Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just the silly season... but more seriously.

I didn't intend to add anything until Friday but something, and in this case people who came here searching, was to pique my curiosity. I've been looking through the photos that I have taken at festivals over the last few years - and I'm still open to suggestions for ones I need to go to, preferably in late June, July or early August 2012.
I'm going to state some of my recent opinions here but please feel free to disagree. Weather aside (of course it didn't help but it is beyond anyone's control) I was faintly underwhelmed by Latitude 2011. I have always gone there for the music and, in 2011, I think that the emphasis had moved too far away from that. There was much good music, no doubt about it, but not the same attention to detail. The Lake Stage is a good indicator: in 2008 it was amazing, in 2009 mostly unused, while in 2010 it was stunning again but in 2011 little thought had apparently been put in to it. Some of the acts were good, if you could find out when they were on.
The other music stages were pretty good but, as the competition in both UK and abroad improves, things are going to get tougher still. Micheal Eavis has hinted at this and, surely, he is one with the least to worry about. I can see his line of thought however; Coachella 2012 is to be a 2 x three-day festival over successive weekends at the same location and with the same acts at both. Imagine this: you go to both and, unless you chose to do so, see nothing twice. And that is not to mention that the Coachella 2012 line-up is to die for!
UK festivals might have to learn from this and fast - while there is nothing that we can do about the weather (and we are not alone as the extreme horror of Pukklepop 2011 and Indiana State Fair 2011, both caused by extreme weather that could not have reasonably been predicted showed) except to take better steps to mitigate at least the reasonably foreseeable downsides of it withoute stifling the whole scene. Everything is dangerous - its just a matter of degree.
I'm not wishing to sound too serious here, indeed I think that being over serious (about the content) is actually part of the problem.  
This was the Obelisk Stage at Latitude 2007 and not half as silly as the performance became... unforgettable for all the right reasons, just as festivals should be.

CSS Roxxx!
Pulling the trick off, year after year, has often eluded both bands and festivals.

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