Less is More

Homelands 2003 - OVERVIEW

published: Tue 27th May 2003

Saturday 24th May 2003
The Bowl, Matterley Estate, nr. Winchester, Hants., England MAP
£49
daily capacity: 50000
last updated: Mon 26th May 2003

Whoever decided to reduce the number of tents at We love... Homelands gets some BIG browny points. Either last year the crowds were a bit thin, or they were a bit spread out. And the scorching heat meant many were burnt out by the time the sun went down. In some ways it felt like it never got going last year.

This year had the threat of rain - but nothing more than a few drops, while the temperature was just perfect to get everyone on the boil; the atmosphere was one of the best at Matterley Bowl.

Dave Pearce

The Live Arena was DJ-less, and all over before midnight. Some of the 5 main DJ tents closed before the 6am end too, but this improved things. The dancefloors were full right through the night (the crowds normally thin out as many don't stay until the end), and the party kept going hard.

Kosheen

Some of live acts didn't hit their expected potential – for example, Kosheen started off full of energy, and although enjoyable, somewhere it faded a little, and The Streets didn't quite work. But Mint Royale were a pleasant surprise, and Junior Senior brought the house down!

Arena 5 was pulling the crowds all night; I watched many people aiming on heading past, only to be sucked right in. Raving for 15 years, how times have changed; the DJ's were dropping tunes I'd never have expected at a 'cool' event - the Beastie's "Fight for your right to party" set the tone with a sing (shout?) a-long, and Human League's "Love Action" didn't clear the floor. At points it felt like it could be a mid-eighties rock(!) disco ... but it was far from bad. Even Tom & Ed Chemical stuck their heads in before moving on to play their set.

Grandmaster Flash

Arena 1 was for the 'Superstar DJs'. Early on, and competing with the ever popular Radio 1 Outdoor Stage (what is it about dancing in the open?), you could see from his grin that newly promoted James Zabeila was loving it, as were the smallish but very keen crowd. But maybe many of those big names are old hat now, and we've probably all seen them many times before ... despite passing through the tent often during the night it didn't persuade me to stay.

James Zabeila

The other arenas showed their popularity too ... crowds spilling out the doors of Arena 2 - a struggle to get in; the D'n'B in 3 proving as popular as ever; the banging techno in 4.

And the Strongbow Rooms and Bacardi Bar – in the past perhaps just a sideshow – showed just how much of a valuable addition they are. I've never seen such a permanent crowd in the B Bar, and they certainly weren't there for the drink!

Down-sized, but not down the pan. Crowds up – on their feet. Less is more.

Check out the reviews and photos!

Saturday 24th May 2003
The Bowl, Matterley Estate, nr. Winchester, Hants., England MAP
£49
daily capacity: 50000
last updated: Mon 26th May 2003


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