FOR 51 weeks a year, the gently rolling acres of Hill Farm, Steventon, are the very vision of rural England.

Wheat, barley and maize sway gently in the breeze, the calm broken only by the gentle drone of contented cattle.

But for just one weekend, this haven of rural peace is shattered by the sound of some of the country’s biggest bands – and the appreciative roar of thousands of fans. Fun, spirited and quirky, Truck Festival is one of Oxfordshire’s biggest and best festivals – and the only one dedicated to new rock and pop.

This year, the gathering on the flanks of the Vale of White Horse celebrates its 25th anniversary – making it older than many of its fresh-faced revellers. And after two years off, its legion of fans are in the mood for a right old party.

With a crowd of about 10,000, Truck is perfectly proportioned. It is small enough to feel intimate and impossible to get lost, but big enough to attract some seriously impressive acts – with this year’s headline slots taken by the mighty Kasabian, Sam Fender, The Kooks, Bombay Bicycle Club  and last night's big name, Blossoms, who played with Phoebe Green and Black Honey.

They will be joined by Alfie Templeman, and ‘Milkshake’ star Kelis, Sigrid, Easy Life, Sports Team, Inhaler, Sundara Karma, Shame, The Big Moon, Yard Act, Baby Queen, The Magic Gang, The Subways, Orla Gartland, Spector, Do Nothing, The Orielles, Sorry, Lime Garden, Shame, The Goa Express and Eurovision star Sam Ryder.

Also flying the flag for new music are Sea Girls, Jaws, The Murder Capital, Cassia, Noisy, Crawlers, The Hara, Folly Group, Courting, Grandmas House, Deep Tan, Sofy and Jacquard Looms.

Herald Series: Fans enjoy Truck Festival in 2019

More unusual attractions include a stretching session from television fitness guru Mr Motivator and a show by the Oxford Symphony Orchestra.

A cheerful member of the organising crew said: “Truck Festival makes its hotly anticipated return, bringing together some of the most celebrated and beloved faces in modern alternative music for a weekend of celebration, memories and more at festival fans’ favourite UK festival.

“Truck has opened its doors for a generational rite of passage full of landmark performances, the best in new and thriving alternative music and its distinctive brand of fun and mischief that’ll have the Truck faithful once again basking in an unforgettable festival experience. It couldn’t happen any other way.

Speaking about their special guest co-headline set, The Kooks said: “We’re super excited to be headlining Truck Festival for their 25th anniversary. It’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait. See you on the main stage!”

Herald Series: Sigrid (Credit: Truck Festival)


Norwegian singer- songwriter Sigrid said: “I can’t wait to play Truck Festival. I love playing in the Uk so expect lots of energy.”

Making their return last night were Black Honey. They said: “Truck is so funny. The crowd is like no other and we have yet to see a set there without a mosh pit.”

Herald Series: Sam Fender performing at the Brighton Centre. Credit: Michael Burnell

Sam Fender

Shame were forced to cancel a previous set after finding themselves suck in Japan, They said they were keen to play for the crowd in Steventon, adding: “Expect nothing but the best, the biggest, the greatest. The last time we tried to play we were stranded in Tokyo. This time we’ll be happily stranded in the Home Counties.”

On joining the line-up, The Magic Gang said: “Truck Festival wouldn’t be Truck without The Magic Gang, and The Magic Gang wouldn’t be The Magic Gang without Truck. Old friends, glowing up side by side.”

Herald Series: The Kooks

The Kooks

Festival Organiser Conor Burns said: “It’s been a very long time coming but it feels so good to be back. To have four of our all-time favourites sharing headliner duties is a real privilege. Sam Fender, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Kooks – and Kasabian to close off the Sunday night. Truck Festival 2022 is already proving to be one for the history books.”

New signing Sea Girls are a previous Truck favourite. They return hot on the heels of the release of their second album Homesick and bring rousing sing-alongs Sick and Again Again.

“We are so happy to be playing the 25th anniversary of Truck Festival,” they said. “We love it so much and have made some amazing memories there, so we hope it comes around quickly.”

Birmingham band Jaws have also played Hill Farm before, and return with three albums of delicately crafted indie – including 2019’s The Ceiling. They said: “We’re so excited to be back. It’s always a highlight of our festival run and we can’t wait to play.”

Also thrilled to be heading to Oxfordshire are Cassia. They said: “We played our first main stage at Truck in 2019 and, it’s safe to say, we were a bit shaky before. That day Lou lost a dare and had to sing ‘Good Feeling’ by Flo Rida during soundcheck in front of everyone. Can’t wait to get back in that field.”

Herald Series:

Bombay Bicycle Club

Noisy are notable for channelling the spirit of rave culture and promised a lively set. They said: “We are buzzing to be playing Truck Festival this year. We’ll be bringing the energy and a few new tunes we’ve not played live yet, so cannot wait.”

Liverpool band Courting said the date fulfilled a long held ambition. They added: “Truck is a festival we’ve always wanted to play. The last time we attended, it was nearly 35 degrees and I got stung by three separate wasps. This time we’ll be safely enclosed inside a tent, playing songs we wish we could’ve been playing then!”

Truck Festival takes place at Hill Farm, Steventon this weekend. Tickets have sold out.