The first ever UK Festival Awards were launched in November to celebrate Las Galacticas of the festival world and for something that started out as a complete whim concocted down the pub, it went down a storm. So much so, in fact, that TV companies have been sniffing around with a view to putting on a screened ceremony next year. Thousands of you supported the awards with your online votes, making Glastonbury, T In The Park, Big Chill, Muse and Franz Ferdinand just a few of the big winners. Click here for the full results.
There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and definitely no mercy from your vocal disdain. If you didn’t like it, you hollered abuse at it. Chicks On Speed’s own brand of punk-electro totally backfired during their support slots with Red Hot Chili Peppers, conducting a torrent of rage pretty much every time they played. It resulted in Flea threatening not to play after lecturing the band's Manchester crowd on the evils of the big boo. The best abuse, however, came at Reading and Leeds where 50 Cent and The Rasmus became the target of your swearwords, alongside several thousand bottles full of your wee.
Pikeys, gippos, scrubbers - whatever you call them they’ve been around forever. But this year, ‘chav’ became the description for society’s bus-shelter claiming underclass, and the undisputed 'buzz-word' for 2004. This was thanks largely to the eloquent efforts of Welsh 'wappers' Goldie Lookin’ Chain, as well as the tabloid press, who hijacked the fad about 11 months too late - just as they did with The Libertines. Talking of the Libs, Carl Barat returned to the birthplace of 'The Chav', a Kentish town called Chatham, where he performed alongside Tim Burgess in a new super-group called, er … The Chavs.
The narcotics amnesty bins were empty again, every ‘shroom in the northern hemisphere plucked perfectly legally, stages surrounded by second-nature spliff origami, and pills dropped like tic-tacs, leaving crumpled casualties strewn across festival Sundays like scenes from the 100-Years War. Bands like The Zutons, Kasabian and Kings Of Leon led the charge, advocating a belly-full of buzz as essential to festival going as a Mars Bar in the morning. Pete Doherty missed out on playing any festivals after deciding to go to a Thai monastery to clean out, but he ended up even more off his face in Bangkok while his band played on.
Efforts were drastically stepped up to make festival-goers more aware of their impact on the environment, to great success. At Glastonbury, a patrol of piss police scoured trees and bushes to stop bladder-bursting beer heads unleashing their fury into the rivers and girls were given cardboard funnels to have a slash standing up in the infamous ‘She Pees’. At smaller festivals, groups of green-loving volunteers handed out bin bags and fag butt disposers, meaning you were scowled at if you so much as let the flake fall out of your 99.