LOTF has "one of the best atmospheres of all British festivals" Phil Brady writes.
Lounge On The Farm 2010 is a gem of a festival set on a farm on the outskirts of Canterbury, Kent. Voted best line-up in our festival awards last year, this year's line-up lacks the same crowd pulling power, however, there have been improvements elsewhere in the festival, which maintain and supplement the laidback yet thrilling environment of this weekender.
Getting There And Back – 7/10
In comparison to previous years, access to the site has improved slightly, though there still hasn't been an increase in signage, which is well needed if you haven't been to the festival before. If you don't want to take the car, there are shuttle buses to and from the site/station and a bike hire company in Canterbury and on site. There are no long queues getting on or off the site like you would expect at larger festivals.
The Site 10/10
Arriving at LOTF this year, VF notices several changes. Firstly, improved site access and traffic management. Secondly, another sure sign of successful growth (and probably also a term of local council planning applications) an increase in site security. With alcohol restrictions in place by the local council, the festival organisers brought in a shed-load of beer slabs selling them to the punters at cost price - just the kind of gesture that sums up the atmosphere on the farm.
Set on a working farm with beautiful panoramas, nothing is more than a 5-minute walk away. This year sees an increase in stages with The Playhouse, a theatre and comedy stage, and Farm Folk, a folk stage with plenty of new talent to choose from. There's also an increase in stalls and activities, plenty of toilets, many watering holes and lots of space to camp, with a selection of noisy or quiet fields.
Atmosphere – 9/10
Although this year sees a large increase in teenagers, LOTF still has one of the best atmospheres of all British festivals. People are so chilled but the vibe is electric. The crowds are happy with minimal trouble and the new no-alcohol policy proved to be positive, as the teenage crowds I mention were starry-eyed and joyful rather than shouty and falling over.
Music – 7/10
The organisers created a varied list of acts, spanning genres and eras. As such, the weekend has something for all tastes, young and old, as the set list bounds between pop, folk, rock, soul, ska, hip hop and dance.
Bad Manners 9/10
Playing at the same time as the World Cup final, you would expect the crowd to run thin on the floor of the cow shed, but no-one cares who wins the football when there is floor-stomping fun to be had. Buster Bloodvessel, with his wobbly belly in his gordy leopard skin suit, entertains us with ‘Lorraine’ a ska’d up version of ‘Red River Valley’ and ‘Lip Up Fatty’ before skanking us off to their version of ‘The Can Can’.
Man Like Me 8/10
A surprising performance from this excellent tecno-pop trio. Their innovating blend of genres has just the right amount of cheese. A show climaxed with their single ‘London Town’ complete with Macarena styled dance routine (I guess you had to be there), makes this one of our performances of the weekend.
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas 8/10
This Detroit trio were one of the most successful groups of the 1960's Motown era with their harder R&B sound typified by 'Heat Wave', 'Nowhere To Run', 'Jimmy Mack' and their signature tune, 'Dancing in the Street'. On stage in their glimmering golden dresses fifty years on, the energy from their music still electrifies the young crowd in the Cow Shed.
The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown 8/10
The God Of Hellfire turns this lazy Saturday afternoon in the Further Field into a psychedelic freak-out of insane proportions, putting a spell on this bewildered crowd as they watch a performance adorned with painted faces and velvet robes. His young band, who Arthur “found busking on the London Underground”, were as tight as Tina the keyboard player’s pants. After his encore, the crowd shake his hand in adoration for at least twenty minutes.
6 Day Riot 10/10
This festival wouldn't be complete without a thrilling performance by the seductive sound of 6 Day Riot. The front lady, Tamara Schlesinger, a ukulele-wielding Celtic warrior goddess, enchants the modest Sunday crowd with her outstanding loveliness and banshee-like shrieks as they play songs from their album, ‘6 Day Riot Have A Plan’, including ‘Go! Canada’, ‘Run For Your Life’ and new single, ‘All I Need’. This is a band to fall in love with.
DJ Yoda – No video performance we'd expect from this brilliant DJ and an atmosphere that doesn't quite have the crowd moving as he usually does.
Circulus – Far too hippy for this generation.
The Kids - Too many kids without parents here this year; sometimes we think we're at a school disco.
Security – We witnessed a couple of 'man handling' activities from the security this year that were beyond the call of duty. Shame on you!
The Crowd- Not enough people in general to make a decent sized event work. Please don't let this put you off for next year. Change the date, LOTF organisers, to the week after and there won’t be a clash with T in the Park.
Whilst watching some comedy on The Playhouse, a bird cage with a flock of lovely canaries passed us by. The canaries were, of course, beautiful girls dressed in yellow feathers, cooing at us from within their cage.
A couple of cleaning ladies dressed in skimpy cleaning outfits roaming around cleaning those dusty Loungers as they lie around drinking cider in the sunshine.
Martha and the Vandellas came off stage thinking we were young groupies - my colleague's face was frozen in horror as one of them stumbled down the slippery ramp towards him.
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