Festival Round-up - The artists' view
Friday 18 September 2009
"Glastonbury was obviously a highlight for me this year, as was my mum crying her way through the entire set from side of stage. DJing wedding songs dressed in a full bridal gown to about 2,000 people in the early hours of Latitude was another. Especially because we managed to make the biggest conga line I've ever seen. But I think my favourite moment was at Leeds. My little brother came along and it was his birthday so I'd got him and his friends backstage passes for the weekend, which I think already upped his street cred, but at the end of the set I got him on stage and had the entire crowd to sing happy birthday to him. It was great just to see his face. He's definitely the coolest kid in school right now."
Tom Smith, Editors
My favourite festival moment as a "punter" would have to be Nick Cave and the Badseeds at Ruisrock in Finland. It's an odd festival, this one, as it never gets dark but Cave's headlining performance was incredible. So loud, so cool, so evil, so funny, so good.
Our favourite festival moment as a band would be Latitude. It was our first time at the festival and it really is as magic as everyone says it is. Given it's more family orientated and middle class than many of the other big festivals, I was expecting a more subdued crowd reaction to our show, (which I have no problem with whatsoever) but this wasn't the case at all, it seemed like the kids down the front had been waiting all weekend for our Sunday night performance to let off some steam and they went nuts, crowd surfing through our ballads. The rest of the field was full of the best kind of receptive festival crowd you can play to, singing along to the songs they knew and listening the new songs they didn't. An absolute pleasure.
Simon Ratcliffe, Basement Jaxx
At Jisan Valley Rock Festival in Seoul, we didn't know what to expect, and were a bit apprehensive about it. We were headlining and it was a new festival. But the crowd was ecstatic. We decided we'd play a song, "Hot and Cold", from our third album, for the first time ever. It wasn't a single but everyone knew it. The place was going crazy. And everything was expertly done, including the production. We were doing a signing beforehand and someone came dressed as a space-chicken, so we invited him up onto the stage for our set.
Secret Garden Party was amazing, playing on the main stage at Glastonbury and Bestival. People truly discovered my music through the festival circuit and I'm grateful. It's really set us up for our November tour. It was an amazing summer. Making new friends with other artists, drunken silliness, tour buses and packed tents. So much fun!
James Shaw, Simian Mobile Disco
Our highlight of the summer was playing at Primavera festival in Barcelona. It was a great line up, in a great city, plus it was revenge for last year where we were booked to play but on the way the trailer came off our bus and rolled down a ravine, destroying all our gear.
Walking on to the stage at Latitude this year was incredible. I'm used to performing to 150 people in the cabaret tent there. This year, I walked out and was met by 7000 faces, all looking at me. That's 14000 eyes! It was an amazing feeling. For the first time, people were singing along to my songs. I was in heaven. Nothing beats that feeling.
The hot, busy, Ashes victory celebrating V crowd of 2009. This year I got trapped in the crowd waiting for Lady GaGa. She was playing in a tent that didn't have capacity to deal with her enormous popularity, the atmosphere was feverish. The whole crowd were propping each other up. There was no space to breathe but the anticipation of what proved to be a show-stopping set kept everyone's spirits up. We universally suffered as sardines... only at a festival.
Alan Donohoe, The Rakes
We were in our dressing room/portakabin after our show and one of us spots Josh Homme outside chatting to all the other LA rockers who were at the festival. Dave Grohl was there, a long-haired, bearded guy in a cowboy hat who I can't remember the name of, John Paul Jones from Led Zep & Them Crooked Vultures and the guy from Eagles Of Death Metal. We were all whispering among ourselves trying to work out who all the dudes were and pointing out various tattoos, from behind our dressing room window, when one of the LA dudes looks over in our direction. "They're looking! Duck!", someone shouts out, so all 5 of us simultaneously drop down out of view and hope know one saw us. Net-curtain twitching on our neighbours, we all realied how very English we all were. All crouched in our dressing room hoping Josh Homme didn't come over and find us. We finished with tea and scones.
Paul Smith, Maximo Park
Waiting backstage to open Glastonbury this year and hearing the crowd chant our name was pretty unbeatable. It was both thrilling and terrifying. When I'm onstage the songs overtake me so this was a rare moment where I could fully appreciate our audience's fervour.
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