Posted by Sandra on August 22 2011

BACK celebrating its 11th year on the festival circuit, Summer Sundae Weekender returned to the grounds of De Montfort Hall this month.

For the first time the festival expanded to a fourth night of entertainment at the nearby O2 Academy, with the three main days combining its traditional mix of alternative, folk, pop and indie acts from across the UK and beyond.

While the likes of Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, The Maccabees and Newton Faulkner performed on the Friday and Saturday, we headed to Victoria Park in the city for the closing day.

Summer Sundae prides itself on being a family friendly event, with dozens of independent stores and places to pick up a meal scattered across the compact site.

During the weekend, dozens of acts play across four stages, with a comedy tent thrown in for good measure.

There won’t be many festivals you can arrive at on a Sunday morning to the sound of a harpist and singer providing some light ‘hangover’ relief in the form of indie covers while walking past a giant sand sculpture of a head.

By late morning, Sunday main stage headliners McFly already had a dedicated following of young fans lining the front of barrier – and they’re rewarded with a sound check by the indie pop quartet before the day properly gets into gear.

The Musician got the morning off to a start with the Austin Francis Connection’s mixture of beatboxing, guitar and white rap among the highlights with witty songs about tea and Marmite and people called Dave.

Following McFly’s departure, it’s Northampton’s My First Tooth who got proceedings under way.

Playing tracks from their debut Territories, their blend of alternative folk is the perfect opening to the day.

The main stage settles into a relatively safe sequence of folk, while the indoor stage concentrates on dark, moody performances with stand out sets from the likes of from Dark Dark Horse and The Phantom Band.

There’s a ‘homecoming’ for The Young Knives on the main stage who step things up a gear with their geek-tinged indie rock, playing tracks from their new album Ornaments From The Silver Arcade along classics including Terra Firma.
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