Get Loaded In The Park 2008 - Rated!

United Kingdom United Kingdom | | 26 August 2008

Overall  - 7/10

While 7 million people stomp around Reading and Leeds throwing rubbish at each other and setting fire to anything that moves, the real fun is to be had on Clapham Common. Ok, you can’t really compare a three day behemoth to a one-day mash up that kicks everyone out at 9pm but that’s kind of what makes Get Loaded In The Park. Hoards descend on the festival earlier than they’d usually get out of bed on a Sunday (in fact many probably haven’t even been to bed) which makes for an instant atmosphere as thousands waste no time, err, getting loaded in the park to great music.

Getting There and Back – 9/10

Get Loaded is probably the easiest festival in the entire world to get to. It’s in London, it’s near Gatwick airport, it’s on the south circular and it’s a stone’s throw away from Clapham Common tube station. Plus, due to the early finish, everything’s still open when you leave. If you can’t find your way there and back you might actually be dead.

The Site – 6/10

There’s not that much more than stages, marquees, bars and food places but that’s all you need for this one. Everything’s packed together meaning there’s no trapsing between venues and, fortunately, sound clashing is kept to a minimum.  

Atmosphere – 7/10

It didn’t match up to previous Get Loadeds. The first three of its kind, two headlined by The Happy Mondays and one by Babyshambles, still rate as among the best London festivals in terms of collective revelry and perhaps the deathly grey weather dampened things a little. But the tents were a joy to behold as beaming smiles led a path into the heart of the party.

Music – 7/10


Iggy And The Stooges – for many, Get Loaded was all about one man and rightly so. The old school rockers were out in force to welcome in a rare London show from the punk pioneer and he didn’t disappoint. Perhaps not as vociferous as he once was but still just as much fun, his familiar tanned torso and ‘staged’ stage invasion were enough to satisfy the neutrals as he slithered his way through classics like ‘No Fun’ and ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’.

Soulwax – despite being put on at the eye-rubbing time of 2pm the Belgian tech rockers drew a huge crowd who were treated to the band’s spanking white suits and storming renditions from their back catalogue.

Gogol Bordello – is there a better festival band out there for raw unpredictability? Never has the clique ‘tearing up the stage’ been so apt as the motley band of Ukrainian gypsy punks prove the perfect foil for the Get Loaded spirit.

The Gossip – the Portland disco rockers may have been knocking out pretty much the same set for the last year or two but they still know how to get a party started. Beth Ditto fortunately didn’t follow Iggy by getting top naked (although it was threatened at points) but she buried her head in the front of the crowd for a good 15 minutes as the front rows went mental to ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’.

Beardyman – Following the success of previous years’ main stage comperes, The Cuban Brothers, the bar had been set back-flippingly high for Beardyman. But this is the champion o UK beatbox and he gave an award winning show in between the main stage acts. The only criticism was that he wasn’t on more.  

Kate Nash
– the ‘Foundations’ star headlined the XFM tent but annoyed fans by being half an hour late, meaning her set ran into Iggy’s main stage show. To be fair she put on a great show accompanied by dancing skeletons, but the boos which greeted her entrance left a sour taste in the mouth – like those ‘bittah’ lemons she keeps banging on about.

Reverend and the Makers – Jon McClure says he’s going to retire after his next album in a protest against the evils of the industry. Just do it now mate.

Random Stuff

Big Brother’s Nikki bumping her way through crowds all day absolutely smashed. Whether throwing herself in front of complete strangers was designed to extend her flagging fame is a mystery, what was confirmed is she’s extremely small and clearly unable to handle more than three Bacardi Breezers.

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