Forgoing flower shows this year meant I could indulge in music festivals although the latter is tremendously more expensive and muddier. The last festival I attended was the Isle of Wight in 2004 when the line-up boasted Stereophonics, Bowie, The Who, Groove Armada, The Charlatans, Snow Patrol, Cockney Rebel, Manic Street Preachers…a balanced mix of established and emerging artists. There was one stage and no mud. There was a walk to the festival arena of about 20mins from the campsite. The sun shone.
Fast forward to 2012 and the scene is quite different. There has been an explosion in music festivals-some of them have become outsized featuring hundreds of artists. Latitude Festival in Southwold , Suffolk, a relative newcomer to the scene (7 years) was my first festival this year and although we knew it was going to be muddy we weren’t expecting a sea of mud (see photos 1 and 2).
Granted the festival arena was relatively mud free but the hike from the campervan to the arena was about 40 minutes. The bigger the festival the further away from the arena the camper vans will be parked. It was so far to walk we stayed on the arena site all day and all night which I found quite frankly exhausting and feckin’ expensive. Add into the equation we couldn’t take our own refreshments into the arena and the whole day required very deep pockets. … BIG lesson learned here as I am no fan of walking in mud or purchasing moderate quality festival food and drink.
So we felt a bit ripped off on these counts. However, the line up just about made up for the negatives mentioned above. Not being a huge fan of the headliners, Elbow and Weller didn’t faze me as the medium liners and some of the bottom liners were totally stonking! The range and amount of music on offer was truly astonishing. Of Monsters and Men, Tune Yards, Django Django, Baxter Dury, We Are Augustines, new music with new sounds…exciting. Exciting like it made you want to jump up and down, take your clothes off, smoke something and drink JD straight from the bottle. Some of which I managed.
One of our highlights was Richard Hawley a superb artist and we can be seen looking most mellow and content during his set (me and John, photo 3).
Oh but the walking and the mud-have I mentioned the mud? (photo 4)
It was in this quagmire John had his ‘You Tube’ moment late Saturday. Helping someone else he got stuck and I mean stuck to the point where we nearly had to call emergency services. It was funny, well I thought it was anyway-John didn’t. I haven’t got a photo of the actual ‘You Tube’ moment itself-I didn’t think it wise to stop and take one.