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Hosting three very different standalone shows across one September weekend, Gunnersville now celebrates a hugely successful inaugural year, capturing all the magic of a full festival in its serene West London location.
Taking over a corner of Gunnersbury Park, the singular tent plays host to some of music’s most acclaimed artists, from the atypical indie of Doves to the charged ska of The Specials.
The Sunday, an ode to the alternative, plays host to homegrown superstars You Me At Six, who delight with a setlist comprised of their anthemic singles in chronological order.
Gunnersville itself distills the essence of some of the summer’s biggest festivals into a remarkably intimate environment. The stage, covered under a vast tent, is surrounded by the park’s green grass. The outer border of the site is lined with a selection of high-quality food and drink vendors and the necessary amenities. Taking a page out of Latitude Festival’s book, part of the same festival family, seating areas adorn the stalls for a relaxed and carefree atmosphere.
On the Sunday, the sold out crowd switch between basking in the late-summer sunshine and enjoying the plethora of bands close up inside the tent – from opener Milk Teeth’s grunge-infused guitar rock to the heartbreak of emo-veterans and main support Jimmy Eat World, via the indie-antics of Sundara Karma, the heavy pop-punk of As It Is, and the huge melodies of Deaf Havana.
The gentle flow between the two atmopsheres is seamless, offering a healthy blend of partying and relaxing. Each band effortlessly instils a jubilant vibe, not least huge singalongs to the likes of Jimmy Eat World’s The Middle or The Maine’s Black Butterflies and Deja Vu. By the time You Me At Six launch into debut single Save It For The Bedroom – the start of a set celebrating their illustrious career – there’s a genuine feeling of camaraderie across the site.
Rounding off three days of eclectic music, the sun sets on the inaugural year of Gunnersville as countless smiling faces make the short trip back to the nearby tube station, all having experienced something very special in West London.
Photos by Brandon Taylor, courtesy of Festival Republic