at the end of a festival when you normally don’t have much left. This shows the high esteem that Truck is held in. 2008 and the festival was back in its traditional July placing, with The Lemonheads playing a sulk-ridden headline set that featured the whole of their ‘It’s A Shame About Ray’ album. Frank Turner, Youthmovies, Okkervil River and Fighting With Wire all performed tremendous sets, and the reputation of finding the next big thing was enhanced by performances by Noah and the Whale and Laura Marling. Last year had headline sets from festival veterans Ash and local lads Supergrass and also saw the You! Me! Dancing! promoters take over the Barn and their lineup was incredible – Wild Beasts, Sky Larkin, The Xcerts, Pulled Apart By Horses, Talons, And So I Watch You From Afar and The Joy Formidable all played. Wow. So on to this year and with the lineup as strong as ever, the excitement is already starting to set in. The Saturday sees 65DaysOfStatic, Dave House, Bellowhead and Tellison playing while Mercury Rev will perform a live soundtrack to the film ‘Lucifer Rising’. The Sunday sees Los Campesinos!, Future Of The Left, Islet and Blood Red Shoes take to the farm. Of course, one of the best parts of Truck is seeing the names that you’re not familiar with now, the promoters are normally on the pulse of who is making waves, and it’s very rare that you’ll see a bad band. All this and I haven’t even mentioned the Pavilion stage - home to performance poetry, comedy and cabaret. The 405 will be providing a review of Truck after the festival. Truck Festival takes place at Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire on July 24 – 25. http://www.thisistruck.com Playlist Click the image below to listen to our special Truck Festival 2010 playlist!