Friday, May 28, 2010

Tale #24 (dau deg pedwar) - Das große Wochenende mit Sonnenschein und Zeltbeschallung

2 yellow tickets for the second day of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Bangor had already been sent to me and I was looking forward to going there with Pia (my last visitor) and watching Pendulum perform (amongst others). Of course I was slightly dismayed by the fact that "everyone else" (i.e. my flatmates and their friends) were going on Saturday and that, apparently, Saturday was to be the more interesting day musicwise with many indie and alternative bands (and Justin Bieber), but you can't have it all.

Or can you?

The Friday before, me and Fiepje went shopping for a communal curry night and Fiepje sadly told me she would probably let her ticket go to waste because Rebecca, whom she had given the second ticket to, could not go due to illness. Hm... I wondered if it would be very selfish of me to volunteer, but Fiepje did not seem to know anybody else who could have gone with her instead, so I did. Problem sorted: Fiepje was happy, Rebecca was happy and I was probably happiest of all!

After barely 5 hours of sleep I got up and set out on several quests: Get tickets for the shuttle bus to Vaynol Estate, get some water, and buy a pair of shorts. (Jeans were already killing me at ten in the morning and it was going to get really HOT!)

Appropriately dressed and smelling of sunlotion we arrived at the vast and beautiful estate on the outskirts of Bangor: through a huge cast-iron gate crowned by an impressive stone arch we entered the park and followed the road through woodland and past a pond with ducks and swans to the festival area.
Our tickets were scanned, our bags were checked and in we went to be welcomed by the droning of electronic bass and the rapid talk of rappers on the outdoor stage.

Hundreds of stalls selling burgers, pizzas, haggis and other interesting food lined the margins of the lawn between the 3 big tents and the outdoor stage: A world of wonders.

For a few pounds you could stick your feet in a tank and
enjoy the feeling of little fish feasting on your dead skin

Magnum has started to produce gold-covered ice cream:
Saves you the trouble of applying lipgloss

Where did this huge red ball suddenly come from?

We took pictures of the poster with the line-up and started our journey. Bombay Bicycle Club played a nice accoustic session, Justin Bieber was horrid even from a distance, Cheryl Cole was boring, but the Lost Prophets were good. In between the acts we repeatedly caught up with my flatmates and just sat around on the lawn for a while, allowing the blazing sun to work on our tans. MGMT were the last band we saw perform that evening, before me and Fiepje left early to pick up Pia at the trainstation.

Another short night, a tour through little Bangor, some salad and we were on the bus again. Sunday - living up to its name - was even hotter than Saturday. The sun burned down on us and even in the shade of the tents the performers' faces glistened with sweat.
Today we spent less time in the tents and more time exploring the venue. First of all we boosted our immune system with a free smoothie. All we had to do to get a sip of the cold, fruity drink was to mix it ourselves. By riding a bike: The blender was somehow attached to the front wheel and set into motion by pedalling - very creative. The annoying thing was that the seat was way too low and it was not possible to change gears, but the product was satisfactory.

You could buy all sorts of fancy clothing at the stalls: from Ponchoes to lizard masks,
from flower garlands to fur-coloured army helmets - every taste was catered for.

We had missed Paolo Nutini and the next interesting acts were not due for a while so we just relaxed on the lawn for hours. Then we caught glimpses of Pixie Lott (one of these super-duper happy blondes whose songs lack any originality whatsoever), Marina and the diamonds (not bad, but the voice of the singer was a bit too shrill), We are animals (interesting taste in fashion, but not bad), Plan B (quite good), Biffy Clyro and, of course, the headliner: Pendulum, who were - for me - the absolute highlight of the whole weekend. I did not expect them to be that good live because of the nature of their music, but they were fantastic! (AND they're gonna come to Austria in a month!)

The perfect finish for this big, brilliant weekend, but why, why, WHY did I not buy a T-shirt when I had the chance??

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