The Acoustic Festival of Britain was postponed last year due to bad weather, thankfully this year it went ahead as planned. The organisers even managed to secure the same bands too, which can't have been an easy task.
Travelling to the festival by car was difficult due to the lack of road signs, not one sign advertising the festival, it was by pure chance that we came across a small side road which had a banner on it saying 'EVENT' and that was the only sign we spotted. However that was the main entrance sign, so once you see that sign you know you have found the place!
Parking was only £3, and most of the merchandise, drinks, food etc were very good value for money.
The security (see above pic) were fantastic, I believe it was a firm called Diamond Security, and they were polite, friendly, very helpful to the point of waiting by a gentleman's camping gear whilst he went outside the main tent for a cigarette. Maybe more festivals should use this firm as their seemed to be mutual respect between the punters and security, this was instrumental in creating a trouble free music festival. (By the way, that isn't really a pic of security).
This music extravaganza was definitely aimed at being a festival for the fans, ticket holders were allowed to bring cameras, alcohol, chairs, and just soak up the atmosphere and music.
Even the toilets were clean, and there was very little litter, which is incredible for a festival.
Upon entering the main field, we were informed that bands have altered their time slots, and even though this was annoying, the organisers did their best to keep the fans informed with updates after every band.
With the time changes, it did mean that I would have to go and listen to bands that I may not have usually listened to.
Crowded Out were on stage slightly earlier than planned and are certainly worth seeing if you like Crowded House, they ploughed through all of the major hits and won the crowd over with incredible ease.
Glenn Tilbrook had an impressive turnout, and right from the start he built up a good rapport with the audience, he also noticed that one leg of his jeans was ripped and you could see the back of his leg, so he invited a female fan from the audience to come and try rip the other leg of his jeans whilst playing the next song. This was amusing to say the least. Inbetween songs he was quite happy to make jokes about himself and the break up of Squeeze.
Bernie Marsden and Neil Murray & Co better known as Whitesnake members impressed the crowd with their references to David Coverdale in a light hearted, good natured way. Statements like that song is only 30 years old, lets now play one thats newer and only twenty years old, made the audience laugh but also made a lot of fans remember how old they must be. Obviously the sing-along track Here I Go Again had the audience singing their hearts out.
However apart from the usual big names being as good as expected, there were a few pleasant surprises with bands such as Boy On A Dolphin and Rod Branigan who were clearly talented and deserve to become better known in the forthcoming months.
The Acoustic Festival Of Britain 2008 is a festival that is laid back, enjoyable, and has plenty of different acts to cater for everybody's taste. It is one of those festivals where size doesn't matter. The only worry is with the organisers setting such a high benchmark this year, how on earth can they improve on it for next year?
review by: Luke Seagrave
photos by: Luke Seagrave
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