“Hello sunshine, come into my life”
Pictures are here
We had a plan for our first ever festival performance. Since we’d been told that we were playing on the Sunday and that, as performers, we’d get free entry for the whole festival, we had originally decided to go for the whole weekend.
We could chill out, check out some of the other bands and get very drunk. Then the rain came. Before last May, I would have described it as unseasonable and it was enough to put us off from spending a weekend in a tent.
So, we rocked up on Sunday morning and lumped all of our equipment over to the new band tent only to find out, after half an hour of waiting around, that we weren’t playing there anymore. It turns out that the second stage had almost blown down in the high winds over the weekend so all of the bands that were supposed to be playing there had been moved into the tent.
This meant that everyone who was supposed to be playing the new band tent was similarly downgraded and so we were moved to the what was supposed to have been the acoustic tent in the middle of the campsite. Now this had a good side and a bad side.
On the plus, apparently, the second stage had been so close to the new band stage that there had been a real problem with the sound bleeding in and ruining the sound in the tent. On the down side, I’d told a few friends from work who were going to the festival that we would be playing the new band tent so they missed our performance. Although it could be that they had a better time in the other tent.
Anyway, we finally got to the right place and we played a blinding 30-minute set:
I’m On My Way
Rip It Up
All I Want
I Don’t Know What It Is
You Throw My Love Away
She’s His Girlfriend
While You Wait
In no particular order, here are the things that we learnt from playing our first festival:
Backstage areas at festivals are nowhere near as glamorous as made out in the media. In fact our stage didn’t even have a backstage and there were no swanky AAA laminated badges.
Playing in a tent when it’s pissing it down with rain outside and following a reasonably good band are two very effective ways to boost your audience size.
Festival audiences are awesome. I gave someone a love heart during You Throw My Love Away and they gave me a can of cider in return. Win:Win
There is no point in an Anastasia tribute act. Seriously, there isn’t. In fact there’s no point in any tribute act for a real band that you can easily see anyway. I can understand why people would want to see a Queen tribute act since you’re never going to be able to see the real thing. I can kind of understand an Oasis tribute act too since it’s really difficult to get tickets to see the real thing. But the Kaiser Chiefs? I love the Kaiser Chiefs but I’d never go as far as to watch a tribute act. Maybe I’ll think differently if we ever get our own tribute act.
The sun always shines on the righteous. It had been raining before we went on stage but I went strutting outside the tent during All I Want and I came back in dry.
Festivals, no matter how badly ran and no matter how bad the weather are absolutely amazing to play. And don’t get me wrong, this was badly ran – apart from snafu around the closed down stage and the lack of information about any changes because of it, we didn’t see either of the guys who were actually running the festival all day. This was on top of the lack of information that we’d had leading up to the event in terms of what day/time we’d actually be playing. Then, after we got off stage, we were told that they were so short of acts, we were asked if we’d like to play again later. Unfortunately, Stu couldn’t hang around so we had to decline.
The real stars of the show were The Gavettes – the audience members who played along on percussion to While You Wait. Thank you one and all!