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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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Totally Skittled: Bowling For Soup talk Download

'We tried to get Slayer's Kerry King to punch our guitarist in the face'

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United Kingdom United Kingdom | by Daniel Lomas | 26 May 2011

Totally Skittled: Bowling For Soup talk Download

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

It’s hard to believe, but having formed in 1994, Bowling For Soup have been around for seventeen years. Your average can of soup would’ve expired four times over in that period. The Texan pop-punk band have been a prolific and constant presence on the pop-punk scene, where a million bands have popped up and disappeared just as quickly.

With a string of hit singles, Grammy-nominations and world tours, the band have just about seen it all, or so you'd imagine. But singer, Jarret Reddick, seems as enthusiastic as ever to be on the road and releasing records.

“We’re very excited about how things are going and right now we’re on the first leg of our US tour, getting excited to come over for Download there in just a few weeks,” he tells us.

It seems a real mismatch, Bowling For Soup at Download Festival; a bouncy, goofy pop-punk band on stage at the ultimate metal bash, but the group are no strangers to Download, in fact they've been welcomed back many times. “The last time we did it was 2007 so we’re long overdue for a return,” says Jarret.

                 

“That time, we had huge nine foot blow up sheep on stage,” adds the singer, “this time we wanted to have real sheep just running around on the stage while we were playing. The festival promoters won’t let us do it – but I think that shit would’ve been funny!”

It's Bowling For Soup's entertaining and sometimes unpredictable live show that endears them to any crowd, but you have to wonder how they fare mingling with the rock gods backstage.

“Slayer played before us and Kerry King said 'I can’t believe we just fucking opened up for Bowling For Soup', and I don’t think he meant that in a positive way at all!” Jaret laughs. “Chris [Burney, guitarist] tried to get Kerry King to punch him in the face and were gonna film it! He wouldn’t do it, which is probably good because he would’ve killed him!”

Jaret seems to have many fond and clear memories from festivals in the UK, despite the band's drink ‘til you drop agenda. Though he does admit taking it too far at Download once: “We have one negative memory, where we were too drunk to play. Fortunately I think the audience was drunker than us... I don't think they noticed.”

As for sets he's witnessed over the years, one shines through as his favourite show ever: “It’s not only the greatest festival performance I’ve ever seen, but the best show I’ve ever seen in my life.” Jaret recalls, “It was mind-bending. To this day, the best band I’ve ever seen in my life... Slipknot at Reading Festival in 2000.”

Bowling For Soup's appearance at Download is their only UK festival date, so catch them while you can... and if you can't, don't worry - they're back in October for a UK headline tour.

Next week the band will be giving us their tips for how to do Download 2011 like Bowling For Soup.

Def Leppard, System Of A Down and Linkin Park will headline the Download Festival 2011 which takes place at Donington Park in Castle Donington from 10-12 June.

Click here to see the latest Download Festival line-up.


Download Festival 2011 tickets are on sale now priced at £180 for a weekend ticket with five days camping, £170 for a weekend ticket with three days camping and £145 for a weekend-only ticket.

Click here to buy Download Festival tickets.


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