I will hazard a guess and say most people will not have heard of the Dot to Dot festival (with Fred Perry)..? But I wouldn’t worry too much as it would not be your fault as unfortunately not even many who would like to know, do. I think this is a fantastic shame though because personally I think it is pound for pound the best single day’s beano set to music there is. The event saunters between Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol over the late May bank holiday taking over 65 bands touring with the festival. I will be in Nottingham on the Sunday whipping between the six or so stages and just to make things even more enjoyable, apart from the Bodega Social they are all within shouting distance of each other. It all adds to a great experience as the festival is now in its seventh year and the expected fledgling creases have been ironed out. So hopping from venue to venue as the inevitable overlaps and clashes start later in the afternoon comes with as much stealth or comfort you like. Dot to Dot has a growing reputation of pinning the best up and coming talent to the backdrop of more established and formidable contenders. It works as a bit of a nursery for bands in their infancy too, introducing them prior to them wrapping them up warm and sending them out to meet the world. There must be a hugely resourceful chapter of researchers hitherto, as many of the bands go on to achieve commercial success or a much higher profile in the months that follow. Of course by no means am I contributing any ensuing success solely down to the festival I just think it’s clever the way they manage to consistently pick them out early on. Previous highlight years include (if not to pick them all) 2007 which included indie//electro marksman Erol Alkan, the recently Mercury nominated Laura Marling and the lemony bittaah Kate Nash. 2009 was BIG! First glimpses of The Temper trap, yeah sweet disposition was everywhere for a bit but I remember where I heard it first. Mumford and sons, whose popularity has been so explosive they are even on the young and talented rich list after just one album, well I saw them first here too. The class of 2009 also included... oh my word! Friendly Fires, Annie Mac, kissy Sell Out oh, and Little Boots; seriously for £25 (plus booking fee) mate, that’s a steal! This year promises to be no different; I really cannot wait to how Hurts deep and atmospheric pop translates to the Rock City Main Stage. The Naked and Famous were tipped listed and paraded in all sorts of media to be one of the big sounds of 2011 and with their singles ‘Young Blood’ and ‘Punching a Dream’ they really are easy to toast as the disposable sound for the straw hatted, classic khaki shorted and from personal experience, sun burnt festival goers. At Pilot towers we are very much into Dom too which are a little like The Naked and Famous so if you like the latter I’m quite sure their fun and callow cavort ‘Living in America’ will go down well too. As music has become a bit of a mash up in the past few years it’s no surprise to see the feted list of past djs on the attinery too. Last year Zane Lowe smashed it with his eclectic box of crowd pleasers. So Matt Horne of Gavin and Stacy fame takes up the mantle on the spinners this year and to be honest I was a little unsure of this appointment initially, but through the unexpected can come surprise and unexpected ability. Horne actually does an accomplished mix having just fulfilled the indie disco tour with Propagander and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all gets spun.