After much anticipation, Truck Festival reveals the line-up for this year’s 20th anniversary event. Tim Hughes talks to event organiser Matt Harrop
ROCK & roll bad boy Peter Doherty and his band The Libertines will headline a special 20th anniversary edition of Oxfordshire's Truck Festival this summer.
The band, which dominated the end of the 90s with their cleverly-crafted indie-rock and intelligent lyrics as well as the headline-grabbing antics of its frontman, top the bill at the music gathering, which takes place at Steventon, near Didcot.
Other headliners for the celebratory three-day event are platinum-selling west London garage-rockers The Vaccines and NME and Brit award-winning Glaswegian art-rock act Franz Ferdinand. Organisers have hailed it as the best ever line-up, for a festival which grew out of a small party for friends into one of the country's best-respected new music festivals, which will this year attract 12,000 people from July 21-23.
The first tranch of bands also features The Wombats, Slaves, Maximo Park, Nothing But Thieves, Hot 8 Brass Band, Twin Atlantic, Loyle Carner, Jagwar Ma and Sundara Karma.
Joining them at Hill Farm on a heavily indie-rock, alternative-pop and dance-flavoured line-up, are Vant, Cabbage, Palace, All Them Witches, Jaws, Tom Grenan, Roam, Lawrence Taylor, Will Joseph Cook, Goat Girl, The Shimmer Band, Tigercub, Yonaka, Banfi, Abbattoir Blues, Dead Pretties, Weirds and Husky Loops.
More bands, including the always sizeable line-up of local bands, will be announced in coming weeks.
Festival Manager Matt Harrap, 25, said: "This is by far the best line-up by far and this is going to be the biggest and best Truck ever."
He added: "I'm very excited. The Libertines are literally my favourite band. Franz Ferdinand have some great tunes too, while Vaccines are a great newer band. This line-up ticks most boxes.
"It's unbelievable, and it shows how much the festival is being taken seriously. I'm pretty stoked.
Truck Festival was founded by brothers Robin and Joe Bennett, from Steventon, initially as a birthday celebration for Robin. The brothers' band Goldrush traditionally performed, while their latest band, acclaimed country-rock act The Dreaming Spires, continue to play, providing a highlight f the event.
The festival is now run by the team behind the Y Not Festival in Derbyshire.
Bands to have previously graced the bill include local legends Supergrass, Saint Etienne and Foals, and Mystery Jets, The Charlatans, The Lemonheads, Biffy Clyro, Futureheads and last year's headliners The Manic Street Preachers. Radiohead's Philip Selway and Ride's Mark Gardener have also performed.
Mr Harrap said tickets were already selling well, with half snapped up even before today's announcement.
"This shows the hunger for good music in the south of Oxfordshire. Truck festival is still very cool. It's ridiculously small, compared to big, nasty Reading down the road –but it is competitive, does things well and is a nice experience for all.
"It is still at heart a purists' festival and takes pride pushing new artists – of whom there are many, with more to come."
Truck Festival takes place from July 21-23 at Hill Farm, Steventon. Tickets are £105.00 (inc. booking fee) for adults.
Go to truckfestival.com