Connect Festival 2007 - Overview

United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Lyn Jolly | 03 September 2007

The setting on Loch Fyne in Argyll is the perfect backdrop for three days of great bands, DJs, food and drink. The usual freaky festival sights are on show with people dressed in panto-style horse heads and more kilts than you can shake a stick at.

It isn't just Scots who’ve made the trip to the stunning site at Inverary Castle though. There are French, Australian and American revellers among the 16,000 people who have come to rock the loch.

The new boutique festival has heaps to offer over its three days with home grown talent in the shape of Teenage Fanclub and Mogwai giving the international acts a run for their money.

Primal Scream don't disappoint on the rock front.  Bassist Mani threatens to beat up someone in the crowd who has aimed a drink at Scottish frontman Bobby Gillespie. Mani invites the rowdy reveller on stage for a square go, branding the tipple-thrower a "fucking coward."

Eccentric pop oddity Bjork has been at the dressing up box again, appearing on stage looking like Snow White on acid.  The Icelandic songstress may be a touch on the weird side, but her set is definitely a fairytale for fans who go wild for her mix of old favourites and new tunes. She opts mainly for a subdued session, but when it comes to the crux she lets rip with her electro madness and the crowd bounce ‘til they can’t bounce no more.

Electronic pop/dance outfit Hot Chip are well worth the wait on Sunday night. The London lads build a belter of a set before signing off on a high with ‘Over And Over’.

As a newcomer to the Scottish festival scene, Connect fits in straight away. Everything from the delicious local delights like Loch Fyne whiskies and oysters to the good-natured stall holders are great.

Even local shopkeepers are happy with the event. One service station worker concedes: "Everybody has been really well behaved. They just seem to be here to hear some music and have a good time. We have not heard of any trouble at all.

"We've been pleasantly surprised to be honest. We weren't sure what to expect with thousands of music fans descending on the place."

The Duracell Powerhouse fights its corner well and kick-starts the after hours party at 11pm with some serious tunes in a battery-shaped tent. Pete Herbert, Lazersonic and Zak Frost are keeping the temperature up until 2am. Fittingly, most of the music is from the electric scene and the heaving crowds inside are certainly revved up.

One of the most bizarre sights of the weekend is the Silent Disco. Picture the scene: a giant gazeebo full of people hooked up to individual set of earphones bopping away - but no music actually filling the air around them. Genius.

One thing missing is the usual array of girls wearing next to nothing despite the weather. This may prove that this little gem of a festival does indeed cater for the more mature crowd.

Connect organisers believe it will be around three years before they financially break even with this new kid on the block.

Geoff Ellis, the man behind the event, says he’s lost money this time round but expects to be selling around 10,000 more tickets in the future - let's just hope he sticks around long enough to find out.

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Bjork was Sunday night's headliner. - Photographer: Shirlaine Forrest

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wrote on Tuesday 4 September :
I was at Connect and the Mudfest involved, If this festival is to make any impact they should try staging bands that people have actually heard of! I had heard of only 5 bands that played here! Bjork and Jarvis ****er were absolute garbage... Beastie boys were Excellent as were Primal Scream (bottle of water actually hit the bass player who complained (quite rightly so at the asswipe who threw it))... Hit of the weekend though was Seasick Steve playing on his 3 string guitar while swigging from a bottle of wine on the Sunday! 6/10 for the event 5/10 for the music

wrote on Tuesday 4 September :
I thought Connect was absolutely awesome. Okay so there were quite a few bands on during the day that most people i spoke to had never heard of but that was half the adventure. I thought Bjork was incredible and I am not really a fan of hers. LCD Soundsystem were ace as were the Go team and Primal Scream. The only dampner I felt on the weekend was having Hot Chip and LCD and Idlewild all on at the same time. Loved the whisky tent and the Red Bull enchanted forest. I'd give 8/10 for the music and 9/10 for the festival. Roll on next year!

wrote on Saturday 8 September :
The music was great, the food was OK, but the campsite was really badly organised and made for a muddy, miserable experience. I guess the organisers were trying maximise profits (or minimise losses) by skimping on basic facilities - toilets, running water, pathways through the mud etc. But if they were really after a more mature, discerning audience then making people camp in what was basically refugee-camp conditions, a 30-min hike from the bus car-park, was not the way to go about it. The fantasic bands and friendly atmosphere didn't made up for the mud and the 'couldn't give a s**t' attitude of the organisers.

wrote on Friday 14 September :
EllaNT - i have to disagree with you, i really dont think the organisers displayed what you a call a 'couldn't give a s**t attitude' at all. in fact i felt the opposite was true - the bands choosen offered a diverse range of acts, giving a bigger stage to acts which are often forgotten about by the main stream. many of which deserve to raise their profile. these bands were perfectly put with bigger, world famous acts as the beasties etc and it was awesome, seeing some of the most established acts of on the planet next to local and home grown talent! you could tell the site itself was thought through carefully, if it had been sunny the walk from the carpark would have been amazing and the entrance to the festival was truely beautiful. it just so happened it rained... nothing the organisers can do about that is there. its amazing how people complain about festival campsites.... your camping in a field for 3 nights of your life - not a luxury hotel... if thats what you want buy a day ticket and stay elsewhere. festival campsite are exactly that - a campsite - and bring your own toliet roll. if you did feel it was so awful -connect provided a spa tofreshen up over the weekend! on top of that, this was the first year.. things can only get better - and the first yr being what it was next year will be trully amazing - roll on connect 2008!!!

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