I've long wanted to visit Indietracks Festival, a small and family-friendly affair specialising in Indiepop music which takes place every summer in the Derbyshire Dales. For the music, yes, but more so for the lure of the setting: at the Midlands Railway Centre, on a site filled with vintage trains. So when fellow Midlands blogger Laura, of Make Do & Mend, got in touch with me to ask if I'd like to be her plus one, I jumped at the chance.
Arriving at Butterley Station, a beautifully restored building just outside the village, we jumped on a steam train and grabbed our seats for the short journey to the festival site.
After torrential rain the previous day, we were lucky to be met by blue skies, dry ground and lots of friendly people. Indietracks is such a relaxed and chilled out festival, with everything within an easy 5 minute walk of the entrance and a crowd that skews slightly older: 30-somethings rather than cavorting teens, in the main, with lots of families.
As you'd expect from a festival focusing largely on music from DIY scenes - indiepop, noisepop, punk - the merch tent was a delight, filled with vinyl, charmingly hand-lettered t-shirts and tote bags, and a smattering of zines. The food offering was good, too, and with a number of bars across the site (including one in a static train carriage) you wouldn't go thirsty.
We ended up missing not one but two performances on the steam train, as the carriage was too crowded, but did manage to squeeze in to see London-based punk band Flemmings on the Church Stage (which, as the name suggests, is in an actual church). Colleen Green was a big draw on the Main Stage, and we chowed down on tasty pizza as we watched. My pick of the day, though, were grrrl band Feature: seeing three powerful, cool women rock out on stage is what festivals are all about.
We left to drive home before headliners Wave Pictures and The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, which I was sad about but - a real sign of age here - my bed beckoned. But my taste of Indietracks has left me wanting more: I'll definitely be back next year.
(Yes, I took a photograph of the loo sign because INDOOR TOILETS! At a festival!)