Just got back and settled in, my take.
The general crowd there has gone downhill, whilst it didn't seem THAT much busier for big acts, as it seemed about the same as Noel last year, the bulk of the crowd is mainly now kids, teenagers and 10-12 year olds running around with NO parents whatsoever, I had my hat attempted to be stolen by some [around about] 18 year old girl and when I said what the fuck are you doing shouted swear words in my face for about 20 seconds and ran off, if it was a bloke he would have had a punch, the bloke with her, there were girls with her too, swore at me from a distant, what should I have done said yes please, you're at a festival when normal rules don't apply, steal my property. Another girl ran up and booted my pint and ran off, clearly was doing it to loads of people and thought it was great fun, this girl was about 12 and again in groups of kids.
This is what happens im afraid when you start booking the acts that V started doing and the crowd went to absolute shit there, this lovely indie festival has become another shitty V. It was bound to happen when the blokes running it said they wanted to grow it to the size of glasto, to get there, you fill the site with scum.
It won't get better, they'll book more stuff like Olly and Rita Ora and they'll be the main stage acts and the indie element will be pushed into the background.
That being said, the music was great, Friday I saw Silver Beatles, Sundara Karma, Charlatans and Madness all great.
No-one in the crowd seemed to know who The Charlatans was mind, which surprised me but was perhaps a sign of things to come, Madness was the best I've seen them I reckon, and despite their set only listed as 45 mins they probably did about 1 hr 20 if not more.
The problem with the castle stage is, where people come in from the right of the stage, it gets bottle necked and people think they cant move forward and it gets rammed there, if you move to the left there's tons of space and everyone can move in, people didn't though, all weekend for the bigger acts, they need a person there to say move around, that part there is very dark at night and you cant see theres space to move around, they need to sort it. Another problem with castle stage is the location of the ice cream vans, they're in utterly stupid positions blocking the stage, you wouldn't put a food stall there so dont put an ice cream van, theres FAR too many of them on site as well.
The castle stage bar, the bar you first get to which is where the picture above is taken from the queue was huge, but walk over to the other queue and it was about 15 minutes wait, I never waited longer than that all Friday night, I couldn't understand why people were still pilling into the bigger queue.
Saturday I saw Frank Turner, not a fan tbh, did his usual routine, was fine for what he is.
watched rolling stones tribute, were great at it, good fun.
Echobelly, had problems with sound for her vocals a lot throughout, especially at the start, but thought they were really good, crowd didn't seem bothered with them at all though.
Didn't return to Main until later, had a walk around the site, caught Four Folds Law then a band called Submariner on seaside stage, really enjoyed them, Submariner should be booked again, great little act. Caught some of Lady Leshurr then watched British Sea Power who were fantastic.
Back on main for Maximo Park, they were ok, but you can see why the interest in them as a band has worn off. They just didn't really get over with the crowd.
Then went and watched Dinosaur Pile Up on the Butserfest stage, which was pretty hard to find, it was behind the fare and needed to be sign posted, no bar by this stage, which I guess was there was of continuing the alcohol free vibe, but you could walk up with beer anyway, they may as well drop it being Butserfest, because its not anymore and put a bar there. I'd like this stage open on Friday too. DPU were great btw.
Then watched Band of Skulls on castle from the banks, they put on a quality performance I thought, don't know much of their stuff but I enjoyed them, then went back over for Stereophonics and yeah they were alright, it dragged in the middle but for them it was a good performance.
Sunday, got down for Dandy Warhols, I loved them but I think that long song they did with the organ killed the crowd.
I then went to Seaside stage for Slow Readers Club as got down too late for their main stage, they were class and need to continue to be booked. Started to watch the next act on seaside, Fjorka, but they were crap, went and watched the Kate Bush tribute on Real Ale stage, drew a huge crowd, I thought she was ok, the mrs thought she was cack at doing Kate Bush. Im not sure who we watched then cus we wandered around for a while and sat out watching the sea and having a chill, but got back down main for Pete Doherty who started slow, then sorted seemed decent, then went on about meeting someone from Dandy Warhols he never knew backstage and doing some coke with them before he came on stage then absolutely nose dived [no pun intended] and the set never recovered. Guys a idiot and I hope they haven't got Libs booked next year due to him playing this year.
Slaves were fantastic, Main stage didn't seem to big for them and they absolutely were a highlight for me.
Franz, I was shocked were bloody brilliant, I hadn't seen them for about 12 years, when I thought they were a boring, carbon copy of their cd, wow, they've grown so much in that time, really worked the crowd, setlist was perfect, right order imo, just nailed it.
Went over to Butserfest again then and watched Young Guns, who despite seeming off their game cus they said half their gear was fucked, I enjoyed.
Then was dragged to Olly, who had an insane crowd, he should have been on main, sadly and I can see the fest going this direction. I wonder how many tickets they would have sold for the weekend without Olly and Rita, I think Sunday would have suffered the worse, as Stereophonics were a huge draw Saturday but Olly was defo the big act Sunday, anyway I watched him do Karaoke until Sikth came on at the Butserfest stage and watched them. Wow, they really put a lot into the set despite the small crowd, got a new fan in me!
I worry if Butserfest will be back next year, the 3 times I was there, there were such small crowds, the stage was out the way, you didn't stumble across it it was like it was just forgotten about. I hope it is though as it added such a element to the fest to me and the stage was dickhead free as well.
All in all, the fest hasn't been spoilt for me, but I hate the direction its headed, was gunna get early birds but I may wait for an announcement. That being said they can announce quality and then add the pop shit later like they did this year.
Not sure who could be there next year, James and Weller are two acts they've not had yet, im not too huge on either however. I'd love Pixies to headline Friday. Ah well, hope you all had more good memories than bad like I did. Just a shame some dickheads think the world revolves around them, but guess thats life these days.