Spotlight: Best New Festival of 2007?
Help decide 2007's freshest fest
Photographer: Gabriel Avalon10 October 2007
Today: Best New Festival (in association with YouGoFurther)
Glastonbury? So 1971.
V Festival? Been there and got far too many t-shirts.
Thanks Zen then for the scores of new festivals which crop up every year to enrich our soggy fields. While the apocalyptic weather conditions of 2007 went some way to ruin the party – brand new festivals Fflam and Lode Star both blamed the rain for their collapse – we were still treated to a plethora of great new events with organisers risking reputation and ruin in the name of music and fun.
And what a mixed bag it was too. While the likes of Live At Loch Lomond, Knowsley Hall Music Festival and Connect followed relatively tried and tested formulas, others went down more alternative avenues. None more so than The Outsider in the Scottish Highlands, which pioneered the idea of incorporating outdoor activities into a music festival allowing visitors to ramble, mountain bike or kayak in between watching bands.
The kids loved it as they did Underage Festival in London, a spin-off of the uber successful London indie night of the same name for under-18s. Plenty of hi-sprung activity here too, although it was generally confined to thousands of youngsters dancing across four stages of cutting-edge music. The grown ups were allowed to join in the fun the next day with the brand new Field Festival, also in Victoria Park.
Another first for 2007 was the Manchester International Festival, a high-brow but accessible mixture of music and the arts which saw a one off performances by Lou Reed and an opera by Damon Albarn among its many treats. On the subject of legends, this year saw the first ever John Lennon Northern Lights Festival where family and friends of the late Beatle were joined by hundreds of fans in north Scotland for three days of music and reflection.
Waveform in Devon claimed to be the first ever green dance festival despite upsetting a few neighbours and a variety of new dance orientated events cropped up to similar levels of sleepless success, including Aeon Festival, Antiworld and Sanctuary Festival. Perhaps the most fun to be had, however, was up at Retrofest in Scotland where previously forgotten ’80 legends such as Go West, Hue & Cry and Hazel O’Connor reminded us how it’s done – or was!
The nominees for Best New Festival are as follows, which one gets YOUR VOTE?
Beach Break Live
Bingley Music Live
John Lennon Northern Lights Festival
Knowsley Hall Music Festival
Live At Loch Lomond
Manchester International Festival
Cast it now at www.festivalawards.com.