A festival season to forget? It sounds overly dramatic doesn’t it, but while there isn’t anything particularly wrong with this year’s round of festivals, it’s hard to imagine 2012 being remember fondly in 20 years time.
This has been a summer of sport and culture. The Euros were spell binding, Murray made the final of Wimbledon, the Olympics lingered, and lingered, and lingered some more, before finally arriving, and you know what? They were better and more brilliant than we could ever have imagined. If you’re not a Londoner, like myself, I hope you’ve had a chance to sample the smiling faces, the exciting new people, and the general sense of enthusiasm and cheer that the millions of new visitors have brought to the UK.
Massacres in Syria could hardly snatch headlines while The Euro crisis found itself resigned to the middle pages – so what chance did music festivals ever really have? Sadly it’s not just Sport that has beaten the festivals into second place, they’ve been relegated further down the totem pole by the super gigs. Watch The Throne, Madonna, The Stone Roses, Blur, and come September, Lady Friggin’ Gaga – who needs festivals when the biggest comebacks and the hottest stars aren’t even playing them?
To make matters worse, without Glastonbury winning everybody’s hearts and inspiring a new generation of festival goers, we seem to have slipped in to a haze of cosy repeats. The Cure will be sensational at Reading, but Bestival 2011 pipped us to the post. Not only did they dazzle, they released a DVD and a live disk. The Foo Fighters and Kasabian sound exciting but they played Isle Of Wight last year, and Dave Grohl and co. carried out their own super gigs at The Milton Keynes Bowl.
T In The Park was lost in the shuffle as its fans were slowly drenched. Sonisphere was cancelled, and Download, while rather excellent, became known as a legendary washout, only surpassed by the Isle Of Wight fiasco. 2012 can be summed up rather succinctly: sported reigned, while the great British festival season was rained upon.
The Stone Roses will ensure V’s place on the front pages, as will the debut of new Killers material, but Reading and Bestival will battle indifference – Stevie Wonder is great as are the Foo Fighters, but the world saw them do their thing just 12 months ago.
Now don’t get us wrong, no one is more excited about Reading and Leeds than Strictly Festivals, but without Glastonbury, and without a breakthrough band, 2012 is looking like a year that will be promptly forgotten.