As the festival season begins, there is one event each year I personally look forward to more than any other, that being Leicester’s Uprising Festival, hosted by Resin Events at the o2 Academy Leicester. I’ve been attending Uprising since the second year of the festival, and I was incredibly excited as I boarded the train and headed down to the venue.

After a very brief walk, I arrived, got my accreditation sorted and headed into the venue, where crowds were slowly building from the moment doors opened. The first part of the festival is reserved for the finals of Leicester Metal 2 The Masses and features four bands all competing to be crowd winners. This years finalists were melodic metallers Running With Knives, grindcore/thrashers Feral State, Sludge/Stoner rock 3-piece Independent Trucking and Hardcore 5-piece Break Them. Each band was great and performed fantastically to a packed out second stage, which saw the festival attendees getting warmed up for a long day of music. The winning band for this year was Running with Knives, who were my personal favourite in last years final.


Photography: Dan Stapleton – Pulse Media Visuals 



After catching up with some old friends in attendance for the day, I headed over to the main stage for Stoner Metallers Mage, and their first show with new guitarist Frazer Hart (Ex-Blood Oath) who adds a great layer of depth to their sound and had one hell of a first show.  After Mage, I headed over to the second stage to see who I believe are the best band in the new wave of Extreme Metal hitting the scene, Tribe of Ghosts. With absolutely crushing riffs, phenomenal vocals and instrumentals from all members, it’s easy to say ToG were my band of the day.

I quickly ran back to the main stage to watch Seething Akira give a headline-worthy set of high energy, ridiculously catchy electronic and rap-infused metalcore before grabbing someone to eat from one of the vendors on site and enjoying the sun in the chill-out zone, and this was when the festival feeling truly kicked in. After a sit-down and more of a catch-up with friends from the scene, I went back to catch a couple more bands, notably Ramage INC on the second stage who were just as tight as I remembered, and Sugar Horse who crushed the third stage with a wall of fuzzy noise.

With this, all the bands I knew that I wanted to see had been on, and I was trying to decide who to watch next. Beccy from Tribe of Ghosts recommended Forlorn, who were just about to start their set on the main stage, so I headed in for what would be my favourite new find of the day. With a blend of ethereal vocals and soundscapes, alongside instrumentals that sound like a violent beatdown, I simply couldn’t stop listening.


Photography: Dan Stapleton – Pulse Media Visuals 



As I was resting my feet back in the chill-out zone, I saw a crowded building at the second stage as My Favourite Nemesis were about to play their first UK festival set which they absolutely nailed, I also ran upstairs to catch Barbarian Hermit’s sludgy groove on the third stage and remembered why I love the band. After this, Cellar Darling hit the main stage for their only UK show of the year. Unfortunately, technical issues hit and caused the band to start 20 or so minutes late, but managed to still get out a technically great set despite not being to my personal taste.

From here, I watched Borstal on the third stage put out a great set that the punk fans in attendance loved. Mexican Deathgrinders Brujeria hit the main stage and had crowds in a frenzy. Despite how long the day was at this point, crowds were just getting larger and larger as the night came in, and the atmosphere on site was at an all-time high. I had dinner, chatted with a group of people I’ve never met about of favourite bands and just enjoyed being around like-minded music fans.

This was when I headed back up to the third stage for my last band of the day, Discharge. In a room full of punks, I stood at the barrier photographing away having the time of my life as was everyone else around me. Being absorbed into the crowd was great and Discharge played the best set I’ve seen from them yet.

As I was leaving the festival for my train, I was sad that the day was over so quickly, but left with such excitement for next year. Uprising is an absolute gem of a festival that year after year, has shown itself to be one of the best musical events for metal fans the UK has to offer. Despite the smaller scale of the festival, it holds its own against any of the larger events with ease thanks to the love and passion that both the organisers and fans have for it, and I honestly believe the smaller scale helps create such a unique atmosphere and community that I have never felt at another festival. If you haven’t been to Uprising before, you’re missing out on something genuinely special.


Photography: Dan Stapleton – Pulse Media Visuals