shelleyhanveywriter

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Posts Tagged ‘Bestival

UK Festival Awards 2011 @festival_awards ; out with the old and in with the new?

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The 2011 UK Festival Awards were announced last night, in a suitably snazzy ceremony at London’s Roundhouse. There were a few surprises amongst the winners; perhaps a glimpse of the shift that’s set to come this year from folk choosing their festival allegiances more carefully, in light of the current economic climate. For me, size and status are irrelevant; if you have what I want, I’m there.

Following acclaimed performances at Glastonbury, Reading, Bestival and Jersey Live, Ed Sheeran was named ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ (in association with Brothers Cider), beating off competition from Bruno Mars, Jessie J and The Vaccines.

 

‘Headline Performance of the Year’ (in association with Jagermeister) was awarded to Paolo Nutini at Latitude Festival, Nutini’s fellow nominees included Metallica, Magnetic Man and Chase & Status. Chase & Status didn’t go home empty- handed however, as they walked away with the award for ‘Anthem of the Summer’ for ‘Blind Faith.’

Rob Da Bank’s ever-popular Bestival was honoured in a new category for 2011: ‘Fan’s Favourite Festival’. This year, the festival welcomed some of the biggest names in music, consequently drawing the biggest crowds, and featured artists such as Bjork, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson and Public Enemy.

The awards for ‘Best Major’ / ‘Medium’ / ‘Small’ Festival, ‘Best Metropolitan’ Festival, ‘Best New’ Festival and ‘Best Family’ Festival were decided upon by a judging panel of journalists and reviewers. The winners included: ‘Best Major Festival’ (in association with The Ticket Factory) went to the godfather of festivals, Glastonbury, whose headline performances from Beyonce, U2 and Coldplay dominated our TV screens over the summer. ‘Best Medium-sized Festival’ was awarded to Secret Garden Party, which this year featured acts including Marcus Foster, Yasmin, Leftfield and Ghostpoet. End of The Road was awarded with ‘Best Small Festival’ (in association with Doodson); the North Dorset event featured live sets from Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom and Mogwai this year. This is definitely one which I would like to experience some time soon.

 

‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ was awarded to Sheffield’s Tramlines, which beat off competition from The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Gaymer’s Camden Crawl.

‘Best New Festival’ (in association with Access All Areas) went to Wilderness, a new ‘celebration of the arts and outdoors’ in Oxfordshire, which The Observer described as a ‘bohemian haven’; Oxford and bohemian – sounds right up my street!  ‘Best Family Festival’ (in association with Showsec) was awarded to Beautiful Days.

‘Best Dance Event’ (in association with Peppermint Bars) perhaps predictably, went to Creamfields, with this year’s event featuring fan favourites Chemical Brothers, Katy B and Kissy Sell Out. I’m not sure that any other festival could beat Creamfields in this genre, there certainly does not appear to be any strong contenders to its crown at the moment. Croatia’s Outlook was honoured with ‘Best Overseas Festival’.

Finally, ‘Line-Up of the Year’ in association with XL Video was awarded to Sonisphere, for a staggering bill in 2011, which saw the Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth unite for what was widely described as, ‘heavy metal heaven’.

Congratulations to all the 2011 UK Festival Awards winners and let’s hope that the 2012 season exceeds those highs and lessens the lows.

www.festivalawards.com / www.twitter.com/festival_awards

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

The Drums’ new track promises to brighten your day and bolster your bank account

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After premiering on Radio 1 last night, the first single to be taken from The Drums‘ upcoming second album, ‘Portamento‘ (September 12th, 2011) is currently streaming online. The new track, ‘Money‘, promises to brighten your day and bolster your bank account in equal measure; and is officially released on September 5th, 2011.

The Drums are a three-piece synthpop outfit from Brooklyn via Florida, who initially caused a stir in the indie world with their ‘Summertime‘ EP – a collection of beach pop fantasies which would shimmer just nicely against the high-gloss, high-drama backdrop of the Sunshine State. They released their self-titled debut album in June 2010, which has gone on to sell 200,000 copies worldwide, reflecting the band’s universal appeal across the globe. The highly anticipated second album promises to be more autobiographical in its lyrical content and to reflect the band’s sonic expansiveness, whilst remaining true to their emotional coherence and boundless energy.

Portamento‘ is an altogether more complex and ultimately rewarding listen than their debut album. The 12-track record features the following tracks: Book of Revelation / Days / What You Were / Money / Hard to Love / I Don’t Know How To Love / Searching For Heaven / Please Don’t Leave / If He Likes It Let Him Do It / I Need A Doctor / In The Cold / How It Ended.

The band are set to play a couple of festival dates across the summer, including Lovebox Festival in London (July 16th, 2011) and Bestival in the Isle of Wight (September 8th, 2011). Check them out if you’re looking for a hearty side of synthpop with your indie main.

www.thedrums.com / @thedrumsforever

shelleyhanveywriter.

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

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2011 UK Music Festivals; what constitutes a headline-worthy artist?

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I think we’ve pretty much seen the majority of what the UK Music Festival scene has in store for us this year, but I’ve had cause to wonder; what constitutes a headline-worthy artist? Are record sales the main criterion; perhaps international or tabloid appeal, or could it be something else?

It has always been my opinion that those festivals which consistently perform well with ticket sales, are those which have a clear brand identity and generally, a niche market; Leeds and Reading Festivals, Cambridge Folk Festival, Glastonbury and T In The Park being prime examples. I suppose it isn’t  rocket science really – if you cater to a specific section of the gig-going public, provide the artists and bands that  they want to see, at a price they can afford, how can you go wrong? But so many appear to do just that. Looking at some of the festival line-ups for 2011, I’ve felt largely underwhelmed and uninspired, with only a select few pricking my curiosity to find out more. Admittedly, music tastes are subjective and entirely personal to the ticket-holder, but when the ‘big five’ (V Festival, Glastonbury, Leeds Festival, Reading Festival and T In The Park) music festivals in the UK are charging relatively similar weekend prices, how can a couple of them defend their line-ups against their peers?

Of course, a music festival is about much more than just the music; the location has to be just right, as well as: accessibility, on-site facilities, entertainment, catering, toilets, general crowd atmosphere and the list goes on. Can a perfect ten in all of these criteria however, really make up for a poor line-up? Is a great festival weekend about who you’re with, not where you are; would you trade six good medium-stage acts for one great main stage act?

The UK Festival Awards 2010 announced the following winners late last year:

Best Small Festival in association with Doodson Entertainment – Kendal Calling

Best Medium Festival in association with Smirnoff Flavours – Green Man Festival

Best Major Festival in association with Tuborg – Bestival (see photo above)

Line-Up of the Year in association with XL Video – Rockness

Bestival is a boutique music festival, which takes place at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight. The four-day spectacular which promises to inspire ‘peace, love and dancing’, is curated by BBC Radio 1 DJ, Rob Da Bank. This year, the festival takes place on the 8th – 11th September 2011 and is set across 15 stages, offering the likes of The Cure, Pendulum, Primal Scream, Kelis, Robyn, PJ Harvey, Noah and the Whale, The Unthanks and Groove Armada. It would be fair to say that the line-up is a mix of folk fusion and boutique chic and the festival site promises ‘an original boutique camping experience, cocktail bars, fancy dress and a hidden disco.’ I think the fact that the festival has always promoted itself as being particularly family friendly hasn’t hurt; children enjoy music too, it isn’t all about the beer tokens people! To find out more about Bestival, please visit the link below.

Green Man Festival takes place on the 19th-21st August 2011 (the same weekend as V Festival, but tailored to an entirely different audience) in the Brecon Beacons. The festival is aimed specifically at the folk and electronic indie- loving public and again, is very welcoming to families with children of all ages; indeed, under 12s get in free. Highlights on the line-up this year include: Fleet Foxes, The Low Anthem, Bellowhead, Explosions In The Sky, The Burns Unit and Villagers. I think that I would enjoy this particular festival; I love folk and electronic music and I love a beautiful scenic environment in which to camp and lounge. To find out more about Green Man Festival, please visit the link below.

Kendal Calling takes place on the 29th-31st July 2011 in Lowther Deer Park in the Lake District. This is an independent festival, combining contemporary music and art with rural entertainment. I think it would be a fair assumption to say that this festival largely caters to a somewhat younger demographic than the former two; particularly with regards to the line-up, which this year includes: The Cribs, Blondie, Chase and Status, Echo and the Bunnymen, Levellers and Young Knives.  The festival also offers dance, comedy and new music stages. For more information on Kendal Calling…you know what to do.

Out of the ‘big five’ headlining acts this year, my favourite would have to be Glastonbury (22nd-26th June 2011): Coldplay, U2 and Beyonce. The brilliance of these choices lies in the fact that there will probably be something for everyone here. The acts are diverse enough to attract wider audiences, yet remain true to what a great headliner should be – an act that commands your attention, whether that be by dividing the audience right down the middle or uniting everyone with one memorable anthem that will go on to sum up the entire weekend.

Taking in to account the line-up in its entirety however, I would have to opt for Latitude Festival as my favourite(14th-17th July 2011). The mix of folk, electronica, comedy, poetry and the spoken word could have been tailored specifically with me in mind. I would pay to see the majority of the acts on the billing, including: The National, Bombay Bicycle Club, Caribou, The Duke and the King, Foals, Hurts, KT Tunstall and Rumer , as well as the fantastic stand-ups on offer including Alan Carr and Omad Djalili . Plus it also takes place on my birthday weekend!

Whichever UK festival you choose to visit this year, I wish you good weather and great memories 🙂

www.festivalawards.com / http://www.vfestival.com/ / http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/ / http://www.latitudefestival.co.uk/ / http://www.leedsfestival.com/ / http://www.readingfestival.com/ / http://www.tinthepark.com/ / http://www.greenman.net/ / http://www.bestival.net/ / http://kendalcalling.co.uk/ http://www.rockness.co.uk/

Conor J. O’Brien (Villagers) – talks about and performs tracks from debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal.’

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Conor J.O'Brien, of Villagers

Having listened to Villagers’ Mercury Music Prize-nominated, debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’ quite a few times this week; I was very keen to learn more about singer and creative driving force, Conor J. O’Brien. Luckily enough, I was forwarded a link by a very kind Alicia, at Baeblemusic, to a recent interview and performing session that O’Brien did in The Creative Little Garden in New York.

During the session, O’Brien offers some insight in to his approach to songwriting and the inspiration for particular tracks on the album; as far-reaching as metaphors for life and death, to analysing the profile and poise of travellers on everyone’s favourite mode of public transport, the common bus. He also performs several tracks from the album, including new single ‘Twenty Seven Strangers’, ‘The Pact (I’ll Be Your Fever), and ‘Set The Tigers Free.’

O’Brien speaks about songwriting as a fluid and primitive process; whereby if the writer thinks about the subject or structure too much, they lose the ability to capture the real essence of what they’re trying to say. I can relate to this having completed my degree in the grandiously-titled programme ‘Imaginative Writing, Literature, Life and Thought’; quite often I would turn up to class not feeling especially imaginative or philosophical – it wasn’t easy therefore having to write a 50-line stanza with the theme of ‘Evolution’ in a poorly ventilated classroom at 9am on a Monday morning, against the clock. Somehow I doubt the Bard had to endure such trials in his rise to creative glory…

Villagers are performing at several festivals in the coming weeks, including Leeds and Reading, Electric Picnic and Bestival. I think after their Mercury Music Prize nomination, the crowds will definitely swell in number for this band and rightly so. I look forward to seeing O’Brien and his cohort perform live in the coming months. Ireland has yet again produced another fine creative and songwriting talent.

To view the full session, click below.

http://www.baeblemusic.com/concertvideo/The-Creative-Little-Garden/Villagers.html

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 23, 2010 at 11:48 am

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