Tuesday, September 15, 2009

End Of The Road 2009 ... and back again.

I went there, now I have returned... so was it what I expected?
Yes and no, because I couldn't actually decide beforehand (and such musings nearly led to me taking the A30 in the wrong direction at Shaftesbury) quite what it would be like. If it were like Latitude scaled down by a factor of five would that be for better or for worse? Beyond that, I had no idea whatsoever and to go to a festival so close to home yet with such gnawing ambivalence, which I felt very much when on my way to Latitude the first time, was a bit of a surprise in itself.
The best way I can sum it up is that it was a little bit like being older and possibly wiser but going to a new school!
Needless to say everything went well, as oft-times it does, and so the picture above is that of my well-thumbed book that is now replete with marginal notes and other sometimes random musings.

What is the general set up?
That is something you might quite reasonably ask so here are a few pictures to set the scene...

A tiny tent and the 'Big Top Stage' on Friday morning.

An hour later... 'Big Top' across the arena.

The main stage, and the only outdoor one of the four, is the 'Garden Stage' and it is quite surprising because it does have a faux-Tudor cottage at one corner...

...but there is more, although I seem to have forgotten the Italianate temple and pagoda.

Folie à deux - another view of the Garden Stage.

I can see why comparisons with Latitude are made and they are valid up to a point. They are however not the least bit the same. If you want the possibility of acts that will be troubling the charts this year then Latitude has the edge but if not or you are looking for something new or simply less mainstream then, while Latitude is good for that too, End Of The Road is ideal. This is only in part because of its smaller size but more a result of the rather particular tastes of those who book the acts.

Moon rising over the Tipi stage at 3am Saturday.
It is a truly wonderful venue regardless of its various shortcomings!

I haven't even mentioned ANY artists yet and please don't even ask me to choose which festival I like the best.
Maybe it is just me but my answer is both of them.

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