Skip to main content

24th October 2011

High Voltage Festival 2011

Judas Priest, Slash and Dream Theater, to name but a few, graced the stages at this year’s High Voltage but who impressed Tom Geddes and your dad the most?

High Voltage Festival

23rd-24th July

Victoria Park, London

Standout Performance

As their last ever UK show, it was to be expected that Judas Priest were going to steal the weekend. With over three decades to hone themselves, they blasted out hit after hit, with lead singer Rob Halford still hitting higher notes than an abused cat, despite being 59.

Biggest Flop

Whilst it’s tempting to mock Attica Rage for their ill-judged decision to end their set on a song they can’t play, the band to really suffer were Thin Lizzy; though they cannot be accused of putting on a bad show, painfully quiet mixing ruined what could have been a huge sing-a-long.

Surprise Package

Graveyard and Gentlemens Pistols both impressed with their retro vibes, but the real surprise was Von Hertzen Brothers. Opening the weekend, Finnish prog might sound tedious, but when it’s done well (check out ‘Freedom Fighter’) it leaves you awestruck.


This is first and foremost a classic rock festival, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was a bit ‘dad heavy.’ That’s not bad though. The drunken contentedness of the masses is calming and infectious. Though quiet mixing for the first day (thanks Hackney Council) did lower the mood.

Worth the Money?

At just under £100 (OK, £99) you can’t argue. Two days of solid bands, a highly varied beer tent and most important of all, the cheapest festival food I’ve seen all year. Though it would be a little better with the volume pushed a little higher.

Tom Geddes

Tom Geddes

Former Music Columnist (2011-2012).

More Coverage

Adrianne Lenker live in Manchester: Beauty in simplicity from a generational talent

Big Thief frontperson Adrianne Lenker brought her solo show to Castlefield’s Aviva Studios, gifting the audience simple snippets of grace and serenity

Bleachers live in Manchester: Fan-centric show from the studio to the stage

The Jack Antonoff-fronted six-piece, Bleachers, break the fourth wall at their Manchester O2 Ritz show equipped with theatric production but packed with earnest, artist to audience interactions

The Pleasure Dome present ‘Liminal Space’: A surprisingly varied punk rock powerhouse

Bristolian rockers The Pleasure Dome return with their newest EP ‘Liminal Space’ to demonstrate their musical versatility

bar italia live in Manchester: An embrace from ‘Tracey Denim’ and ‘The Twits’

bar italia gets the crowd ‘punkt’ with a fruitful return at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, sustaining their reputability after two successful albums