UK Tech Fest 2016 – everything you need to know!
For the last three years, The Monolith has hit UK Tech-Metal Fest – Tech Fest for short – with increasing fervour. It’s our favourite weekend of the year hands down, filled with bands, beers, and best buds. The tech metal scene is one of the strongest in the UK, drawing members from all over the world to its central event every year.
Now that we’re essentially part of the furniture, we like to think we know what’s what (and then some), so we’ve put together our catch-all guide to UK Tech Fest 2016.
When is UK Tech Fest?
The gates open to the public at 11am on Thursday 7th July and the site closes at midday on Monday 11th July.
Who is playing UK Tech Fest?
The main headliners are Animals As Leaders (Friday), Protest The Hero (Saturday) and Between The Buried And Me (Sunday).
Besides these, over 50 bands from across the tech metal spectrum and beyond will play. For a roundup of who our staff think you should see, read the following previews:
We have also put together Spotify and YouTube playlists into which you can sink your teeth, and get a preview of who to check out before they play:
The latest stage times are below. Most bands play for half an hour, and so you’ll note that there are no clashes; if you want to see every band, you can (you’ll also deserve a medal for your Herculean feat)!
Besides the main stages, there are also workshops on the Double Slit Guitars Stage throughout the day, and three-part after-parties every night until well past your bedtime. Details on those are below:
Where is UK Tech Fest?
Tech Fest is running for its third year at Newark Showground near Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire:
What is the site like?
Most other festivals see you camping in a big field with lots of other people, and standing outside in all weathers to watch the bands. Tech Fest is quite different.
Whilst the camping is on grass, the grass is laid out in strips divided by concrete walkways (see below area highlighted in yellow), with drinking water taps dotted throughout. Meanwhile, the actual stages are inside (the Crocker and Stanley Sheldon halls, ringed in red), so if you’re worried about rain, mud and bands cancelling à la Download 2016, then fear not.
(Large version can be viewed here)
What are the facilities?
There are plumbed toilet and (free) shower facilities on site. Obviously there are peak times to use the latter, but being able to freshen up is priceless.
As well as a cafeteria with very reasonably-priced food, an increasing number of food options are on site. Previous years have seen a ridiculously popular wood-fired pizza vendor, mexican and caribbean food, burger vans, and a very well-received shisha tent. This year we’ve been promised a fish & chips stand, Chinese, BBQ/grill, and Dutch pancakes to boot, plus specialist vegetarian/vegan curried food, so you’ll not go wanting.
There is a main bar between the stages, and recent events have seen other alcohol vendors on site, so there’s plenty of scope for drinking.
With concrete paths everywhere, disabled attendees are well catered for, and carers go free. Contact the organisers to arrange this, and any special camping needs.
Newark Community First Aid are onsite 24 hours a day throughout the entire event and can be contacted on 07811 390359, or just talk to a steward or member of security. These guys are absolute heroes, and have been called into action in previous years for everything from seriously ill drummers to broken bones.
What are the rules?
Campers’ own cooking stoves (disposable barbecues, hexi stoves and gas) are permitted but MUST be used on the designated areas (i.e. the concrete, not on the grass).
Open fires are not allowed anywhere.
Campers can bring their own food and drink (limited to one crate per person). Glass bottles are not allowed and will be confiscated by security on arrival – make sure to decant any spirits into plastic bottles before arrival.
If you aren’t camping, you need to leave the venue when the after party finishes (around 2am)
Camper vans are allowed, but camping tickets are needed for each person sleeping in it.
No others vehicles are allowed on site during the event bar crew or emergency vehicles or vehicles belonging to disabled attendees.
In general, just listen to the stewards and security team – all of whom are festival fans themselves, and give their time to make sure the event runs smoothly – and don’t be shy in high-fiving them for their good work!
How do I get there?
Car parking is free and a five-minute walk to the camp site. Put the above address into your routefinder of choice and let it do the do. You’ll want the Blue & Brown Gates/West Entrance.
There are two train stations in Newark-on Trent, both of which are a short taxi ride away from Newark Showground:
Newark North Gate station can be reached directly via London, Newcastle, Leeds, Peterborough, Doncaster, Grantham, Retford, Lincoln and Collingham.
Newark Castle station can be reached directly via Lincoln, Leicester, London St Pancras and Nottingham.
Extensive travel details including those by coach, ferry and aeroplane are available on the UK Tech-Metal Fest website.
How much is it?
Tier 3 – Full Weekend + Camping: £89.99
Tier 3 – Full Weekend Only: £74.99
Early Bird – Thursday Only: £15.00
Friday – Day Ticket: £20.00
Saturday – Day Ticket: £20.00
Sunday – Day Ticket: £20.00
Thursday – Camping: £10.00
Friday – Camping: £10.00
Saturday – Camping: £10.00
Sunday – Camping: £10.00
Full Weekend Camping Only: £25.00
Make sure to browse all the available merchandise. Bands aside, you’ll want to hit up the Official Tech Fest merch stall. They’ve lots of goodies, as well as tickets to the raffle, in which you can win all manner of things including a Carillion Guitars Polaris 7 with Shure SE215s in-ear monitors, a Red-Rosewood Strandberg 7-string, and a Zilla 2×12 cabinet speaker – all with Shure SE215s in-ear monitors as well.
Make sure to come and say hi to us to! We’re official festival sponsors (check out your wristbands on arrival!) so we’ll have our very own swanky stand, including a few bits and pieces of our own, and a merch package to give away. We’re dead friendly, promise.
How can I keep up to date with the festival?
All the main news is posted via the festival’s social media. Organiser Simon Garrod can often be seen taking photos and video during the festival, so if you’re not there, you can see what you’re missing.
You can follow the main ones here:
We’ll also be doing as much as we can via the same channels:
The Monolith on Twitter
The Monolith in Instagram