The Festival (2018): ‘UK music festivals get a film…’ – A Film Review



The Inbetweeners saw creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley gain some international acclaim for their depictions of British life, especially for teenagers. Their brand of comedy being both accurate and coarse. Using elements of awkward and gross out humour with the weight of a lot of banter. The situational comedy was there as a bit of a secondary humour but, primarily, the characters were both awkward and dirty. This series was successful enough to spawn two films, the first being rather fresh and more complete given that it ran the risk of being just a long episode. The Festival has all the opportunities of the same British comedy that The Inbetweeners Movie brought us. Music festivals being at the height in England as more and more festivals appear all the time and long standing festivals growing ever bigger. It’s actually surprising that a British film on music festivals hasn’t really been explored before.


Central Performance & Comedy

Returning from The Inbetweeners we have Joe Thomas and oddly he’s taking more of an awkward and unsympathetic role (more similar to Will (Simon Bird) in the series). This gives the film a rather awkward centre as the flawed hero just doesn’t pull it off to be someone to still root for as well. Culminating in the awkward humour that is dragged out and far too real to be awkward in comedy but just awkward in delivering the performance and the scene in general. This awkwardness seems to carry out to the rest of the film as situations and characters are briefly given moments, leaving the narrative to dart around, unsure what to do and what to hold on. That being said the overall story is a rehash of so many other comedies of similar stories – think Kevin & Perry Go Largethat it just feels stale.


The Filmed Experience

The montage sequences give the film a reasonable look at festivals but unfortunately miss out so much. A comedy about a music festival has so much potential that just is left out or never given its day. Having said that there are brief lines of dialogue that do get a laugh – somehow through the thick of it. Some side-line characters give some endearing, funny or sometimes intentionally annoying moments. The film also features many comedy cameos that run a very thin line from helping the film to being forced.



It is really a shame because a film like The Festival has the talent and the fresh concept to be something. Something either endearingly real or unbelievably comic but it just misrepresents everything and falls flat. Becoming a film that you want to like but find it hard to defend at all. Maybe everyone involved will learn from this and go on to do better things but… here? we’re treated to a right misfire.



Before Nick (Joe Thomas)’s girlfriend dumps him, he buys with her friend some festival tickets. His friend Shane (Hammed Animashaun) convinces him to go despite his ex being there, determined for them to have a good time and to bring him out of his depression.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

The Festival (d. Iain Morris UK 2018)

The Inbetweeners Movie (d. Ben Palmer UK 2009)

Kevin & Perry Go Large (d. Ed Bye UK 2000)


Further Reading

Official Site

Interview with Iain Morris & Joe Thomas

Interview Premiere Interviews

Interview with Hammed Animashaun

Festival Tips


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This was an analytical review of….


The Festival (d. Iain Morris UK 2018)


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