For those of you who don’t know, Blissfields is a small-but-mighty independent festival, based near Alresford in the north of Hampshire. It began twelve years ago in the garden of Paul and Mel Bliss, with just one home-made stage, eight artists, and only 70 attendees; however, it has since grown to epic proportions. New additions this year included Area 51, a ‘dance dome’ housed in the Hidden Hedge, and the acoustic stage, which saw the likes of local Portsmouth artists such as Matt Jarvis, Floella Grace, Luke Ferre, Leigh Mary Stokes, not to mention plenty more burgeoning talent besides, take to the stage.
The festival was opened by the regional winners of the Road To Blissfields competition in the Bradley Bubble stage. Strong Island Recordings own conveniently named Is Bliss won the Portsmouth heat. The guys entertained the packed out tent with melodic tracks including Desire and Nitrate Confusion.
After the Road To Blissfields bands had performed it was the turn of Londoners Man Like Me, who were returning to Blissfields after performing the main stage last year. The crowd waited in anticipation and they were not disappointed, the performance was full of their trade mark electro beats and energetic dance moves.
Meanwhile in the Acoustic tent Portsmouth singer-songwriter Matt Jarvis silenced crowds with his poignant, powerful lyrics and soothing vocals, and Luke Ferre’s midnight dungaree-clad performance of Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’ was hilarious, memorable, and appreciated by everyone, regardless of how much they’d had to drink!
Finally, around 3am on Friday morning, festival-goers could be seen crawling bleary-eyed through the sea of tents, excited for the weekend and what Blissfields had in store.
Photos Daniel O’Neill