Reepacheep's Ramblings V.10

Blatherings from someone who is not big nor clever

Festivals

Posted by Kim under

I am going to write a bit about my experiences on camping out in a field in order to listen to music. I think 13 years of rolling in mud or baking in the sunshine doing this warrants me to do so. I’ll try to include tips to make your time that little bit less stress free and enjoyable, too.

If you are in need of help in the form of what to pack if you are ever lucky enough to get tickets to a festival of your choice, look no further than The Ultimate Festival List (in my opinion)!

Festivals I have been to (and the years I have visited):

Reading (every year from 2001-2013)

This is the festival I first went to, and have been back every year since. I absolutely love this festival, mostly due to the type of bands that get put on the bill, less for the puters that go as they can be dicks. The line up is generally rocky across 5 stages, ranging from indie-pop to punk and metal with a little bit of dance thrown in. It happens on the August bank holiday every year (Friday-Sunday).

Glastonbury (4 times between 2005-2011)
This festival is simply immense, in size as well as the range of events that occur (it is advertised as an “performing arts festival”). The line up is everything and anything across what feels like hundreds of stages. It takes at least 2-3 hours to walk across the site. It occurs at the end of June (Wednesday-Sunday). There is plenty to see and do regardless of the line up, as the selling out of 180,000 or so tickets without knowing a single band playing within hours will testify. Last time I went I saw a grand total of 5 bands over 5 days, and still loved every minute. It tends to rain a LOT, so take wellies and a waterproof despite what the forecast may say, otherwise you’ll not enjoy it as much.

Sonisphere (2010)
A relatively (compared to the others mentioned) small European touring festival which has leanings towards heavy rock/metal. Think of it as a bit of a mini Download, as most people who frequent Donnington will turn up here as well. It occurs in early July (Friday-Sunday) at Knebworth House. The good thing about Sonisphere is the fact they don’t close the arena after the bands have finished playing, and so there is still enough to do without having to resort to passing out in your tent. Recently it has run into funding problems so fingers crossed it makes an appearence again one day.

Download (2011)
A largeish heavy rock/metal festival held early June (Friday-Sunday) at Donnington Park. An incredibly friendly festival full of metallers. Due to being on a race course, the arena and camping sections are VERY separate (i.e a 15 minute walk between kind of separate) but they make up for this by having a lot to do in the camping areas (a cabaret and bar tent, a fairground, and a place to buy relatively cheap cans of alcohol).

Groezrock (2012)
A medium-sized festival in Meerhout, Belgium which focuses on Punk Rock and Hardcore. Well worth a visit for the great line up they can usually produce. A festival ticket plus travel by Eurostar cost us the same as a single Glastonbury ticket, plus the Belgian beer was lovely.

Slam Dunk (2011-2012)
A small day festival held at the University of Hatfield (with a sister festival held in Leeds). Centered around punk rock, pop punk, and hardcore, the line up for me can be a tad hit and miss, but that’s personal preference. Good crowd and not too far from London.

Banquet’s Big Day Out (2012)
A small day festival based in Esher, curated by the awesome Banquet Records.

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