Photos and review: Takedown Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall, April 8

Photos and review: Takedown Festival, Portsmouth Guildhall, April 8

Words: James Nicholson. Photographs: Peter Nicholson Photography.

Takedown Festival 2023 aimed to bring together alternative rock and metal fans  for a day of non-stop performances from groups including the masked, and still anonymous members of Sleep Token, the energetic reggae metal collective Skindred and 30 other big names. 

Not only is this the first festival in eight  years after an extended hiatus, bit it has now expanded from Southampton University, to Portsmouth Guildhall, even incorporating and outdoor stage to fit all of these bands within its heavy schedule. 

It’s exciting to see so many big names of the industry come together for this celebration of everything metal and for it to be topped off with a performance from Sleep Token, a group who seemed to have popped up overnight to dominate the scene, is a real treat. They seemed to bring a theatrical edge to the proceedings with their cloaked lead vocalist screaming and crooning to each larger-than-life track, including a performance of their now hit track, “The Summoning”. 

Another huge aspect of the festival is its reliance on and support of local bands to fill the roster, with groups such as Our Hollow, Our Home, Southampton locals, tearing their way through the stage!

But even so every act seemed to come to the stages with a determined and chaotic energy, with vocalists pushing the limits of the vocal cords and chugging guitar strings accompanying them.

It truly was a good day to be a metal fan as the pits open up at Takedown once again. 


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