The festival was strictly 14-18 years old, police were patrolling the area and the press who were over 18 had to be kept backstage and escorted to the stages to either film or photograph the bands. There were 7 stages/tents, the main stage which was the Converse music stage, the two big tents which were the Artrocker and Topman ctrl stages where Metronomy headlined the Topman stage and Patrick Wolf headlined the Artrocker stage. There was also a youth music stage and one of the people behind Youth Music came on before the headliner Ladyhawke to explain about what they do and how they help disadvantaged young people because they believe in the power of music to change lives. There was also a Maoam dj tent where music was played all day and as you walked past there was always a group of people in there dancing. There was also another stage which was the red bull bedroom jam where the Big Pink headlined and also the music space stage.
After travelling for hours again (due to the horrendous tube closures) the first band I saw of the festival was Hadouken! and what a band to start the day off with. They opened with ‘Get Smashed, Gate Crash’ followed by ‘Liquid Lives’ which got their fans jumping and a mosh pit soon formed. With the crowd jumping, shoes, water bottles, toilet roll and strangely a pineapple were thrown forward with a few hitting the photographers and security. They played most of the songs from their album, ‘Music for an accelerated Culture’, the most recognised was ‘That Boy, That Girl’ where Kaya Scodelario aka Effy from Skins was heard saying “AH!, I remember this song from when I was fourteen!” backstage.
The next band I saw and photographed was The Whip a four piece from Manchester who previously supported Hadouken on tour. Their set mainly consisted of a smoke machine, with songs from their debut album, X marks destination.
Then Tinchy Stryder took to the Topman Ctrl stage, performing his own version, much like Dizzee Rascals’ version of The Ting Ting’s song, ‘That’s not my name’. The crowd were jumping and some even crowd surfing to the front.
Then next it was the Golden Silvers performing on Artrocker stage, this band only has three members; a drummer, a vocalist/keyboardist and a bass player but this doesn’t affect the bands performance as they play songs from their album ‘True Romance’, and they begin with ‘True No9 Blues’ .
After only catching the first song it was time to head to the Converse stage to catch the ‘Mystery Jets’ who came onto stage to the sirens of ‘Hideaway’. They then played more songs from their album ‘Twenty One’ which included the favourite’s ‘Young Love’ and ‘Two Doors Down’ which got the entire crowd singing.
Now back to the Topman Ctrl Stage where the new Pop sensation Little Boots was taking to the stage. Her second song was ‘Meddle’ where she uses a ‘Tenori-on’ and a ‘Stylophone’. She also played ‘New in Town’ and ‘Remedy’ from her album ‘Hands’. And unfortunately she took to the stage in high heels, not boots.
The Horrors were performing on the Artrocker Stage and the tent was packed out and the band played quite a long set, ending with ‘Sea within a Sea’ and they played a mix of their old album, ‘Strange House’ and their new album, ‘Primary Colours’.
Now the headliners, The Pigeon Detectives took to the Converse stage, it was 7 o’clock in the evening and many fans had been waiting since 11am for them. They played nearly all of their songs from their two albums, ‘Wait for Me’ and ‘Emergency’. Matt Bowman, the vocals spent the next hour running and jumping round the stage and also swinging the microphone cord around his head, just missing the photographers and security in the pit. On the third song someone threw a full bottle of water at him which caused him to slip backwards and end up lying on the stage however he just got up and carried on as if nothing happened.
There were also three other bands playing at the same time as The Pigeon Detectives so as soon as the third song was up, I ran to catch Ladyhawke on the Youth Music Stage where ‘Back of the Van’ was the first song played then to the Topman Ctrl stage where Metronomy were they were performing songs from their album ‘Nights Out’ and then to the Artrocker Stage where Patrick Wolf where he was performing ‘Vulture’ and then ‘Accident and Emergency’.
8pm was the Festival’s curfew and saw thousands of young fans reluctantly going home, it was only the third year of the festival but it was again a great success. It is currently the only festival which is only for 14-18 year olds and I think this is the main reason it is so popular. I bet many are waiting to hear next year’s line up, which will probably be even better :)