Each day in the run up to the UK Festival Awards we'll be highlighting one category. Today, 'Best Medium Sized Festival'...
They’re the wiley ferret of UK festivals; bigger than your unassuming mouse, smaller than a nocturnal badger and bound to get your trousers wiggling for the weekend. Alright, the actual award title might not be that funky, but medium-sized festivals can be among the most carefree, wild few days you'll have all summer.
Just look at last year’s winner Bestival, where tens of thousands of so called adults annually turn out in fancy dress and parade around a park in the Isle Of Wight. Rob Da Bank’s knees up had another bumper year in the 2007 September sun, but it’s bound to face some seriously tough competition to keep its crown.
First and perhaps foremost will be the other boutique festivals which operate along similar fun-time lines. The brilliant Big Chill had one of the best festivals it’s had for years, Latitude brimmed with arty eclecticism and the brand new Connect festival in Scotland also went down a storm, all three set among the most stunning music locations the UK has to offer.
Staying in Scotland, Rock Ness returned for its second year boasting several monster acts, including Daft Punk, while the brand new Retrofest whizzed back to the ’80s with the likes of Bananarama keeping an older crowd young at heart.
There aren’t many who’d take on Reading and Leeds but that’s exactly what the Metro Weekender has done in recent years, staging two sell out, one-day festivals on Clapham Common, London, in Get Loaded In The Park and SW4. Once again both won critical acclaim, as did stable-mate Electric Gardens earlier in the year, which is run by the same team.
But arguably two other London festivals cleaned up on the headline stakes. O2 Wireless attracted the like of The White Stripes and Kaiser Chiefs to Hyde Park, while Lovebox witnessed the first UK appearance from Sly & The Family Stone in more than 30 years.
On a more family-orientated tip, Guilfest and WOMAD kept the independent and traditional dream alive, while Ben & Jerry's Sundae kept the kids happy with free ice cream and the big kids giddy with great bands. Last but not least, Escape Into The Park once again attracted thousands of ravers to Swansea's Singleton Park, plugging the gap left by the failed Fflam Festival.
The full list of nominees are below. 'Best Medium-Sized Festival' threatens to be one of the most wide open awards of the year so your vote is most definitely needed… Click HERE to get involved.
Ben & Jerry’s Sundae
Escape Into The Park
Get Loaded in the Park
O2 Wireless Festival
The Big Chill