Leeds - an 'ordinary' punter writes...
Tired and jaded of overly cynical muso musings? Follow in the footsteps of a more typical festival goer, as Sara JW tells you what she thought of people like Andrew WK and idiots with fire in their eyes...
Friday 23rd August.
We arrived at the site just before midday and after waving off our friends from Virtual Festivals, to the relative luxury of the Hospitality area, we made our way to the communal hell of the Red campsite. They'll be missing out on all the festival campsite fun, we thought. How wrong can you be? By the end of the weekend we would have cheerfully killed for a spot in the Guest camping area.
We set off towards the Arena, which although it could be seen from our tent, was a hike through woods and later mud, that never seemed to end. Luckily there were no queues and we quickly got our wristbands. The size of the arena (and the steepness of the hill) was a surprise to us, more used to the compact Reading site. There seemed to be a good choice of food, clothes stalls and much to my delight a whole inflatable bar full of Cider! We decided to partake of that old festival favourite "Cajun fries with salsa" and watch the insane people on the horrific looking fairground rides! What makes some people want to be thrown upside down in a metal cage, suspended on elastic?
We settled ourselves half way up the hill to watch the bands on the Main Stage and (actually more interesting) the large numbers of teenage boys in boilersuits. The afternoons bands rather blended into one another for us old fogies. From the grunge influenced rock of Puddle of Mudd to the skate-punk of NOFX , it seemed like we had seen it all before and sad to say, done better.
We moved down nearer to the front for the Slipknot experience. We had seen them at Reading a few years previously and found it highly amusing, although maybe not for the right reasons. We enjoyed laughing at the small boys throwing themselves around and astonishingly singing along, while wondering how they distinguished one cacophonous riot of noise and throaty wails, from the next? I have to admit even if I don't really understand the Slipknot appeal, they do put on a show for their fans and are certainly full of boundless energy. They were followed onstage by The Offspring, whose tongue in cheek lyrics and attempts to work up the crowd were a fitting forerunner to the next band up.... The Prodigy.