Essential Bristol 2002 Review

Essential Bristol 2002 Review

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

John Bownas, Sara Bowrey - 19 May 2002

The somewhat deflated Essential line-up on Sunday's indie rock day can be attributed to a simple bit of practical GCSE level economics. There's only so much cash in the system, and when the indie rock kids have spent all of theirs on Glastonbury tickets, then it's inevitably going to burst the bubble for lesser fests. Now don't get me wrong (it was a sensible move on the part of the promoters to shrink the number of acts when they realised that ticket sales were down), but it irks slightly that they chose to try and hide behind a flimsy tissue of implausibility rather than just admitting that the money wasn't coming in.

Now I don't want to harp on, but just so you see what I mean then let's look at the case for the defence. "We decided on health and safety grounds to close a couple of stages because the muddy conditions would have been potentially dangerous ...ticket sales are fine!"

And then for the prosecution, "The main stage, which they closed, was at the top of the hill, and even at the bottom of the hill there was no mud anywhere except around a few leaky portaloos. A reliable source also tells us that people leaving on the Saturday were being offered Sunday tickets at less than half price. Lastly, if a full crowd is expected then surely it's going to be asking for trouble to close a couple of stages and thus put more pressure on the others?" Case rests m'lud!

So, cast aside by harsh economic forces were festival stalwarts Reef and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, hotly tipped acts such as The Coral, Original Bedroom Rockers and British Sea Power, and various other potential crowd pleasers including Therapy?, Asian Dub Foundation, Sneaker Pimps and Raging Speedhorn.

What was left however remained a reasonable - if somewhat diluted - bill, and the fact that the weather held and we managed to walk straight onto one of the festival buses at the end of the night without having to queue meant that I remain predisposed to give Essential 2002 (indie rock) a thumbs up.


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