2014 Festival Overview

Festival season over, so a few words about the festivals we have been to (including ones we have previously been to).

1. Rock and Blues. Butlins. Skegness. There was a time when the line-ups got a bit thin, being bulked out by pub covers groups.  Thankfully, there seems to have been a re-think, and we can confidently book in advance of any acts being announced.  Highly recommended

2.Acoustic Festival of Britain. Uttoxeter Racecourse. Well organised, close to the town. Get the impression it went through some hard times some years ago, but now firmly established. Rare that we don’t have a weekend where there isn’t anyone we really like on stage. Organisers always happy to take comments. Highly recommended

3. Americana International . Newark. Not been for a couple of years. Recent years seem to have the bills featuring Chas n Dave, Smokie, Alvin Stardust (Americana?!) and UK country acts. Have seen some good stuff there (Hayseed Dixie) but a lot of average fare. Has now moved to Loughborough(?). We spoke to a couple at Bakewell who said some undesirables had descended upon the fest.  A big genuine act would maybe lure us back, but it got to the stage where it was only the unique Badaxe we went for.

4. Glastonbury. Only been once, in 2003, when we got some freebie VIP tickets. Term-time means it is difficult to go for certain professions. Glad we went, but off our radar now. Too big!

5. Grillstock. Manchester. Been on the Sunday the last two years. Enjoyable, if not a camping ‘festival’. You may die of starvation if you are veggie, but anywhere that has the Reverend Peyton’s lot AND Hayseed Dixie on the same day is worth mentioning.

6.Moonbeams Festival. Wold Top. Enjoyed our first visit, didn’t enjoy our last (and final) visit. Said my piece after last year, so no inclination to go over old ground.  However, beware that the glowing recommendation from Ade Edmondson on the home page must be due to feature on the Antiques Roadshow. A bit like Man Utd’s website saying ‘Come to Old Trafford, the home of Ronaldo’.

7. Summertyne Festival. Gateshead. The Sage. Plenty of good quality acts on all week inside, we go to the free afternoon(s) outside in the concourse. Usually get a decent ‘name’ from across the pond (Tom Russell, Handsome Family) plus local acts.  Check it out.

8. Cambridge Rock Festival. Glasto gave us the festival bug and this was our first weekend fest in a tent. Have been to almost every one, and ,yes, we invariably say we aren’t going again but always do!  Advertised as all genres of rock, but heavily populated by 5-piece, female-fronted prog outfits. As at this moment, no news of date/venue/line-up for 2015, which doesn’t bode well.  We would prefer less of the afore-mentioned musical groups. Organiser a real gentleman. Could do with being a bit closer to civilisation.

9. Bakewell Music Festival. Been a few times. Run with great enthusiasm by music fan with a small budget and a lot of ball-ache from blinkered nimbys. Managed to get Seth Lakeman one year, but looks to have succumbed to local snottery and snobbery. Hopefully its time may come again.

10. Upton Music Festival. Upton-on-Severn. Really enjoyed our first trip there. A few yards from the village, loads of pubs, The Hamsters and Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash (plus Ted Turner). Nowadays, has branded itself as a family event. Showaddywaddy, Alvin Stardust , tribute acts. Extortionate beer/food prices on site. (Food=fish and chips). We spent most of our last visit in local pubs , so festival was not worth paying for.   Not for us anymore, sadly. Also prone to local idiots invading.

11. Cropredy. Cropredy . Sometimes has clashed with others events, we have been a few times in the last few years.  We are not like most of the Croppers/Glasto audience, who go every year regardless of the line-up.  10cc, Little Feat, Alice Cooper, Status Quo have been the reasons for our going.  Waiting for headliners being announced. You can take your own beer in!

12. Weyfest. Surrey. Been the last three years and it has been our favourite each time. Wonderful site, beer prices a little bit steep though. BUT, the last couple seemed to indicate a change of direction towards a ‘safer’ sort of line-up. UB40!? And , lo and behold, the hot-off-the-press announcement…Level 42! Fan dabby bloody dozy! No doubt the next earth-shattering headline will be Spandau Ballet!  Howard Jones! Sorry, but we are SO disappointed with this major re-defining of the event. The likes of Robin Trower, Jethro Tull, Martin Turner’s lot, Focus seem to have given way to a concentration of 80s acts.  Are we the only customers who actually want to see people on  stage who are THE SAME AGE AS US!!    A real shame, unlikely we will be there next year.

12. Festival of the 60s. Skegness. Another very popular Butlins weekend. If you aren’t bothered about the authenticity of some of the line-ups, it is a really good weekend. (In some cases, be prepared for the singer actually lying to you. I can’t handle it!!).

13. Great British Folk Festival. Skegness. Not been going long. We enjoyed the first time (Kate Rusby, Oysterband), but the second one (despite Seth Lakeman) displayed too much of a giant folk club atmosphere. Some may say ‘Why go then, if you don’t like that?’ To which we say ‘ Don’t worry, we won’t be going again!). Ideal for folkies.

14. Oops, nearly forgot. Beermageddon. Stoke Prior. Went last year, it wasn’t quite what we expected!  Please have a look at the review, and remember we are taking the piss mainly out of ourselves!

Next year isn’t looking all that promising, we could all do with some good news in time for Christmas.

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