Scrap the ‘Festival of Brexit Britain’, the UK has had enough of political festivals | Liam O’Dell

Theresa May’s plans for a festival to celebrate the best of post-Brexit Britain in 2022 comes at a time when the public want big ideas, not political conferences.

It’s an idea which draws up images of exaggerated patriotism. The Prime Minister’s ‘Festival for Brexit Britain’ aims to “celebrate our nation’s diversity and talent and mark this moment of national renewal with a once-in-a-generation celebration”, taking inspiration from the 1851 Great Exhibition and the 1951 post-war carnivals.

Not only is the patriotism archaic, but so is talk of yet another political festival. The British public are proactive, and want something different.

We’ve already seen failed political events in the form of Labour Live or ‘JezFest’. While over 13,000 people attended the festival, it still had to cut ticket prices and run promotional offers to attract an audience. With the exception of party conferences, events run under the banner of a political party fail to engage the public.

Instead, ideas must be allowed to grow in a public space without political framing. As soon as ideas are shoehorned into a political allegiance, then we run the risk of falling into the echo chambers which our society is desperately trying to move away from. Thoughts should be free and presented in an environment where views can be challenged.

Tory MP George Freeman learnt this when it came to his Big Tents Ideas Festival, which had its second year earlier this month. Initially dubbed ‘the Tory Glastonbury’, this year’s event seemed to be more cross-party than Conservative.

“I have made it non-party political so that MPs, peers and others from the centre left can also get involved,” the Mid Norfolk MP told The Guardian. The end result was nearly 2,000 people heading to the event near Cambridge to discuss topics such as artificial intelligence, education and social justice.

If Conservative festivals are to be viewed as desperate attempts at replicating the success of Glastonbury Festival, then it’s worth looking at what makes the biggest UK festival so popular in terms of politics. The answer? It’s left-wing tone is never front-and-centre – ideas and music are.

Alongside the expected £120m price tag, its planned launch in 2022 and all this talk of a “celebration”, the PM also says the ‘Festival for Brexit Britain’ is targeted at a “new generation”.

If it is indeed another push to recruit more young people to the Conservative Party – whether that attempt be outright or more subliminal – then it won’t work. While it does appear to shine a light on British industries, it would still be unable to shake off its ties to the Tories. An opportunity for young people to have their say on post-Brexit life would be far more beneficial and engaging than a glamourised showcase.

The British public are more involved and engaged in politics than ever, and they have ideas for change. If political festivals want to provide an opportunity to discuss ideas, then opinions must be free from political allegiance, challenged and unrestrained.

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Glastonbury Festival 2017: A year of discovery

Sometimes, not having a clue whom you’re going to see at a festival is the best way to enjoy it. Last year, seeing all three headliners (Coldplay, Adele and Muse) was a no-brainer. However, with Glastonbury 2017 offering a less exciting list of headliners (save for the Foo Fighters, whom I was excited about ever since they were announced) and the line-up offering a more wide-ranging mix of artists, this year was all about finding new bands to add to my Spotify library.

Pyramid Stage with sunset

Where else to start than Royal Blood? As someone who isn’t usually a fan of the hard-hitting rock genre, I was a little bit unsure (solely relying on my faint knowledge of Lights Out to judge how good I thought they were). Yet, the end response was one of awe. For those who have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a drummer. Well, Ben Thatcher (Royal Blood’s drummer) had me spellbound throughout the hour-long set.

Aside from music, there have been a few performances and stages I’ve never visited, purely for the fact that the long walk back to the next stage meant that I could miss a lot of the following artist’s act. This year, that wasn’t a problem.

This meant I finally got round to seeing Doc Brown live (and grab a selfie with him afterwards, which was cool), as well as attend debates on democracy and fake news – the latter proving very useful for my upcoming university dissertation. Cheers, Glastonbury!

Oh, and 2017 was the year that I finally got to see the fire-breathing spider. Yes, in one corner of the farm is a giant metallic spider which is home to electronic music, and a Metamorphosis Show. I won’t spoil the show for those planning to go to Worthy Farm in future years, but I hope the below picture gives you an idea.

Arcadia, the giant metal spider.
Arcadia – the giant metal spider where the absolutely bonkers Metamorphosis Show takes place.

I also felt that this year had a lot more TBA acts than usual, and when you have you no strict schedule to adhere to, you have nothing to lose. Stopping by the BBC Introducing Stage led to me hearing a quick set from Glass Animals and Blossoms – the latter dealing with a minor clash I had earlier that day.

At this point, I have to thank the @SecretGlasto account on Twitter for tipping us all off about who these TBA acts could be. It meant that I could watch The xx knowing that Elbow were playing The Park Stage and I wouldn’t miss much (sorry Elbow fans). However, what was far more exciting was their correct prediction for Sunday’s John Peel Stage performer – The Killers. All I need to say to prove how incredible their set was is this: imagine a large crowd of people singing Mr Brightside at the top of their lungs. That’s right, it was incredible.

The xx on the Pyramid Stage
The xx, with stunning visuals and a chilled sound for a Friday night.

Speaking of The xx and thank yous, I have to thank vlogger Grace Mandeville for recommending that – if you get the chance – you should see The xx live.

At first, I was a bit unsure about whether it would be my sort of music. Yet, with stunning visuals and a musical style which sounded like a mix between Of Monsters and Men and Porter Robinson, I was hooked. Thanks, Grace!

The whole weekend came to a close with Ed Sheeran’s headline slot on the Pyramid Stage on the Sunday night. In a bid to beat the traffic, we often leave before they finish their set. Plus, since the rest of my family weren’t too fussed about seeing Mr Sheeran, I was only able to listen to the first few songs.

That wasn’t a problem though, as I was interested in Ed’s set for a different reason. If you’ve read my review of his latest album, Divide, you’ll know that I’ve been quite sceptical of the Shape of You singer’s new material. This, combined with the fact that I found his 2014 V Festival performance fairly forgettable, repetitive and average, made me curious to see whether he would step up for the big spot at Glastonbury.

Long story short, with the soulful Castle on the Hill being the opening track and everyone getting their phone torches out for The A Team, there was something for the audience to do during the quieter song, whilst the more fast-paced songs kept everyone on their toes. With thousands of people huddled together on a field, one wonders if the intimate environment had a large part to play in that.

Now, one week on from the event, I still have a few songs and bands to look into. The XX’s entire song library is now in my Spotify, along with Lights Out by Royal Blood.

So, even when there are artists on the bill you may not have heard of, taking that risk at Glastonbury and trying something different is never a bad decision.

Artists/bands/speakers/panels watched: Biffy Clyro, Birdy, Blossoms, CassetteBoy vs. DJ Rubbish, Circa Waves, Clean Bandit, Craig David, Doc Brown, Ed Sheeran, Emeli Sandé, Everything Everything, Faces of Disco, Fake News: Post-Truth Politics, Foo Fighters, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Gabrielle Aplin, Glass Animals, Is Democracy Broken?, Jeremy Corbyn, Katy Perry, Kirsty Newton, Major Lazer, Rag’n’Bone Man, Royal Blood, Silver, The Amazons, The Jacksons, The Killers, The Magic Gang, The xx.

A Change in Souvenir Culture

There’s always something fun about buying a souvenir. It allows us to attach our memories to a simple object which we can keep forever. The object itself varies – it could be anything: a pen, a keyring, a T-shirt and so forth. But whilst there’s a choice of what to buy after an amazing concert or festival, one item is starting to become top of souvenir culture – the T-Shirt.

My T-Shirt which I bought after seeing The Curious Incident.

 

Why is that? It’s because of the profuct’s purpose. A pen is great but it goes straight in the bin when it’s used up. A keyring brightens up your collection of keys but you’re never really going to pay attention to it unless you need to get in your front door. But in terms of a T-Shirt – you need them because it’s clothing.

As well as that, it’s the item that appeals to our consumerist desire to collect stuff. Whilst a pen collection may be exciting to some people, a collection of T-shirts is impressive because of how much we value fashion in our society.

But anyway, speaking of collections, I thought I would talk about my collection of T-Shirts, and what they mean to me.

Vinspired Awards 2013 – This reminds me of my first proper awards ceremony I attended. The Saturdays played at the end of the show, and tons of confetti falling down on the audience whilst they sang What About Us will always be a strong memory of mine.

Do Something T-Shirt – This reminds me of all the YouTubers I met at Summer in the City this year. But also, more importantly, it reminds me of the campaign I was helping Do Something to promote – #1in4ofUs.

V Festival 2014 – This will always be known as the shirt in the wrong size.

Madeon 2015 – I bought this on my birthday this year. I remember Madeon playing in such a small venue, and the atmosphere being incredible.

Glastonbury 2015 – My first Glastonbury. This T-shirt perfectly encapsulates the unique Glastonbury experience and atmosphere.

V Festival 2015 – A memory I have of V Festival is seeing Sam Smith for the first time. It was incredible.

The Curious Incident – I had to get this T-Shirt. It reminds me of my favourite play of all-time!

That’s my collection of t-shirts!

Do you have any concert T-shirts? What souvenirs do you collect? Comment below!

Liam

Thoughts on Glastonbury 2015

So last week I was lucky enough to get tickets to this year’s Glastonbury festival! With one of my resolutions this year being to experience more, it’s fair to say that I’ve definitely experienced a lot when I went to Glastonbury this year.

Tuesday 23rd (late evening) and Wednesday 24th June (early morning):

Part of the queue to get in on the Tuesday evening – it was huge!

It was in the late hours of Tuesday and the early hours of Wednesday that we completed our journey to Glastonbury. Once in the queue, we then had to wait for 6 hours until the Glastonbury gates finally opened…

Wednesday 24th June:

As the first day of the festival, not that many things were on. However, this meant that I could explore the large area that is Worthy Farm. Whilst it was easy to get lost (at first, since the Glastonbury app had a handy GPS map), the sculptures and stage designs were interesting to look at.


      

Thursday 25th June:

Similar to that of Wednesday’s plans, Thursday was another day for me to explore the festival. This time, more stalls were open so I had a plan for the day: including visiting the Guardian stall to buy a copy and a free rucksack, getting a festival T-shirt (of course) and collecting freebies such as a copy of The Glastonbury Free Press (their on-site newspaper) and a free phone pouch.


As well as this, after seeing my first Glastonbury performance (Wilko Johnson – see below), I noticed that the DeafZone stall was nearby! Of course, as a deaf person myself I had to have a look and say hello! After having a look, I was thrilled to see that they offer free BSL taster sessions!

After seeing Wilko Johnson perform, I attended the workshop. It was great to meet other people who were interesting in learning sign language. It was great as I learnt a lot of new signs (as well as the one for Glastonbury – haha!). Thanks to everyone at DeafZone for a great BSL lesson!



Wilko Johnson:

 

Aside from that, I decided to go with the rest of the people I was camping with to go and see Wilko Johnson perform. Despite not having heard of him, the style of music is a definite crowd-pleaser and Wilko’s enthusiasm on-stage, as well the bassist and drummer, were to be admired.


Friday 26th June:

Friday was the start of the main three days of music. To start with, the 11:00am act on The Other Stage has always had a traditional air of mystery…

Special Guests (The Charlatans):

It was revealed to be that of The Charlatans! Although they were not my style of music, the vocalist’s style (similar to that of Noel Gallagher’s), along with the occasional, vibrant song were interesting to listen to.

Chronixx:

I was fortunate to see their set in the wait for James Bay’s performance. Promising laid-back, relaxed reggae, Chronixx was a chilled act to listen to on a sunny Friday afternoon.

James Bay:

I have heard of Bay through his tracks: Hold Back the River and Scars. However, I was reluctant to buy his album. But now, after a promising set featuring different styles and a few covers, I am now buying his album as soon as I get the chance.

Wilkinson:

I decided to give Wilkinson’s set only a brief listen, and that is for a variety of reasons. One, was because my phone was nearing 20% battery (not good when I wanted to take more photos). Two, was that his act involved a person who’s main purpose is to pump up the crowd (I personally prefer the DJ on his own, but there are exceptions). Lastly, although his well-known tracks are good, his set wasn’t enough to get the crowd moving, in my opinion.

Phil Jupitus:


This happened by chance after charging my phone at EE as it was running low. Conveniently Phil’s act was just about to start in a stage opposite. Overall, his set was a humorous moan about recent occurrences in his life that made an interesting comedy act to watch during the festival.

Circa Waves:

I decided to listen to this band after their incredibly catchy song, T-Shirt Weather (which, after being played at the end of their set, changed the heavy downpour of rain into ‘T-Shirt weather’). With powerful drum beats and vibrant guitar riffs, Curca Waves’ music has a certain nostalgic and summer feel that is perfect for Glastonbury Festival.

Annie Mac (Live Broadcast):

With time to kill between Circa Waves and SIGMA, I decided to search desperately through the programme in an attempt to find an act I could watch to pass the time. First off was Annie Mac’s live broadcast, which, although Mac’s tastes as a DJ were impressive, it did get a tad tedious after a while…

Ben Isaac:

For that reason, I decided to look elsewhere, and discovered Ben Isaac was performing. Intrigued to discover new music, I gave most of his set a listen. A talented soul musician who interacts well with his audience, Ben Isaac is worth a listen.

Sigma:

With massive hits such as Changing (feat. Paloma Faith) and Nobody to Love, it was easy to be impressed by Sigma’s performance on the Sonic stage.

As well as talented male and female supporting singers, Sigma’s covers of My Love (Route 99 feat. Jess Glynne), Hideaway (Kiesza) and Show Me Love (Robin S) created a commendable performance for the Drum and Bass duo.

However, with my dislike towards DJ ‘supporters’, the ‘supporter’s’ regular promotion of Sigma’s debut album did start to get annoying near the last half of their set.

Mark Ronson:

Most of Mark Ronson’s set was running at the same time as SIGMA’s. However, whilst waiting for Rudimental to start I was able to catch the last of his set. Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? (with an appearance by Boy George), an original version of Valerie, and Uptown Funk were definite crowd-pleasers, with Uptown Funk being the perfect conclusion to his set.

Rudimental:

The last act of the day was drum-and-bass act Rudimental. Back in 2014, I have Rudimental a miss at V Festival to see another act instead. Shortly after, however, I was gutted to miss a performance others said was unmissable.

With a large line-up featuring a talented drummer, funky jazz section and emotive vocalists, Rudimental already looked promising as they marched on with bright red flares in their hands.

Aside from this, the ‘supporter’ for Rudimental was unlike the others I saw that day, with the ‘crow pleaser’ knowing ho to entertain the crowd for such a long period of time. So well, in fact, that brutal mosh pits occurred near me where I feared for my life (OK, I may be exaggerating that part).

Anyway, with tracks such as Free, Waiting All Night, Bloodstream, Feel the Love and Not Giving In, Rudimental are one of those few musicians that promise a live performance as great as the tracks themselves (with Dizee Rascal’s appearance a pleasant surprise during their performance).

Saturday 27th June:

Frank Turner:

I had originally heard of Frank Turner through personal recommendations. For that reason, I decided to see his performance on the Other Stage on Saturday.

Aside from his humorous conversations between songs, Turner’s style of music is one to dance along to. With a soulful voice, Frank Turner was a great start to Saturday’s music.

George Ezra:

At V Festival last year, George Ezra was on the line-up, but I was unable to see him. However, now I was able to see his performance on the Pyramid stage in full.

With Ezra playing popular songs such as Budapest, Blame it on Me and Listen to the Man, the musician’s set promised upbeat pop in sections, but lacked the same emotion near the end of his set, where most of his well-known songs had been played at the start.

Soil & Pimp Sessions:

I was fortunate to see a bit of Soil & Pimp Sessions before Gregory Porter’s performance. With their style of ‘death jazz’, the creative freedom of their music was refreshing to listen to.

Gregory Porter:

It was Porter’s emotive soul on tracks such as Hey Laura and Liquid Spirit which drew me to watch his set. After watching his performance, it was fair to say that Gregory is an incredible act to see live.

With a relaxed, soulful voice that sounds like a mixture of Cee Lo Green and Aloe Blacc, Porter’s talented vocals, combined with upbeat jazz, compelled me to buy his latest album.

Paloma Faith:

After a quick dash from Gregory Porter’s performance to watch Paloma, I was a tad late to her opening. However, Paloma’s set boasted recognisable songs which fans could sing along to. But at the same time, her performance lacked songs which fans could dance to. Instead, it was only when Paloma invited dance duo Sigma on-stage for their track, Changing, that fans began dancing to Faith’s soulful music.

Gorgon City:

Upon listening to Gorgon City’s set, I was surprised to see that I already knew a couple of their songs. Whilst their deep house style present throughout their set could be seen as repetitive, the vocal talents of their two supporting singers was impressive.

Deadmau5:

Despite being gutted that the track, Professional Griefers didn’t make an appearance, and that most of his set was performed from inside a ‘cage’ (preventing the audience from seeing him), Deadmau5’s performance was definitely unique. Throughout his set there were cinematic light shows, as well as a bizarre interlude where the DJ removed his famous mouse head, sat on a couch and started drinking and smoking. Overall, the DJ’s set promised gripping and exciting electronica which listeners could easily dance along to.

Public Service Broadcasting:

After Deadmau5 had finished his performance, it was a quick dash to the Glade stage (which was, conveniently, next to the Other stage) to see Public Service Broadcasting.

A band which fuses vintage footage with backing instrumentals, Public Service Broadcasting promise a weird but unique style of music which was intriguing to listen to.

Sunday 28th June:

Hozier:

Rae Morris:

Unfortunately, after seeing Rae perform, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that the balance between Morris’ harrowing vocals and backing instruments wasn’t complementary. In a sense, the set felt too laid-back, and relaxed, and lacked the emotion it needed to better captivate an attentive audience.

Lionel Ritchie:

 

With the legend that is Lionel Ritchie being on Glastonbury’s bill this year, I had to see his performance. With hits such as Dancing on the Ceiling, All Night Long and Hello, along with his friendly conversations with the audience, Lionel’s set was definitely a memorable one.

Alt-J:

Alt-J was one of those bands who I had heard of, and was curious to find out more. Surprisingly, I didn’t know that they were the singers of Matilda and Something Good. However, after a few songs into their performance (when most of their well-known songs had been played), I deemed their style of rock a tad repetitive and went in search of another act to watch.

Belle and Sebastian:

With some time on my hands before The Who’s performance, I was a bit confused as to who to see next (unlike the last two days, Sunday boasted less choice). However, with Belle and Sebastian’s set, their performance promised colourful and vibrant pop that created easy listening.

Jamie T:

Desperate to fill the gap until The Who’s headline slot, I decided to stay at The Other Stage to watch Jamie T. However, aside from his music not really appealing to my tastes, the gig wasn’t one of my favourites.

During his act, security had to enter the crowd to remove a flare, I got crushed numerous times when Jamie decided to get close to the audience. Lastly, I was kicked in the side of a head by a crowd-surfer, who was later ejected. Basically, it was eventful, and I decided I would give the rest of his performance a miss.

The Who:

Whenever I tell someone that I haven’t heard of The Who, I always get surprised looks. However, I had heard of Who Are You? As for the rest of the set, their humour and exaggerated stage performance made their set a must-see during the festival.

So that was my time at Glastonbury! If you went, let me know who your favourite act was in the comments below!

Or perhaps you didn’t go but watched the BBC coverage? If so, who was your favourite act to watch on TV?

Liam

 

5 Bands/Artists I Want to See Live!

Last year was a great year for me when I went to my first ever festival (read my V Festival 2014 blog post here) and I saw a lot of people that I wanted to see. However, there’s still a few people I would love to see live in the future.

1. Capital Cities
Capital Cities’ debut album was one of the first albums I listened to where I liked every single track. Therefore, if I see them live, it would be amazing to see the band perform the songs in front of an audience.

2. Calvin Harris
Calvin Harris has always been at the big festivals, and is known for getting a crowd going, so I thought he would be good fun to see live!

3. Madeon
Ever since I heard Finale I have been a fan of Madeon’s music. I have seen some of his live performances online and so I’d like to see him live – hopefully when he tours after releasing his debut album, Adventure.

4. Sam Smith
Unfortunately due to a performance clash at V Festival I only caught the end of Sam Smith’s performance. Now I regret it as his talent is amazing, and tickets sell out fast.

5. Clean Bandit
OK, so I have seen this band already (see here), but I would love to see them again where they are touring/performing alongside Jess Glynne. Also, I’d like to see them perform some of their deluxe album tracks – which I didn’t get to see last year.

Who would you like to see live? Comment below!

Liam

4 Things I Learnt from V Festival

My post on Tuesday (sorry for the irregular posting by the way!) was about me going to V Festival! You can read that here. But today, here are three tips that I learnt whilst at V Festival!

1. People will camp in any space they can find.

I know this isn’t really something you can learn exactly, but it’s something to know. Even the tiniest of gaps can create a place for a tent to be pitched! So be hopeful when it looks cramped – there are spaces!

2. Walking boots are a lifesaver.

My walking boots were comfy like trainers, and were able to cope with the mud and grass terrain at V Festival. If they are the correct size, they are more comfortable and easier than Wellington boots. They are as comfortable as your trainers too, but of course they stop your snazzy pair of trainers from getting ruined…

3. Expect high food prices (probably best to bring your own food).

Don’t get me wrong, the food is delicious (such as a bacon and beefburger, or some beef noodles), but it can be pricey! Therefore, a tip might be to bring snacks you know and love for free!

4. Be wary of projectiles (invest in a poncho).

A poncho would be great for when it rains. But as well as that, it protects you, your clothes and your phone from being covered in an unknown substance flying out of a beer can.

There have unfortunately been times for me where audience members have thrown bottles (with some liquid still inside them) around the crowd, and I’ve been on the receiving end – sadly…

Therefore, a poncho will protect you!

So those are just a few things I learnt. Are you going to any festivals, or perhaps you have some tips yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

Liam

Thoughts on V Festival 2014

Nearing the end of Summer, festivals appear to end the hot months on a high. In particular, V Festival occurred last weekend, and I was in attendance.

It required us to get up early on Friday so we could grab room for tent pitching. If there’s one thing I learnt this weekend (expect this in a future festival tips blog post!) campers will fit into any space they can find!

Once inside, it was a long walk from the car park to the entrance, then to the “Blue” campsite (which, according to past visitors, boasted “decent” showers and toilets – which was true). We pitched and re-pitched, before exploring the arena.

Once inside, the stalls consisted mostly of mobile phone charging points (of course), clothing, food and – quite weirdly – oxygen bars. I was confused by them… Surely they must cause health issues?

Anyway, I bought a programme on Friday, and after a few tough decisions, I had a clear programme. More on that on the next page, but before that, I thought I’d talk about how awesome Silent Discos are!

For those who don’t know, a Silent Disco is where, unlike a normal performance played through speakers or organically, it is played through headphones. The idea here is that only those who have headphones will know what other people are dancing to. To others, they’ll just look silly.

It’s great fun as there was two DJs playing different songs at the same time. So, you’d either be singing along with the majority, or on your own. Also, I know this happens with other concert styles, but when people sing along with you it is just awesome. There needs to be more silent discos in the UK!

Saturday:

OK, so now to the acts on Saturday… As this is already turning out to be a ridiculously long post, I’ll do a quick review of each act I saw:

Neon Jungle:

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The first act of Saturday was definitely one to set the party mood. Neon Jungle combine rap, grunge and great vocals from all group members to make songs you can sing along to. One memorable song from their performance was Braveheart, a track that got the audience singing along at the chorus, before raving when the beat drops.

Jess Glynne:

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A singer with a impressive vocal range, with Rather Be and Right Here being set highlights.

Aloe Blacc:

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Aloe Blacc is clearly a singer with great talent and able to grasp a variety of different styles. As well as excellent live performances of The Man and I Need a Dollar, Aloe was able to get the audience to dance and perform reggae. Overall, he was a great performer.

Chlöe Howl:

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For this performance, I was able to stand at the front. I knew most of the songs Chlöe performed, and if there were songs I didn’t know, then it would make me look forward to her debut album – her set definitely did.

Sam Smith:

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Since this clashed with Chlöe Howl, I was only able to catch Stay with Me. However, his vocal talents were brilliant, and enough to get the audience waving their arms to the beat.

Becky Hill:

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I was only able to see her performance of Overdrive, but even then, it gave the audience a glimpse of her vocal talents.

Chic feat. Nile Rodgers

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This was another performance I was unable to see in full. Nonetheless, I was surprised how many tracks I know by Chic. As well as the great performance, Nile Rodgers was a great addition to Chic’s set, who was great at interacting with the crowd.

Cee-Lo Green

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Despite Cee-Lo’s set consisting of only a few songs from his The Lady Killer album, his set definitely had a diverse range of styles, with special guests as well!

Sub Focus:

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Sub Focus is one of my favourite musicians. So when I saw his set I loved the tracks that got me dancing, as well as the fascinating set design on the stage.

The Killers:

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The headline act of Saturday was definitely a great one. With songs such as Spaceman, Human and Smile Like You Mean it being great songs from the set. Overall, the set was a brilliant end to the day, with their rendition of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy being a hilarious addition, making them a legendary band to see live.

Sunday:

This day was less stressful in terms of my schedule. It was the last day too, which led to us packing up early Sunday so we could leave late Sunday.

Fuse ODG:

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Fuse ODG’s set combined calypso style music with groovy rap to make a catchy performance for the start of the day.

Kodaline:

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There were some great songs in the first 30 minutes of their sets. However, the laid-back and relaxed songs can contradict the pop hype created by other acts at the festival.

George Ezra:

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I was only able to catch the last two songs by George Ezra, including the number one single, Budapest. From those two songs alone, it is clear that his debut album offers diversity.

Foxes:

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With Foxes having past collaborations with Rudimental, Sub Focus and Zedd, I knew that she was one to listen to. Aside from collaborations, her solo tracks such as Let Go For Tonight and Holding on to Heaven showcases her solo talent.

John Newman:

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With the help of a talented band, John Newman was great at performing his set. Tracks such as Love Me Again and his collaboration with Rudimental, Not Giving In, were the highlights of his set.

Kaiser Chiefs:

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I was only able to see the last few songs from their set, including the Ruby and I Predict a Riot. Aside from the excellent talent of the band, frontman Ricky was great at interacting with the crowd. At moments, he talked straight into the camera, and kissed the camera at the end of the performance.

Bastille:

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A great act to see live, with Bastille frontman Dan interacting with the crowd, as well as a great performance of a diverse range of chart singles we love.

Example:

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Old followers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of Example – I saw him live in February last year. He is great live as he is always able to get crowds jumping with a great range of dance anthems.

Ed Sheeran:

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Ed Sheeran’s vocal talents mixed with his skills with a loop pedal make him a great act to see live. In particular, Sing was a great song to get the crowd singing along.

Alesso:

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With Alesso being one third of the massive dance group Swedish House Mafia, it was clear that a variety of hardcore dance anthems. I only saw the first 30 minutes of his set, as well as the last few minutes. Nonetheless, his set was likely to have been a great one in full.

Alex Clare:

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Standing at the front, the performance by Alex Clare was brilliant. A diverse range of tracks were performed, and Too Close was an amazing end to a great set. I am definitely going to look at his albums after seeing his performance.

When listing all those artists out, I’m quite surprised at how many people I saw. Anyway, the festival weekend was amazing. For my first proper festival, it was a great start!

Liam