Underage is a fantastic success and proves that teenagers can be responsible

Underage Festival 2009 review

published: Wed 5th Aug 2009

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Sunday 2nd August 2009
Victoria Park, Hackney, London, England MAP
£26.50
last updated: Fri 29th May 2009

A day festival taking place at Victoria Park for £27 from 11am till 8pm for 14 to 18 year olds. Although London transport wasn't great on the day, thousands of teenagers from all over the country managed to attend.

This year had a wider variety of acts then previous years, with headline acts such as Tinchy Stryder, Little Boots, JME, Mystery Jets, The Horrors, Ladyhawke, and Hadouken!. The wider range of music genres also meant a very diverse crowd of teenagers. We got into the festival around 11.30 am thanks to disorganised queues.

around the festival site
After having a wander around the site and collecting our freebies and went to see Casper in the Topman Ctrl Tent at 1.00 pm, followed closely by Rusko. The crowd was lively and everyone truly enjoyed the heavy dubstep and danced for at least an hour straight. It was a brilliant start to the day. Exhausted from dancing we met up with some friends and looked around some of the lesser known bands such as First Aid Kit, Pull In Emergency, and The XX. Underage is an excellent opportunity for new bands to widen their fan-base.

We caught the later half of the Hadouken! set at the Converse Stage, we managed to get ourselves near to the front but then realised it was way too crowded and was starting to get a bit violent despite the Hadouken! front man asking people to calm down and stop pushing each other. After Hadouken! we made our way to the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage to see My Passion, a band who we discovered last year at Underage '08. Their New Wave style caused the crowd to head bang harder than they really should. They gave a great performance despite having grass and various other items thrown at them.

After seeing some of the bands which were favourites of the majority we saw some more grimy artists such as Tinchy Stryder in the Topman Tent who turned out to be a bit disappointing as he doesn't sound different live then he does on the record, but he certainly got the crowds going. After that we went straight to Mystery Jets who gave a more laid back performance than other acts. We then went to see The Horrors who took a while to get on stage which caused the crowd to become restless which meant they were all the more excited during the set.

around the festival site
After The Horrors we went to see JME another British grime artist again in the Topman Tent. which shows the wide array of bands of different genres at the festival. I really enjoyed his set which really got the crowd buzzing and rapping along to some of his more well known songs such as 'Boy Better Know' and 'Standard'. We then went to see a bit of Patrick Wolf who was headlining the Artrocker tent. He preformed songs from his new album 'The Bachelor' as well as some of his more widely known singles but we had to leave half way through to see Metronomy who managed to keep the crowd alive even though everyone was pretty exhausted by the end of the day from standing, dancing, singing, and running around all day long.

All in all we thought the festival was a great success, the acts topping the previous year's and truly worth the money, but unlike last year we didn't get as many freebies which we know everyone appreciates. Also I think that if you're not a particularly confident person then you may feel intimidated by the hustle and bustle of boisterous teenagers.

around the festival site
The food and drink was also extremely expensive considering most of the people there do not have an income of their own and the options are they have to spend all their money on food and drink or go without for the day. They should at least give out free water as it was hot and crowded. Some people did suffer from the heat and dehydration and were taken to the First Aid Tent to recover.

But, to be honest all these points are overlooked by the sheer fantastic success of this day long festival. The weather was superb and the acts performing were perfect. The vibe was cheerful, fun and exiting, I think everyone had a great time listening to good bands and meeting new people their age which gave it a great atmosphere. Having no adults there gave everyone a great sense of independence and it proves that teenagers can be responsible for themselves as nothing terrible happened which some parents would have been worried about.

The next day I woke up with bruised feet and a neck which has really taken the impact of crazy dancing but hey, it was worth it.

All together we had a wonderful and fantastic day and cannot wait for next year and hope that it lives up with our high expectations following Underage '09.

around the festival site

review by: Kyra Greenway

photos by: Jamie Gildea

Sunday 2nd August 2009
Victoria Park, Hackney, London, England MAP
£26.50
last updated: Fri 29th May 2009


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