Fucking hell. Now THAT was an experience. By THAT, I mean, Beacons Festival 2012, which, as it turned out, was to be the first ever music festival I’ve ever been to, ever. So what was it like? I know the organizers prefer previews rather than reviews, nothing wrong with that, it helps to generate interest in order to sell tickets but I feel reviews give a better picture of the event so that it helps to form people’s opinions / expectations for the next one. So here’s mine.
Speaking of opinions and expectations, there’s been a few about this fest. Some are very good, some are very bad, some dont really have an opinion. What do I think? I think, the thing that most people tend to forget is that it is not easy to organize a festival. It takes alot of guts, commitment, money and patience. I know. Because I’m currently helping to organize one, albeit it being a smaller scale film festival.
So maybe that Rihanna t-shirt that was on sale at the fest by this collective was highly inappropriate, the beer was overpriced and yeah the toilets were fucking disgusting and isn’t exactly a hypochondriac’s dream but what were you expecting? This is a festival afterall, people need to get real, you are expected to slum it for a bit. Yes, I admit, I was moaning about the weather, the mud and the toilets while I was there but, I kinda got over it. Most of us who went to the fest didn’t go there to critique the state of toilets or argue about the price of larger at the bartender, we go to festivals to enjoy the music.
And that is where Beacons wins. The line-up was amazing. Admittedly, the sound system in the dance tent could be better, the Noisey stage could be bigger, etc etc but all that will come when the fest matures over the years I’m sure.
We managed to catch Veronica Falls‘ performing their last few songs of their set at the main stage. I’ve always wanted to see them live, it was surreal seeing them right in front of me. Missed my favorite song Beachy Head but it’s okay, I enjoyed the rest of their set.
[Veronica Falls - My Heart Beats]
Highlights of the fest for me were the bands in the Noisey / Vice tent. PINS were great – washed out dreamy pop, complete with much too oversized denim jackets. They started their set wearing colorful balaclavas, in solidarity with Pussy Riot of course.
[PINS - Shoot You]
The absolutely oh-my-god blown-away moment for me was Savages‘ set, the band headlining the Vice tent on Friday night. I’ve seen them a few times now, but this one seals them as my favorite band ever and the most exciting band to come out of the UK right now. Intense dark post-punk with a touch of no wave – they totally OWNED everyone in that tent.
By the third song, the crowd danced into a frenzied fit and it morphed into a full blown moshpit. Also, I took ALOT of photos of Gemma the guitarist because 1) I was closest to her near the stage and 2) she’s got a great guitar playing style 3) I like her hair.
My dream is to go on tour with them and be their photographer / videocamera guy. But that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Oh well. By the end of the set, I was screaming along to Husbands. After the set, the drummer Faye high-fived me because she saw me singing to their songs, I was uttering complete gibberish and couldn’t stop shouting “YOU GUYS WERE FUCKING AWESOME! YOU GUYS WERE FUCKING AWESOME!”
I think I might have scared them a bit.
[Savages - Flying To Berlin]
The next day we caught 2:54 at the main stage. They were brilliant and the music was exactly as how I described it in my previous feature about em: moody, broody and fucking sexy as hell. Seriously, go read that post, watch their videos, fall in love with them.
[2:54 - Creeping (Maya Jaye Coles Remix)]
[2:54 - Sugar]
Sadly, I had to miss Sunday out so I missed Maya Jane Coles, which was a right fucking shame because I really wanted to see her. I also missed a coupla other really good acts but the mud and wet was starting to get to me and I just couldn’t deal.
So that’s it, my first ever festival experience. It was great and well worth it. Thanks to a really good friend of mine who managed to convince me to overcome my anxieties and just come out and have fun. I also saw my first ever shooting star that night. It was magical. And Beacons – organized by Leeds folk, and just down the road from Leeds, attended by loads of Leeds peeps, it’s almost the local fest that Leeds Festival never was. And I think, (and I can be a right bitchy dude sometimes) they really do deserve your support. So, well done to the Beacons team. Hope the next one will be bigger and better. :)