Sounds Of The Summer

Posted on May 7, 2010

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A brief look at those festivals that won’t make such a dent in the petrol funds, all of the below are relatively close options for those in the Oxford area this summer.

Wood: 21st – 23rd May 2010, Brazier Park, Oxfordshire

Secret Garden Party 2010

Wood is Truck’s offshoot festival, which boasts a more folk driven line up. Taking place between 21st – 23rd May, it is Britain’s greenest festival, and has a host of workshops, alongside the music. Event organisers say, ‘the event runs entirely on renewable energy and aims to highlight green issues and through participation promote an ecologically friendly lifestyle’. With Martin Simpson and Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou (formerly of Indigo Moss) already confirmed for this year’s event and a stage powered by generators running on chip fat, Wood is the place for all environmental conscious individuals to mark the start of their summer.

Glastonbury: 23rd – 27th June 2010, Worthy Farm, Somerset

Perhaps the most renowned festival in the UK., this year Glastonbury is taking place between 23rd and 27th June, the festival marks its 40th anniversary. Since its start, the festival has grown to accommodate over 150,000 people; not bad considering the first festival in 1970 saw 1500 attend. At this time, tickets cost just £1 and including free milk from the farm. Those lucky enough to have secured tickets for this year’s event will see the likes of U2 and Muse hit the infamous Pyramid Stage, with other bands still awaiting announcement. Boasting a range of areas, including Dance Village and Jazz world, whilst also accommodating a range of night life (including a fire breathing robot zone, created from scrap metal) Glastonbury promises to be an experience you will never forget, encompassing something to suit everyone’s taste.

Wireless Festival: 2nd – 4th July 2010, London

Once again it’s another rap heavyweight that tops the bill at this summer’s Wireless festival.  Jay-Z will close proceedings on the final night of festivities, in the hope that he can re-certify Hip-Hop’s place on the UK festival circuit. His comrade Kanye (West), provided a calamitous performance in the same slot last summer as he angered festival-goers with a below par exhibition of egotistical prowess. Yet the “Jigga-Man” is unlikely to fall foul of similar disappointment with his emphatic and enthralling exhibitions that have already amazed festival crowds at the likes of Glastonbury and Summer Jam in the U.S.

Keeping with the American theme, Pink has surprisingly been announced as the opening night headliner, although her credentials for filling such a slot seem rather ambiguous unless we underestimated the number of people that would actually buy her records. The Gossip, Mr Hudson and Lily Allen are the only artists so far flying the British flag but it is inevitable that amongst the ferris wheels and picnic areas of the capitals Hyde Park, more will be announced shortly.

Latitude: 15th – 18th July 2010, Henahm Park, Suffolk

Tranquility within the enchanting woodlands of Suffolk, Latitude is not so much a festival of the arts, as a bohemian retreat for all ages and artistic preferences. Over three days students, families and well-mannered pipe smoking pensioners can indulge themselves in an array of higher arts with ballet and theatrical exhibits preceding breakfast, poetry readings and orchestral performances on the river by sunset. Civilised and reserved, the crowds are more content with sipping on Pimms and gently nodding with approval than dancing uncontrollably and hurling bottles of urine.

The Scenery at Latitude 2009

Past line-ups have been somewhat of a mismatch, aiming to please the vast age-range of attendees, selection has been based more on nostalgia than cutting-edge relevance. That appears to be changing for the new decade with headliners Florence And The Machine, Belle And Sebastian and Vampire Weekend already confirmed to add additional vibrancy and sophistication to what is likely to be another unforgettable affair. www.latitudefestival.co.uk

Secret Garden Party: 22nd – 25th July 2010, Cambridge

Beyond the windy country lanes of Huntington lies a wondrous playground brimming with endless adventure and debauchery. Buried amongst lush green foliage and surrounding a picturesque, glistening lake is a hidden realm where no tale is left untold and every corner reveals yet more magic and wonderment. Transcending and reestablishing all boundaries of reality, be warned, the Secret Garden Party is not for the closed-minded or faint-hearted.

Daring to defy all explanation by dipping into the bizarre, the gardeners challenge and redefine all notions surrounding this year’s theme of Fact or Fiction; urging all mermaids, pirates and elves to emulate and revel in anything which captivates their imagination. Headlining the weekend’s soirée will be pseudo-virtual front man Murdoc Nichols with his Gorrilaz soundsystem. Joining him are the alluring Marina and the Diamonds, NME’s 2010 best album champion Mercury Rev and ska and dub innovators the Skatalites among many other exciting acts.

If you wish to detach from urban madness and experience a festival full of countless spontaneity, then check out www.secretgardenparty.com and www.gardenrecords.co.uk for more details.

Truck: 23rd – 25th July 2010, Steventon, Oxfordshire

Set in Steventon (south Oxfordhire), Truck Festival is in now entering its 13th year. In keeping with its name, the main stage is created from 3 large flatbed trucks, whilst the farm’s barn makes way for the another and these are interspersed with a variety of small tents.  Last year saw performances from the likes of The XX and Supergrass, whilst previous years have boasted Regina Spektor, Biffy Clyro and The Lemonheads. With its focus on keeping things small and green, you can expect to feast on ice cream served by the local vicar and find tents whose sound systems are driven by pedal power. This year’s Truck takes place on 23-25th July, with tickets costing £80 in advance.

OBscene’s festival survival guide

F – estival food is always over-priced and often crap so stay away from the Mexican food stalls and take plenty of supplies.

E – ager-beaver. Watch out for those offering free-hugs, chances are they are high and immensely annoying.

S – unshine. Unlikely so take waterproofs.

T – ravel. Plan well in advance.

I – nformation. Gain as much knowledge about the festival before you go from websites, reviews and people who have been before. They may pass on vital pointers about the best camping spots, secret hide-outs and festival traditions.

V –. I. P. If you don’t know anyone in a band or working at the festival, it’s still worth trying to chat your way into the back-stage area and taking advantage of all the ‘freebies.’

A – geing go-ers. Watch out for those, slightly too old to be there. They love to be-friend people and tell them all their festival stories from past years as they steadily fall into an alcohol-induced comer.

L – ove. Many festivals now accommodate chapels and legal wedding services. This is not a good idea because once you sober up and the mud washes off, you may find that your partner is not all you’d expected.

Contributors: Alecia Stewart, Natalie Mkulila, Aparna Thadani, Tom Fitzgerald

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Posted in: Music, What's On