Thursday at Big Chill turns out to be the perfect opening night

The Big Chill 2011 review

published: Mon 15th Aug 2011

around the festival site (2)

Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August 2011
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1RL, England MAP
£165 for the weekend
daily capacity: 30000
last updated: Thu 1st Sep 2011

Thursday morning I travel through the beautiful Malvern Hills on our way to Eastnor castle, situated two miles out of the quaint black and white market town of Ledbury. On arrival we are greeted by the view of Eastnor castle standing proud in front of a majestic lake, over which you can take a zip wire ride from the highest turret on the castle, a great random treat at a festival, from first impressions this is feeling like it could be a weekend to remember.

around the festival site (1)
I slowly amble to the campsites of which there were four, and picked a nice spot under a tree on which to pitch, early arrival is advised as quite a lot of the camping space is on hills, lovely for views, not so great when the end of a long day comes, and you feel like your climbing Snowdon to your tent.

After a nice relaxed day In the camp site I have a bimble into the arena, through very stringent checks, all too a massed chorus of "I'm sorry sir you're not allowed to take your own alcohol into the arena!" A phrase we all love to hate.

After passing through alcohol passport control I'm confronted by a stunning festival site, from the onset a place you could easily fall in love with, a little valley of peace and harmony hidden from the soon to be rioting outside world, the vibe of the site was very laid back and relaxed, akin only to the feeling I have felt at Glastonbury, this was all slowly coming together.

After a good ramble round site, the handful of Thursday acts started to hit the stages, on what proved to be a great night, The Deer Park Stage rumbled into life with its sole performer of the night James Blake commanding a sizeable audience, it was a real gem of a performance mixing up moody dark synth tunes with dubby beats and atmospheric chill out sounds which the crown lapped up. It seemed to encompass the name of the festival perfectly, this was The Big Chill, it sounded to me like this could have been the music produced by Moby's darker evil twin if there were such a creature.

around the festival site (2)
On to the Global Local tent where The Vaudeville Rave, hosts of Europe's largest electro swing night were hosting an opening night party to rival anything on the weekend's line-up, including acts of the calibre of Dutty Moonshine, Savage Henry, and Major Zero. They absolutely blew the tent away, packed until 2 am. On top of the treat of finding the Somerset cider bus parked right next door, meant this had turned into a truly great opening night.
review by: Jamie Licence

photos by: Phil Bull

Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August 2011
Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 1RL, England MAP
£165 for the weekend
daily capacity: 30000
last updated: Thu 1st Sep 2011


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