This weekend was the Gibraltar Music festival. I posted a whole heap of Instagram photos of the artists I saw and also of the sunsets because they were pretty darned impressive this weekend.
I didn’t turn up when the doors opened. Queues galore I am told, plus I wasn’t interested in seeing too many of the X Factor types. Not that they don’t actually interest me (hello Little Mix) but you know there were other people I would rather see, and we have Mr Peanut to look after, so on the Saturday we both went to the stadium at about 6pm and the Sunday Mr BOTR left at about 3pm to see local band (and friends) Headwires and I came down at about 6pm again.
Now I was a bit miffed to miss Headwires, but someone has to feed the cat, however due to one of the artists missing their connecting flight Headwires stepped in and filled their slot on the Radio Gibraltar stage. Winner! So I got to enjoy their lovely voices and stage presence after all.
The Saturday we managed to find our friends, Sunday we really didn’t stand much of a chance. It was so busy, from the moment I got there I knew that there must have been three times as many people as there was on the Saturday. It was crazy.
Other than the artist known as OMI (seriously I am not that old but WHO?) being late and going on stage after the Kings of Leon, but on the smaller Radio Gibraltar stage (they headlined on Sunday and filled the entire stadium) there weren’t really that many changes to the schedule, complaints were made about a clash with the Kaiser Chiefs and Madness, so they got re-jigged, but all in all it ran pretty well.
There were a few issues, nagging little problems and one large one. The large one being that on the information provided by the organisers we were all told that the cashless payment system would be refundable at the end of the weekend / day. It wasn’t.
So we lost a small sum of money. As did pretty much everyone else there. This is stealing. Whichever way the organisers want to PR their asses out of it, you said we’d get our money back if we didn’t spend it and the day of the festival you changed your minds and kept our money. We got nothing for that money. You took it under false pretenses. You owe us about £3. OK so not huge sums, but times that amount (and more) by the several thousand people who attended and I think you’ll agree it is not on.
And before anyone pipes up and says ‘Hey I bet you used the toilet, that isn’t free!’ Yes you are right I did. But not by choice. (And my therapist says I should recover from the ordeal within 6-12 months.) They were one of the small issues. OK stepping over used tampons, floating in puddles of urine, is not a small issue, I can’t allow my brain to wander down the ‘how many diseases’ path. When you gotta go, you gotta go. But seriously, where were the cleaners? Where were the bins? I know that events such as these rarely have clean toilets, but by Sunday night the puddle of human filth was almost flowing into the venue. It was gross.
Also while I am at it, where were the normal litter bins or recycling bins, people would use them instead of dumping all their crap on the floor. The idea of ‘popping my blanket on the ground’ to sit down made me want to laugh, it was covered in food, bottles, wrappers, and people let their kids sit / lay down in it.
I really don’t think the festival or at least the evening part was a suitable place for the really little kids. People had their babies with them, it just screamed ‘accident waiting happen’ to me. If you can afford the ticket, then get a babysitter. I don’t want this to sound like I am a total child hater, but tiny children don’t belong in that environment in my mind, drunk adults, people smoking weed, OK so maybe I sound like a prude and this is what every parent actually does behind closed doors, but I don’t think so. Also I don’t mean big kids, just the little ones under 8 or so, no one is going to persuade me of the fact, that it is a suitable environment for them. Plus most of them were so bored by the evening, all the acts they wanted to see (X-Factor etc) are on early! The organisers should have made it that parents could take the little ones home after ‘their’ stuff and return to watch the grown up stuff later on, if they wanted to. It would have been safer for them, (with very little lighting, I lost track of how many small people I nearly trampled, and I wasn’t a drunk dancing man) and seriously what child nowadays knows who Madness is?!
And then on to last but not least where was the advertised vegetarian food? If you don’t eat chips or pizza you starved. Oh or crisps. (I ate crisps.) Or alternatively you could have the Modelos ‘veggie’ sandwich which contained tuna. Two things about this sandwich; firstly, not only was it the ugliest most off-putting sandwich I have ever seen (purchased by Mr BOTR and then binned because it looked (and smelt) like sick, not a single bite was eaten) but secondly fishes aren’t vegetables. It is 2015, not 1965 get over the ‘weirdness’ of people not wanting to eat animals.
Yeah so they are my gripes about the weekend. Which to be fair, was on the whole was pretty bloody awesome, but these little details, are high up on my list of ‘important things’.
Now on to the good stuff.
The setting, did someone arrange for the Levante cloud specially? Because it went so well with the lasers and lights! During the day although it was hot, it offered a bit of shelter from the sun and at night it just looked so eerie! And I have to say I’d much rather feel a bit sweaty from the cloud than be cooked alive. It was pretty cool that there was stall with sun lotion. Well done folks, because being burnt is not a good look. I know. Also other than the food area being total carnage regardless of the time, the whole layout was pretty good. We had a fairly good view most of the time, although I am beacon for tree sized people who want to obscure my photos. Grrr.
The bands. It was so amazing to see Kings of Leon finally. Every time they have played the UK I haven’t been able to go for whatever reason. They were just brilliant, and the best possible way for my weekend to end. I also saw Duran Duran and called my sister who is a fan of them, I enjoyed some of their classics but the new stuff is not my cup of tea. Paloma Faith was excellent. She spoke in Spanish and offended everyone Gibraltarian by saying Hola Espana or something similar, which was stupid, but even though she did make a (sizable) gaff, she apologised and somehow gave us a lecture on being nice to one another, and also about the war in Syria. Very bizarre. Also overhearing people complaining in Spanish (OK Llanito, but to my untrained ear it sounds Spanish) that she should get of Gibraltar and never come back, I say, get over yourselves. You wanna whine that she thinks you’re Spanish in a language that sounds Spanish? Oddly that’s is actually the most contrary and weirdly British thing ever. She doesn’t know the intricate details of the geopolitical history between Spain and Gibraltar, and I found this attitude to be in sharp contrast to the warm and welcoming attitude that Gibraltar is famed for.
OK, moving on. Madness were phenomenal and almost impossible to get a picture of, a combination of tall people, bouncing crowd and Suggs, who doesn’t stop moving! Kaiser Chiefs really outdid themselves, I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but they were so much fun to watch, especially with Ricky bounding around. I very much enjoyed James Bay and shall be looking at downloading some of his stuff, and I enjoyed Tom Odell’s angry-at-his-ex-girlfriend music, but he isn’t someone I’d make an effort to see again, but he is so very talented. We saw Little Mix, winners of UK X Factor and they have fab voices but their stage presence was a bit flat. Also really entertaining were The Feeling, they did an awesome cover of Parklife, the whole crowd was singing along and dancing and last but not least Headwires, who by their second performance had had a few drinks and were in very good spirits on stage! Have fun at Uni guys.
So now back to real life. Well actually as my dad flew in last night, it is real life with a bit of holiday thrown in for good measure!