An enterprising and well-organised innovation in an apparently over-crowded festival market, this event has already settled snugly into the summer calendar. Last year's Pulp-dominated debut was voted "European festival of the year" by readers of The Tablet and, with Glastonbury cruelly served by unseasonal monsoons, Phoenix suffering from a serious punter deficiency, T in the Park lacking something in the big name department and Metallica playing at Reading, there seems no reason why that feat should not be repeated.
The obtrusive soft-drink sponsorship is annoying and the whole happening will be too wholesome for some people's taste - there is certainly little chance of meeting a druid. But with worthy headliners, two decent subsidiary stages (one an NME-sponsored white bread indie banquet, the other a dance- dominated eclecto-fest) and heavyweight supporting line-ups including Pavement and The Chemical Brothers for Blur, and Beck, Placebo, and the dying-belch-of-a-flatulent-alsatian sound of Daft Punk for Prodigy, anyone sill holding fire for their annual festival experience is strongly advised to go in hard before it's too late
Information hotline: 0891 884484; credit cards: 0171-287 0932 (Chelmsford), 0113-244 4600 (Leeds). Day tickets pounds 28.50, weekend pounds 50 + camping pounds 6 + bkg fee Ben ThompsonReuse content