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Exploring the new Virtual Festivals site

It's a new dawn for a better festival experience...

Just clicked onto your favourite festival site and noticed some changes? That's because Virtual Festivals is evolving as you requested! Find out how we're making your festival world that little bit better.

Where do we to start? Well, we've given the biggest news, finest features, most insightful interviews, our favourite photos and best content pride of place at the top of the site. We've made them revolve so you shouldn't miss anything! You'll also find them on the biggest festival pages, talking of which...

We'd like to introduce our Festival Cloud. This is the quickest and easiest way of getting to your favourite festival pages at the click of the button. You might not have to use the Upcoming Festivals search any longer, but just in case you do, we've made this easier and slicker as well.

You can discover events by location (by using our festival map), by date or even by country - our comprehensive list of festivals from the UK, Europe and the rest of the world will allow you to find more festivals than a ten-man tent has poles.

You'll also notice our 'Don't Miss' section on every page of the site. This expandable box will keep you updated with all the essential announcements, dates and live coverage from all the festivals we're at each weekend.

We also have a Hot Tickets section on the right hand side of each page, giving you direct links to the buy all the festival tickets festival tickets you'll need. Festival TV is your new destination for the best festival videos on the web, while each of the big festival pages will have a live Twitter feed on them. So get interactive!

We have a dedicated artist section with easy access to the most popular artists, our recommendations for the 'ones to watch' and in depth pages for the main artists you can see at festivals this year.

There's a lot more around the site as well, so have a look, have a play and give us your feedback because this is your site and we want you to make Virtual Festivals even bet

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Bushstock Exchange: 30 Bands For Under 30 Quid

We check out the inaugural event with tips, tricks and a playlist

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United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Dane Cobain | 26 May 2011

Photographer:Milly Colley

Shepherd’s Bush? Not exactly Donnington or Worthy Farm...
Maybe not, but it’s a hell of a lot more intimate and easier to get to with transport links to the Hammersmith & City and Central Lines and overground services to Willesden, Watford and Clapham Junction. The venues range from trendy bars to converted Edwardian toilets and even a church, and they’re all within easy walking distance of each other. You can think of it as West London’s Camden Crawl, only with more time to put your feet up.

But why can’t I just go to Camden Crawl?
Because Camden Crawl is over and has a completely different approach – you won’t get Odd Future causing a stage invasion at Bushstock, you’re more likely to fall in love with Peggy Sue (a band, not a person) or catch Guillemots perform a mind-blowing version of The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. It’s a festival for chilled out indie and contemporary folk fans who prefer perfect harmonies and melodic acoustic guitars to the screech of distortion and front men that look like they’ve accidentally sat on a pneumatic pogo-stick. Also, this year is the inaugural event – time for you to become a trendsetter.

You’re starting to convince me – who’s playing?
Thirty bands across four venues, including BRIT Award nominated four-piece Guillemots, singing violinist Marques Tolliver, anti-folkers Tom Williams and The Boat, singer-songwriter Fink and Glastonbury Emerging Talent winners Treetop Flyers.

They’re not obscure enough for me.
Well what about the rootsy soul of Michael Kiwanuka, alternative duo The Welcome Committee or Greenwich Tea Party? There’s something for everyone (except perhaps for neo-Nazi punks or goat-sacrificing black metallers), from the alternative folk in the daytime to the after-show DJs and the screening of Communion Records’ ‘Flowerpot Sessions’ video to mark the release of a three CD and DVD digipak.

I’m convinced but I can’t decide who to see!
Here, try these:

Peggy Sue – ‘Watchman’
What makes this trio great? Probably the weird percussion set-up that gives a complete sound despite the fact that you could fit the whole band, instruments and all, in the toilet of a Megabus and still expect them to perform.

Three Blind Wolves – ‘Hotel’
With a sound like a big, bad mouse trying to blow your house (or hotel) down, these guys could be the lovechildren of M. Ward and Marcus Mumford. Who cares if they can’t count (there are four of them) – at 2:10 they’re listening to Arcade Fire on the stereo and that’s good enough for us.


Tom Williams and The Boat – ‘Concentrate’
Whoever decided to put them on in the Shepherd’s Bar made a mistake: they’d clearly prefer the converted toilets of the Ginglik. If they sound like this unplugged in a urinal with only a third of the band present (Tom and violinist Geri who looks scarily at home in the gents), imagine how they sound on stage.


Sarah Blasko – ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’
Once you get past the shoddy audio and video quality, you’ll discover a gem by the Australian singer-songwriter as she showcases her own take on Crowded House’s greatest (only) hit. She’s good enough for the 2006 Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, so she’s good enough for us.


Guillemots – ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
Okay, the last two songs have been covers and we’ve already mentioned this one, but blame the VF Editor for unleashing this on the office. Make sure you don’t miss Guillemots perform tracks from their recent third album 'Walk the River', then get yourself to Ginglik for the after-party.

I want... no, I DEMAND more!
Calm down and check out our Bushstock Spotify playlist here.

Got any tips?
Make sure you know how you’re getting home, particularly if you’re staying for the after-party. Last tubes and trains leave a little after midnight and start up again just before six, but there’s the option of the N207 night bus, which goes from Uxbridge to Holborn. Click here to see where it stops. Alternatively, think about getting a hotel (although it’s likely to cost more than the ticket) or steal a friend’s sofa.

Anything else I should know?
Bushstock 2011 takes place on Saturday 4 June, showcasing thirty different acts across four venues in Shepherd’s Bush, West London. Tickets are still on sale at £27.50 – according to our in-house Carol Vorderman (a calculator on an iPhone), that’s less than a pound per band!

Sounds good to me!
So what are you waiting for?

Click here to view the Bushstock line-up
.

Click here to buy Bushstock tickets.


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