Months of obsessive stalking pay off for Music Editor Emily Barker, as she finally gets to interview Superorganism and compile all her research into a spotlight featureWritten by Emily Barker on 16th March 2018
Festivals: Remain or Leave?
With summer fast approaching, Redbrick Music asks whether it is worth taking the mud risk by staying on our home turf, or investing in a continental experience by festivalling abroad
I have been to my fair share of UK festivals. In fact I’m an avid fan of them. It all started back in 2014 when 17-year-old me headed off to Scotland’s T in the Park (sadly no longer running) just to see music gods Arctic Monkeys. After camping for four nights, running on little to no sleep and feeling incredibly fragile, I realised that it had been one of the best experiences of my life. Nevertheless, I do feel like I was thrown into the deep end regarding my first festival experience: we were camped next to a group of about 20 rowdy Scottish boys who regularly argued about who had gone to the toilet quite literally outside the tent or who had lost the cocaine. Little old me was, quite understandingly, wary. “
“After four nights of camping in a Scottish field, running on little to no sleep and feeling incredibly fragile, I realised that T in the Park had been one of the best experiences of my life
The drug problem at festivals is alarming and I’m shocked to see how many people die as a result but thankfully times are changing and things are starting to improve. Radical drug testing schemes have been introduced to about ten UK festivals now, including the hugely popular Reading and Leeds, in order to ensure a better awareness concerning the effects of drugs. I think it’s a necessary step in the war on drugs and I hope many more events follow suit.
Another, considerably less concerning, issue for UK festivalgoers is the weather. It was miraculously sunny in Scotland for those three glorious days, however it’s a different case for seemingly every other single UK festival. Camping is great fun, but camping in mud is an indisputable hell and so a hotel bed and a shower for Parklife festival was bliss after managing to get covered head to toe in Manchester mud. “
“The fact that you’re drunk close to 100% of the time makes the weather much less of a problem
I’ve seen so many brilliant bands play at festivals, as well as unknown artists just starting out. Even though UK festivals seem to be the less glamorous version of those hot and sunny European festivals we still manage to have a hell of a good time. And that is the true essence of a festival: dancing with your mates to some tunes and having the time of your life.
By Alex Carmichael
“The real fun of a British festival begins in the early hours of the morning, when you are knee-deep in a silent disco tent or stumbling through the campsite carrying an industrial tub of mayonnaise that you stole from a burger van
“Rest assured that for those of us who know what the UK festival is all about, this summer is still going to be just as exciting
At a festival, the weather really does make a difference. I barely survived Bestival last year; thanks to the thunderstorm and my bad choice of camping gear I can 100% say that I am now scarred. Yes, my tent cost me £3 from a boot-sale and looked like it once belonged to a group of boy scouts in the 1920s, but, had the weather been good, I might not have been spending the weekend with wet feet, or the final night wandering the campsite at 4am in the pouring rain hunting down any abandoned tents, thanks to the collapse of mine.
The year before last I went to MELT in Germany, and it’s a far cry from anything I’ve ever endured on our horrifically debauched little island. Gone is the tent burning and the piss throwing that I’ve experienced first-hand at Reading. Instead it’s replaced with amicable Dutch and Deutsch goers who just think it’s funny that the UK voted Brexit.
“Gone is the tent burning and the piss throwing that I’ve experienced first-hand at Reading, replaced by amicable Dutch and Deutsch goers who just think it’s funny that the UK voted Brexit
At MELT the first act doesn’t come on till 7pm, which means you can spend the day sunbathing by the lake instead of mustering up the courage to see a band perform at 2pm and then subsequently missing it due to the severity of your hangover from the night before. The headline act can be expected to come on at around 1am, so you can party through the night whilst enjoying some quality live music instead of suffering through Mr Brightside through a tinny silent-disco headset, or barging your way through an over-crowded DJ set in one of Bestival’s twee forest stages. Plus, MELT (and many other European festivals) have Tyler, the Creator performing this year, and considering he’s banned from the UK, courtesy of Mrs May, this is a good enough reason to go abroad in itself.
By Charlotte Russell
Let’s be honest, festivals across the globe are stepping up their game for 2018. It’s one of those beautiful years when all the right people have released all the right albums, and now have festival sets lined up that are going to blow our minds. Although I’m positive the UK has a stellar festival summer ahead of it, there are a few things you won’t be able to count on unless you go a bit further afield: “
“Can you imagine packing for a festival without having to take up valuable outfit space with your wellies?
Firstly, sun. Yes, okay, we may have two glorious months of 30-degree sunshine, and you may drive down to Wireless, windows down, tropical breeze blowing through your hair, and J. Cole may jump off the stage to serenade you personally with ‘Wet Dreamz’, but I’m just saying, it’s unlikely. Can you imagine packing for a festival without having to take up valuable outfit space with your wellies? Or attending with the certainty that you won’t end your night face down in Dark-Fruits-encrusted mud, said wellies suctioned in several metres away? If sun-soaked festivalling takes your fancy, Portugal and Spain’s Primavera, or Croatia’s Outlook, Dimensions or Hideout are worth taking a look at. “
“Tyler, the Creator is, obviously, not playing any UK festivals. Reason number 136,764 to hate Theresa May, and reason number 2 to get yourself to the continent
Next, Tyler, the Creator. As Charlotte mentioned, Tyler is, obviously, not playing any UK festivals. Reason number 136,764 to hate Theresa May, and reason number 2 to get yourself to the continent. But the biggest reason to go abroad is to see your favourite artists in a new environment. Crowds can, of course, completely change the experience of a set, and if you pick a country where you feel an affinity with the culture and people, immersing yourself in a foreign audience can be an exhilarating, complete unique way of watching an artist perform, even if you’ve seen them live before.
And it can be just as cheap as going to a UK festival! Obviously, this depends on where in the UK you are and where your festival of choice is, but the average festival ticket is cheaper on the continent (usually €120-165 for a weekend), and coaches over to France or The Netherlands, booked well in advance, start at around £15.
By Emily Barker