Friday, August 22, 2014

Once upon a time...

With this blog fast approaching its eighth birthday, which is old for such things and solo-written ones in particular, it has set me thinking.
I started to attend festivals because of it. I needed stuff to write about. At that point I realised that I needed pictures too, and I wasn't going to rely on promotional ones, so I therefore I needed to take my own. I bought a Fuji F20 compact - I still have it and I still use it - and off we both went to Latitude Festival 2007.  To be quite honest, while the camping and stuff was well in hand, I hadn't quite thought out the music side of things properly. I didn't keep track of what I had seen and it proved very difficult to piece it together afterwards. OK - you learn from mistakes like that. You also learn a lot more from just being there, trying to do what you want to do, and talking to people. The best thing about going to a festival alone is that it forces you to talk to strangers; they are the only friends you have. On the other hand you have no obligation to pander their particular agenda or they to yours for that matter.
By 2008 I had basic control of most of that and, in 2009, made my first foray to End Of The Road Festival in Dorset. This became a favourite and not just because it is only 35 miles drive from home. It was love at first sight. By this time I had started to do advance planning, almost military style, of what I wanted to see and how to go about it. As usual there are plenty of last-minute changes and even SNAFU events.
The result of one of them turned out like this. I got to see an act I had never heard of and hadn't planned to see. Afterwards 
I said they could be big. My interlocutor said that that they would be forgotten within a year.
Klara (R) and Johanna Söderberg, First Aid Kit, on the Tipi Stage, End of The Road 2009. Five years (and three albums) later this is the first time I have used this photograph. There were perhaps 150 people watching them play then. Here they are last Sunday - playing to ten thousand, maybe even more than that, at Green Man Festival 2014.

Any which way it was comfortably the biggest crowd of the festival. Tickets for the UK dates of the forthcoming autumn headline tour are all but gone too. Less than fifty remain for the gig at The Royal Albert Hall, London, on 24 September. By the time you read this they will probably all be gone.
That applies to End Of The Road Festival 2014 too - the final tickets went this afternoon.

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