I could have done the festival five times over and I still don’t know if I would have seen everything I wanted.

Since there was so much I wanted to see I worked down a very reduced list of (in no particular order):

  1. Nia Archives
  2. Ailbhe Reddy
  3. Prima Queen
  4. Shelf Lives
  5. Too Many Ts
  6. DeadLetter
  7. Ezra Williams
  8. Flohio
  9. Nova Twins
  10. Porij
  11. Che Lingo

I thought that since a lot of these are smaller acts I would stand a good chance, especially since a fair few were playing on Thursday, but of these I managed to see just:

  1. Nia Archives
  2. Prima Queen
  3. Too Many Ts
  4. Nova Twins

But there were four of us and so we had to agree on a schedule that suited us all so sacrifices had to be made.

Thursday

We kind of wasted really. Spent a lot of time trying to see things, but only managed:

  1. Eliza rose at Lonely Hearts Stage
  2. Nia archives at Nowhere

Shangri La was running late so we skipped waiting for Too Many Ts at Trust and tried Prima Queen at The Rabbit Hole, but that was just rammed.

We skipped Che Lingo in The Rum Shack because we wanted to guarantee being in Shangri La for Nia Archives. At the time I regretted that, but in hindsight I expect that was rammed too.

Nia Archives was one of my must sees and I was willing to sacrifice other things to see her. Unfortunately it was just not fun. She was good and was having a ball, but the crowd was rammed and not great at all. Full of coked up idiots. Plus I wanted to see Nia Archives do Nia Archives, but she mostly didn’t. Such is the risk of DJ sets.

Contrast that though with Eliza Rose (also a DJ set and not Eliza Rose doing Eliza Rose) where the crowd and vibe was just so much better it ended up being one of my favourites of all weekend.

At the end of Nia Archives we walked past Trust and I realised Too Many Ts were finally playing. I was glad we didn’t wait there since the morning! But sad that few seconds of walking past might be all I got to see of Too Many Ts.

Friday

  1. Prima Queen at Hive
  2. Carly Rae Jepson at Other
  3. Pale Waves at Woodsies
  4. Courteeners at Woodsies
  5. Fred Again at Other
  6. Artics at Pyramid
  7. Chemicals at Arcadia
  8. Too Many Ts at Bimble Inn

We did half and half of Carly Rae and Pale Waves. Courteeners was a great atmosphere. Fred Again I wouldn’t have picked but it was an amazing atmosphere. We had low expectations for the Artics but they were actually very good and he sang things properly. We should have bailed before the encore as that was the only point they dicked about. It’s funny how the crowd was in unison and ignored the fake encore and were basically all quiet with the same thought: “Just get back on and do your job”. We only caught the last twenty minutes of the Chemicals, but glad we made it. Realised at the end of that we could catch most of Too Many Ts at Bimble Inn. Probably the highlight of my weekend. A fantastic venue and they are so much fun live.

Saturday

  1. Rick Astley at Pyramid
  2. Raye at Pyramid
  3. Aitch at Pyramid
  4. Måneskin at Woodsies (by accident)
  5. Rina Sawayama at Woodsies
  6. Lana Del Ray at Other
  7. Fatboy at Park
  8. Pete and Bas at Rum Shack (by accident)
  9. Kurupt FM at Rum Shack

I wanted to see Flohio after Rick Astley, but The Park felt miles away (we’d just come from that way for camping) so since I also had Raye on my list we all agreed to stay and see her. We actually saw Raye twice as we were in the BBC Introducing tent for her surprise set which was better than the Pyramid one. Saturday was the only time we split up into two: Me and little M went to see Rina and A and big M went to see Lizzo and Central Cee. We were so early for Rina we saw all of Måneskin (who aren’t exactly my cup of tea, but did put on a really good show). I am surprised we didn’t see Loyle Carner, because the elder daughter is a big fan, but she picked Lana who was late. Everyone should have known really. We caught Fatboy from the back and it was too far away for The Park really so that wasn’t as good as it could have been. The main mission for the day was to get in the Rum Shack for Kurupt FM. It was the most crushed thing we went to and we had to make it through all of Pete and Bas (bizarre!) to get to it. Don’t think the ladies got to see much of it due to their height, but we were all there. It was simultaneously superb and brutal.

Sunday

  1. Sophie Ellis-Bextor at Pyramid
  2. Nova Twins at Other
  3. Coach Party at BBC Introducing
  4. Blondie at Pyramid
  5. Lil’ Nas at Pyramid
  6. Rudimental at West Holts
  7. Shy fx at Arcadia
  8. Hybrid Minds at Arcadia

Sunday we we up early after a 4am bedtime to get to Japanese Breakfast on the Other stage who had to cancel at the last minute due to travel issues. We opted for Sophie Ellis-Bextor instead who was great. Nova Twins kicked a lot of arse, but I was too tired to dance. Similarly Coach Party. On the way to Blondie I ended up “performing” with Harvey on The Pavement. He was amazing. Blondie was A’s main pick and she/they just knocked out hit after hit. The Pyramid was rammed and I think stayed that way all day from that point. Lil’ Nas X took his horse to the hotel room (a missed flag opportunity if I ever saw one). I will never regret the elder daughter picking Rudimental over Elton. A party finish to the weekend was the best option and Rudimental brought it. They are better live than on record, etc. And then we went to see Hybrid Minds and I fluked catching a lot of Shy Fx as well. We could not manage Wilkinson afterwards. Glad we did a lot of Arcadia as that was apparently its last year.

Top Three

Top three things for me (in no order):

  1. Eliza Rose at Lonely Hearts Stage
  2. Too Many Ts at Bimble Inn
  3. Rina Sawayama at Woodsies

We saw a lot of stuff, but missed so much