Pics: Dijana Capan / DVision Images / http://www.dvision-images.com
“You’re invited to be a child again, just one more time, just for tonight”.
With these words, The Used frontman Bert McCracken summed up the free-spirited nature of Day One.
Were you among those who released their inner Wild Child? If not, you missed an impressive first day. Here are six reasons why…
1. There was a range of music genres
“Is it a pop festival? Rock? Dance? Who knows?”, asked one festival goer in The Pit.
From Annie Mac to The Used, The Kooks to Beach Riot – there was such a mix that there was truly something for everyone. Devotees of a particular genre could stay in their favourite tent for the day – while others could mix and match at different stages…
…sometimes generating moments of unintentional hilarity, as newcomers to The Pit (seeking shelter from the rain) looked around and asked “Um, is this is the dance tent?”
2. The audience was mixed & it was less crowded than yesteryear.
“Seriously, this is so quiet, where is everyone?”
Who knows? But you could easily move between tents, get nice and close to the stages, and enjoy the diversity of the crowd.
They ranged from legions of unicorn-like youngsters cavorting in a post-GCSE fervor, to 30-somethings wearing fairy-light flowers in their hair, to 40- and 50-somethings eating roast dinners from paper plates in the shelter of large recycling bins.
Never before have I heard the words “Ooh, I’m ready for a sparkling water now” spoken at a festival.
3. Beach Riot / BBC Introducing.
Is it me, or do bands sound a thousand times more powerful on smaller stages playing to smaller crowds?
It was like the set of Mad Max – guards pulled up facemasks as dust blew down the walkway between tents and eateries, the midafternoon sun beat down, and suddenly Beach Riot took to the BBC Introducing Stage.
This 3-piece from Brighton were easily on par with any headliners. Their combination of guitar drones, feedback textures and furious riffing suggested Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine had 3 love children who grew up on Nirvana.
4. The Kooks
Overcast skies, dying light – “Darkness coming down, night is all around” – it could almost be a Bronte novel, were it not for the man dressed as a giant banana singing along to “All The Time”.
Crowds hugged each other & wept with joy as “Ooh La” took them back to their youth. It was beautiful – all the arguments over Brexit, Trump et al dissolving to nothing in a haze of purple smoke and beach balls.
5. The Used
The jet of liquid Bert McCracken spewed from his mouth on the first beat of their opening number.
The impromptu mosh pit he created around the central pole of The Pit’s tent.
A sea of pumping fists powering a set list of classics for the hardcore.
“Put your arm around the person next to you, give ‘em a kiss, like you care – are ya feeling the love?”
6. Fall Out Boy
A lone girl dances and twirls in a silver jacket, alone in the darkness under a full moon. It’s cold; it’s raining…
…then Fall Out Boy take the stage, the flame-throwing bass guitar brings a touch of warmth back to the evening, fireworks start to fly, and the audience (young to old) are children again for a little while.
So ended Day One. Were you there? Do you wish you were? Let us know in the comments.