As the late September sun shines over the peaks of Brighton Racecourse, the sophomore year of Breakout Festival is in full flow. After a successful debut in 2014, Brighton’s only outdoor heavy rock and metal event is bringing in the crowds again and evolving with a few improvements – opening up the racecourse’s well-stocked bar is a great move, as is the reduced reliance on mobile toilets.
The P.A. system also feels stronger this year, and heavy rock foursome By Definition sound crisp and perfectly mixed. The Brighton based band have an unenviable lunchtime time slot, but still manage to get the crowd moving with single Warrior and a superb metal cover of Roots Manuva’s Witness the Fitness
Zoax boost the energy levels higher, with the singer performing atop picnic tables in the food stall area. Heck go one step further, dragging out half of the stage (amps, guitars, mic stands) into the crowd, with a more upbeat set than the heavier Black Tongue and Martyr Defiled before them.
Hardcore band TRC perhaps warrant a slot higher up the bill, their two-pronged vocal attack kicks off an intense (but friendly) circle pit, which continues throughout the guitar-laden drum and bass set of The Qemists.
Early noughties undercard regulars SikTh draw the biggest crowd of the day. More than a decade after their debut, the Watford prog heroes sound ready to take on the world and their short set is one of the highlights of the festival. Unfortunately for headliners Deaf Havana, a large section of the crowd has got what they came for and leave before the main event. But the remaining faithful core enjoys the radio friendly alt-rock, before starting the countdown to Breakout 2016.
Words by Ed Barfoot
Images by Robert Sutton