Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deer Shed Festival 3 - one week on

This is incredibly hard to write and not for the reasons that over the last five years and some I have become used to. I've even gotten somewhat inured to the fact that I write as a Briton (if never a great one) to a potential audience of millions. All that was put in to perspective yesterday - with the opening of the 30th Modern Olympiad in London. We, as host Nation, were never planning to upstage the sheer scale of the equivalent event at Beijing 2008, nor did we ever think that we might try to do so in budget, scale or pale imitation.
Britain just had to do it the only way it knows, which is what defines us - a wonderful mix of contradictory things that everyone but almost nobody - myself included - really properly understands and a certain penchant for comedy and self-deprecation.
It involved a lot of music, both old and new, but none of that from Deer Shed Festival 3 that I'm planning to mention now. It does however prompt me to mention that for every well known artist featured yesterday there are plenty more who aspire to gain our attention and are worthy of doing so. Aspiring athletes do not start at the Olympic Games, just as aspiring musicians do not headline Glastonbury, but they are there at the smaller festivals and local venues every week of every year. One thing that has made changes for them, and it was featured by the appearance of Sir Tim Berners-Lee at yesterday's event, is the internet. Without it I might not yet have even heard about these artists that I saw performing live at Deer Shed Festival 3: Think about what that really means.

As it always was, it only needs a little sunshine to get us in a party mood but a bar also helps too. Without the internet I would not be writing this and you, wherever you might be, would not be reading it. Yet, for all that, the reason that almost six-thousand of us were gathered there at all was for the entertainment - modern music,  live and strictly non-digital primarily, but also that most human of desires that is like-minded comradeship.
The sun first made an appearance on Friday evening when Belfast five-piece Cashier No. 9 were playing on the main stage.
I have seen this band live before, at Truck Festival 2011, and I was impressed then. I still am and they appear again at EOTR 2012, as part of the 15th anniversary of Bella Union Records on the Friday.
The very first act to play at Deer Shed Festival 3 was Leeds' Moody Gowns on the tented 'In The Dock Stage'. Not exactly the least abrasive of welcomes, perhaps...
...on the other hand a worthy welcome to the orthogonal world that is a good festival.

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