We arrived around 1:30 on the Thursday- an additional day to start the festival (a standard weekend ticket starts from Friday hence day 0), after a fairly uneventful 3hr drive, it was clear on arrival that more people were turning up earlier each year just by where we had to park. The queue to get in appeared massive but it turns out the WiFi has gone down which meant tickets couldn’t be scanned and wrist bands allocated. After a few minutes though a cheer went up from the front of the queue as everything went back online and after that we were in pretty quick. We took a punt this year and camped in …. rather than the catch all quiet/family camping area (trust me there is nothing quiet about a children’s camping area) this means being closer to everything and we though close to decent food vans. However the food choices of previous years for the campsite were not yet fully set up and I could only see one place open so I took a chance on their loaded fries. Cheese and bacon loaded fries with spring onions and chives, sounds pretty nice. Seriously the most disappointing food I’ve had in a while. So much salt it took almost a pint of water to eat half the portion. It was basically a cheese sauce with bacon bits sprinkled in. So so gross.
Thankfully I had more beer to wash away the taste. Later this evening we went and saw the Hallé orchestra performing a series of sci-fi film scores such as Star Wars, Star Trek, 2001 A Space Odyssey and ET etc
Friday we awoke to the potter patter of rain on our tent around 7am and it didn’t stop until around lunchtime. Typically we were ill equipped footwear wise having forgotten our walking boots which were still in the hallway at home. The downpour was so torrential that I got soaked in the 2 mins I spent outside re-pegging the tent so it didn’t drip inside. Despite the weather and subsequent quagmire the site became we still managed to get a good look around the science stalls although a few were suffering tech difficulties with lack of power etc.
One of the exhibits that stood out was about whales and included previous uses of whale ones such as scrimshaw and learning about the brush like material in their mouths that was used in corsetry. There was also a damning reminder of the pollution still happening in the form of a bottle top chain collected in just a 3 month period.
Later on that evening after more rain, I managed to get out and see Squid, who were described in their festival bio as:
a blend of driving motorik rhythms, psychedelic pop and the more polished corners of late 70s post-punk
They didn’t disappoint and neither do their fans a group of whom turned up in squid costumes!
The lead singer and drummer reminded me of Ian Curtis (albeit the version from the film Control), the my started off very moody with driving drum beats.
After Squid there was a 20 minute gap before the final band I was planning on seeing so I stepped outside and caught a bit of Hot Chip’s set, seems I know more of their stuff than I realised.
Blanket were last up and until about 3 minutes before lift off I was the only person in the tent. They were pretty ok band and reminded me of For A Minor Reflection if they had vocals, (if you do t know who they are then you should look them up)however if just wasn’t enough to keep me from my bed and off I waded back through the mud to sleep.