CourierFest 2021 Line-Up

Our music writers create their dream weekend festival line-up; introducing CourierFest 2021.

multiple writers
10th May 2021
As we pass the official “one-year-since-live-gigs” mark, avid festival-goers, sat in their bucket hats with their dark fruits truly warm, await the return of summer festivals. But over the last year, as our festival tickets sadly went unused, we all sat and considered what our dream festival lineups would be...
So, we asked our writers at The Courier's music section to lay down their ideal day of tunes, and voila - welcome to CourierFest 2021.

Day One: Friday

You arrive at the festival gates, drag crates of beer from your car through security checks, and dash over to the spot your friends have already begun setting up camp. You hastily throw together your dodgy tent, neck a tinnie or two, and head over to the main stage. Tom Moorcroft breaks down what you can expect to see for the rest of your afternoon.

12:00 - Twin Atlantic

These Scottish rockers are legends of the festival scene, often earlier on and getting festivals off to a rocker. I’d be looking forward to their song ‘Heart And Soul’, hopefully proving the upbeat mentality that would make the heart and soul of my festival. 

13:00 - Inhaler

Young, powerful and a fantastic first EP to get their names out, Inhaler are a smashing band that, if you haven’t heard, you need to. They’re playing at the SU this October if you wanna give them a crack, and their song ‘Ice Cream Sundae’ would get a few flares up in the air.

14:00 - The Academic

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for these Irish Indie legends. They’re the first band I ever interviewed, and they put on one hell of a show. With a second album released last year, but plenty of new songs being practiced during lockdown, I can’t wait to see them again. Set-list favourite ‘Bear Claws’ would be the song for me! 

15:00 - The Housemartins 

Often festivals like to have an older band play a bit earlier on, something for those youthful spirits in the crowd wanting to rekindle the sounds of the 80/90s. Oasis and Blur aside, it would be Housemartins for me, with the song ‘Happy hour’ hopefully defining their delightfully enjoyable set. 

16:00 - Sam Fender

What else is there to say about this man? If you’re hosting a metaphorical festival in Newcastle, then no Geordie deserves a place on the stage than this man. Song for me? ‘Hypersonic Missiles’. What a banger.

17:00 - Sports Team

What a great bridge into the lovely evening we have ahead of us. Everytime this lot pop up on my Instagram I’m reminded of how ace they are, with a bunch of outstanding songs already gracing their discography. The song for me would be ‘Here’s The Thing’, probably their most famous song, but that’s for a reason. 

18:00 - Declan McKenna

What a brilliant and bright career this lad has ahead of him. I’m counting down the hours till I see him in Newcastle come September, but until then I’ll happily give him an hour long slot in this fake festival lineup! I couldn’t pick one of his great songs to highlight his set, so I’ll leave that up to you... 

19:00 - Mac DeMarco

What a lovely lovely man. He could play any stage in the UK and I’d desperately throw money at tickets. The prince of Indie rock, with elements of lo-fi and stoner for good measure. I definitely can’t pick one single to highlight. In an ideal world he’d be given a full day to run through his entire discography. 

20:00 - Royal Blood

They’ve literally just had a new album released (given a 4.5/5 from yours truly) and this rock duo have what it takes to gain true headliner status. They’ve got a couple more albums to go, but at their current rate they may be one of the best rock bands, certainly duos, to grace the stage.

21:00 - Kasabian 

We might not see them on the stage for a while, but Kasabian were one of the greatest, most powerful bands to ever do the festival circuit. Tom Meighan's actions are inexcusable, and after a period of reconciliation and growth, we may see him back on the stage at some point. 

22:00 - Red Hot Chili Peppers

My favourite rock n roll band of all time, with so many fantastic albums and enough songs to grace 2-3 set lists. With the main man John Frusciante back in the mix, they’ll be popping off in 2021 like we haven’t seen them before, and I am extremely excited. My song? Probably ‘Can’t Stop’. I think there are better songs, but they play it for their intro, and it’s an unbelievably powerful track to get the crowd jumping. It’s a no brainer.

Day Two: Saturday

After a rowdy evening, you wake up early (feeling a bit rough, of course) but are keen to crack on getting your money's worth from the festival's ticket price. After wolfing down a bap from an overpriced vendor and visiting the less-than-stellar lavatories, you and your pals waltz back to the heart of the festival. Amelia Thorpe dishes out today's features.

11:00 - Daughter

Kicking off the second day of CourierFest at 11:00, indie-folk trio, Daughter will be the first act on stage. Their 30-minute set of slow, bitter-sweet melodies will awaken sleepy festival-goers, gently luring them in with an easy-going performance.

12:00 - The Vaccines

As the audience slowly assembles, The Vaccines will begin their 30-minute set at 12:00 noon. Although still early, the group will get the crowds in with their iconic indie-rock anthems.

13:00 - Hozier

At 13:00, Irish singer-songwriter, Hozier will grace the stage with his soulful melodies and powerful vocals. The soloist will perform a 30-minute set of his most popular indie-blues inspired tunes.

14:00 - Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

Following up at 14:00, Australian psychedelic-rock quintet, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets will perform their 30-minute set. Experimental and heavy, the Perth-based group will really get the crowds moving with their gritty soundscape.

15:00 - The Neighbourhood

American alt-rock group, The Neighbourhood are next in the line-up. Starting their 7-song setlist at 15:00, the California natives will perform a sample of their atmospheric discography for 30-minutes.

16:00 - Cage The Elephant

Next, reigning the stage will be indie-rock icons, Cage The Elephant. Their 30-minute set list will begin at 16:00 and will include fan-favourites such as 'Cigarette Daydreams' and 'Ain't No Rest For The Wicked'.

17:00 - Idles

Following up with yet another 30-minute performance at 17:00, Idles will send the crowd into a mosh-pit frenzy with their hardcore post-punk set-list.

18:00 - Wolf Alice

Next, we'll see our first 40-minute set of the evening. At 18:00, London-based indie-rock quartet, Wolf Alice will perform 9 of their most popular tracks from their acclaimed discography.

19:00 - Nothing But Thieves

At 19:00, Essex-based alt-rock band, Nothing But Thieves will begin their 40-minute set. Their heavy hard-rock inspired instrumentals and lead singer, Conor Mason's iconic vocals, will certainly get the crowd jumping.

20:00 - Tame Impala

Next, we'll welcome another Australian psychedelic-rock act on stage. At 20:00, Tame Impala will perform their 40-minute set, playing iconic anthems such as 'The Less I Know The Better' and 'Let It Happen'.

21:00 - Lana Del Rey

Afterwards, American singer-songwriter, Lana Del Rey will grace the stage with her 40-minute set of emotional glamour-pop. Her performance will begin at 21:00, making her the penultimate act of the night.

22:00 - Radiohead

Rounding off the night at 22:00, we will see a rare performance from Oxfordshire-based alt-rock quintet, Radiohead. Boasting an extensive and timeless discography, the group will perform a 60-minute set, which will include some of the alternative scene's favourite anthems.

Day Three: Sunday

With yet another wavey day behind them, camp courier awakens to find their chairs stolen - not to worry, you weren’t using them much anyway. You’re ready for a low-key, chill afternoon in the sun to warm-up before one last show of energy before the inevitable slog home in the morning. Finlay Holden breaks down our closing day.

13:00 - Bull

York indie quartet Bull provide the perfect soundtrack to a joyful loosening of your eardrums with their jangly, infectiously euphoric anthems like ‘Green’ (might reflect your behaviours) and meticulously crafted harmonies with ‘Bedroom Floor’. You sit on the grass, get out your bottle opener and lighter, and bask in the rays.

14:00 - Olivia Dean

Continuing the elegance, Olivia Dean’s soulful melodies provide an accessible and charming early afternoon for all while still bringing the energy with her stunning full-band performances. Pop slapper ‘The Hardest Part’ serves as a danceable closer here.

15:00 - Flyte

Led by Will Taylor, masters of heart-wrenching guitar tracks Flyte give a bit of a break from the optimistic being forced into your mind. Graceful instrumentals and vulnerable vocals overwhelm the stage, but tracks like ‘Mistress America’ can’t help but having you swaying and smiling along with the crowd.

16:00 - The Regrettes

All-american pop-punk-rock march on next, with Lydia Night possessing the power to rile you up from your glossy-eyed haze. Heavy guitar tones empower your poor quality moves and you find yourself howling along to ‘Seashore’ and ‘California Friends’ - Isle of Wight friend Lauran Hibberd even makes a guest appearance for an iconic indie collab with ‘How Am I Still Alive?’.

17:00 - Laurel

British indie sensation Laurel continues the rock energy with tunes off her debut LP, but quickly moves into her pop phase blasting bops like ‘Appetite’, ‘Best I Ever Had’ and the phenomenally atmospheric ‘Scream Drive Faster’. TikTok fans rejoice, this set will give you a workout if you try to imitate her moves.

18:00 - Hippo Campus

Multi-faceted Minnesotan group Hippo Campus stroll on next and jump straight into ‘Bambi’, beginning a set full of sparkly, jazzy songs grounded in some anxiety-filled lyricisms. A vast discography is flexed, with outstanding demos such as ‘Ease Up Kid’ instilling some hope amongst it all. Frontman Jake Luppen even promises a set on a smaller stage later for fans who wish to experience his side-project Lupin on the live stage.

19:00 - Tigercub

As the day progresses, the heavy hitters start to come in. Brighton rock trio Tigercub unleash belligerent banger after belligerent banger, and the true moshpits begin to form. Sombre single ‘Funeral’ gives you a moment's peace before ‘Stop Beating On My Heart (Like A Bass Drum)’ brings it all crashing down in fury and angst.

20:00 - Circa Waves

Scouse legends Circa Waves make the most of the sun glare with ‘T-Shirt Weather’, which has the whole crowd chanting with its inspiring chorus. Heavy rock moments and pop-produced ballads follow before Alfie Templeman joins to close with the reflective ‘Lemonade’.

21:00 - Dominic Fike

Floridan singer-songwriter Dominic Fike carries his alt-hip-hop tracks into CourierFest, alongside his band who instill a unique and genre-bending sound into the tunes which reflect Dominic’s unique talent. ‘Kiss Of Venus’ is a highlight and ‘3 Nights’ gives a drowsy, lofi rap performance to remember. 

22:00 - Bastille

British pop-quartet and now global superstars Bastille have a vast array of tunes to get you jumping; from the career-making ‘Pompeii’ to billion-stream-hit Happier which brings DJ marshmello on-stage, there’s something for everyone here. A mixtape deep-cut even has Grammy-winning trio HAIM briefly step on for ‘Bite Down’ before ‘Good Grief’ closes not only the set but the whole action-packed festival.

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