Date: 3rd June
Location: Castle Park, Bristol
Security: Only at the gate.
Castle Park is a pretty small venue with a pretty wonky structure for those who are already wobbly themselves. When you add rain to this equation you end up with a lot of people on their face/arse. No one pictured the event to be as saturated as it was. I had long imagined sun beaming down on us for this one day celebration of emerging talent, and apparently so had the organisers. Now I don’t want the rain to be the main point of this entry but I strongly need to emphasize right now just how much the heavens opened on this day in particular. During the day this was manageable but the second the sun disappeared it became horrendously cold. Although this is not totally to blame for this not so impressed review..
For the first few hours the group of people I was with really embraced dancing in the rain, finding it quite refreshing and the muddy dance floors pretty entertaining.
The sound systems down at the red bull stage blew us away and we were feeling good having a little dance to some house and techno. The décor team had clearly made an effort to transform the park into a miniature festival for the day and the main stage was quite a nice set up, that was surrounded by small banks and hills that allowed the crowd to look on.
One huge let down was the inability to see Bonobo. I am not one to rush around at festivals. I want to go at my own pace and enjoy myself rather than stress out and miss the nice little details. Upon arrival to the entrance to the stage where Bonobo would be doing his set, it was evident that only a small proportion of the festival would have the honour to enjoy his performance. From this point on, smiles started to drop and people started to get cranky.
The entire time I was inside I didn’t see a single member of security.. or even a high vis jacket. Sometimes this is a good thing.. sometimes it not. It really depends on what you want to get up to. I didn’t see any fights and no one seemed to be kicking off, so it was a kind of friendly atmosphere. It needs to be mentioned that this place desperately needed at least one extra bar. People were queueing for over an hour to get a drink. Not to mention that the bar next to Tokyo Dub stage that ran out of alcohol but still had people queueing for a long time, completely unaware.
Mr. Scruff’s two hour long set was enjoyable but lacked energy.. or perhaps the audience lacked energy. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaur turned it around and cheered everyone up.. maybe because it stopped raining for a small portion of it.
An organisers job is to think through all possible situations and circumstances to ensure that things run smoothly. No one had catered for rain. There were very few places to seek refuge and this made people miserable. In hindsight, knowing that people were paying up to £200 for a single ticket, I would have sold mine in a heart beat.
As far as one day festivals go, this one did mediocre. Not worth making a long journey but if you live in or around Bristol area worth checking out.