A glance into the not-so-distant future...
The Old Moore’s Almanack is a curious book. First published in 1697, it sought the advice of astrology to make predictions for the upcoming year and back then, who could have guessed it would still be here in 2012?
For all of its forward thinking the Alamanak is very much stuck in past; the Old Moore’s vision of the future appears to be viewed through a window alien to most people: Windows 97 to be precise. So in celebration of this record-breaking and design-doubting publication Alex Fahey takes a look how festivals will fare in 2012. Welcome to Alex’s Almanack…
This project started with good intentions, it hoped to stay true to the original Alamanak and seek the night sky for astrological assumptions to inform our 2012 predictions. Instead we hovered over our laptop keyboards on a bright, Friday morning, groped around for anything that would illuminate our imaginations and finally settled on the Daily Star.
The Olympics will be good for British Music
It must be noted that our Daily Star-gazing got off to a bad start. Fooled by the tabloids sheer amount of tits (text! – Ed), we were coerced into thinking that Lucy, 23, from Hull was Britain’s Largest Attraction in 2012. As it turned out: the Olympics will be Britain’s largest attraction of 2012.*
*For the record, Lucy’s got Britain’s largest attractions. Unlike Lucy we learnt the huge difference mere subtleties make.
So with the Cultural Olympiad running, hurdling and pole-vaulting into the borough of Hackney we would be fools not to mention it in our 2012 Alamanak: we predict that the Olympics will have a positive knock-on effect for British Music.
Festival bosses have wisely allowed the Olympics to take centre stage this summer by revising the dates of their own events to avoid any clashes. This gap has been exploited by the BBC’s Mark Thompson who raced out the blocks (no doubt in a John McEnroe-style headband) and announced that Radio 1 will bring its biggest-ever Big Weekend format to Hackney in celebration of the Olympics.
The event, so far, is an all British affair with Plan B, Tinie Tempah, Florence and the Machine and Leona Lewis all set to play and importantly too it includes the BBC Introducing stage, a mainstay at various UK festivals, that will have a line-up selected from unsigned east-end talent only.
Festival organisers should look on in appreciation as the event, now operating in a slick six-stage guise akin to a festival experience and barely recognisable from its earlier incarnations, seeks to tap a huge market of 100,000 Hackney residents, many of whom organisers should hope, will be hooked enough by the experience of live music to purchase a festival ticket in the future.
The Stone Roses will be adored, until the American’s yank all over them
The Stone Roses were the latest band to slide along the Generation Games’ Reunion Conveyor Belt , with Uncle Mark correctly shouting out their name before going home with a Flowered Up 12”, a bucket hat and of course, a cuddly toy.
We didn’t need to seek out Uncle Mark’s heroics in tea leaves or rely on Mystic Meg to hear that baggy is back, it saturated the news outlets as soon as the Roses organised a Take That-style press conference. With all their media pandering the Roses may be grabbing the headlines but we predict, after losing our rose-tinted specs in the mosh pit, that in 2012 the Americans will reign supreme.
Our astrological assessment has told us to look towards the loudest star in the galaxy – The Star Spangled Banner – if we want to see performances to remember in 2012. John Giddings must have a larger telescope than our own as it’s his foresight that has brought an all American trio of headliners to this year’s Isle of Wight Festival.
With Tom Petty alone, Giddings has set up a coup that rivals the Stone Roses reunion. The Heartbreakers will back the American songwriter as he plays his first UK gig in 20 years, such is history that his last UK performance is a mere year after the Roses had peaked at Spike Island.
Court cases hampered the progress of the Stone Roses, in the huge wake between their seminal debut and Second Coming, the baggy boat had sailed, leaving them adrift from a scene they had been instrumental in.
Bruce Springsteen in comparison has been prolific and has notched up a heady 16 albums during his career, a back-catalogue that must be the envy of the Roses. For them it’s going to take more that some tight improvisation. to keep the audience entertained; Ian Brown has never been the strongest of vocal performers – attendees at Reading Festival 2009 can attest – and similarly his trademark shuffle isn’t a patch on The Boss in full, chest-beating, sleeveless throttle.
It was always going to be a task predicting the weather some six months in advance but it harder still with just the stars for guidance! But not ones to be deterred we still gave it our best shot; armed with that telescope and a flask of coffee we headed out into the night with the highest of hopes, only to be beaten by a constant stream dark cloud cover.
So we took a leaf out of the greatest weatherman’s book and took a punt: the summer of 2012 will be blessed with glorious sunshine (except from a splash or two of rain during the Olympics to make it a different kind of spectacle).