Underage delivers great music and a brilliant atmosphere

Underage Festival 2011 review

published: Mon 15th Aug 2011

around the festival site

Friday 5th August 2011
Victoria Park, Hackney, London, England MAP
£31.50 for 13-17 year olds only
last updated: Thu 21st Jul 2011

The Underage Festival is a music festival exclusively for 13-17 year olds. Situated in Victoria Park, London it boasts 7 stages, which offer a large variety of music. Now in its 4th year, Underage will appeal to many teenagers, all with many different musical tastes. Featuring bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Rizzle Kicks, and Autumn In Disguise, the festival lived up to expectation.

around the festival site
The majority of the bands that played I hadn't heard of before, so it was nice to be introduced to some new bands. However, the one band that I was looking forward to, The Midnight Beast, disappointed me. They were twenty minutes late on, and you could hardly hear them, their fans were very vocal, and the band were drowned out, possibly the PA system didn't have enough grunt? They didn't translate well to the live stage compared to their studio recordings. Because of The Midnight Beast being on late, a lot of attention was taken off of the main headline act, Bombay Bicycle Club. This was unfortunate, as they were a lot better than The Midnight Beast. The crowd that were there seemed to enjoy them.

My Passion
The Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage catered more for the rock music fans. With bands such as The Hype Theory and Page 44, it proved successful. Best band on the Red Bull stage was the headliner, My Passion. They were very enthusiastic with their performance and their passion rubbed off onto the crowd.

Unfortunately, many performers on the Art Rocker stage were not as well received. Maybe the bands were trying too hard to be cool? The first band that I saw, Romance, looked very bored, lacked stage presence and didn't look like they wanted to be there. This reflected onto the crowd and left them playing to an audience of around 10. Hoping things would improve on the Art Rocker stage I made the effort to go in and see other bands throughout the day, audiences were always sparse.

Miles Kane played the Underage Festival Stage, he was the best act on. The crowd really appreciated him and he interacted with the audience very well. Other acts on the Underage Festival Stage who gave impressive performances included Rizzle Kicks and Crystal Fighters, the latter most notably suffering with the lighting being slightly out of sync with the music. This was an issue on the stage through-out the day. Other popular bands that were on included Dog Is Dead, YasmIn and The Ocean Between Us.

around the festival site
Aside from the music, all the other activities are well aimed at teenagers including a signing tent and a silent disco. The idea of the signing tent was awesome, as teenagers love to meet their favourite bands and artists, as well as giving the artists the chance to meet their fans. Both this and the Silent Disco proved very popular, and were enjoyed immensely.

There were many stalls run by different charities around the site, which highlighted important issues and what can be done to help them. There were plenty of give-aways, such as badges and bags, which was a brilliant method of letting the public know about the charity and their actions. Charities that were present at the site included War Child and UNICEF. The stalls were a fantastic way for the charities to raise funds for themselves, as well as raising awareness with the younger generations.

Coca-Cola had a stall, which promoted recycling, as well as the Olympics Future Flames. It offered items of clothing made from recycled items, in return for plastic bottles.

Claire's Accessories had a very popular styling area. They gave out many free items as well as offering free hair styling, make up or nail varnish. However, the wait to get in was very long, about an hour. It was definitely worth the wait and the inside of the caravan was very nicely decorated, as well as the staff being very friendly.

Tek One
For many parents, the idea of letting their children go to a festival without them would be daunting. However, the security at the festival was very good, without being stifling. I definitely felt safe, with policeman patrolling around the site, as well as Underage officials clearly visible around the festival.

The choice of merchandise was lacking, T-shirts were a bit too plain, as well as costing £15. I think they need to extend the range, as well as making the T-shirts more detailed and attractive. They were selling 2010 merchandise at full price, so if this is to be repeated it needs to be at a reduced cost. There was also very little choice of band merchandise on sale, mainly a few band T-shirts.

around the festival site
There were plenty of food stalls offering a wide variety of dishes from vegetarian, pancakes, burgers through to fish & chips. The food was of high quality, but expensive. However, there could've been more tables and benches to sit on, there was a few, but these were often full, so most people ended up sitting on the floor.

Overall the festival is worth a visit, with great music and a brilliant atmosphere. It gives you the chance to meet some of your favourite artists and see them live, as well as letting you discover new ones. There are plenty of stalls there to keep you entertained as well. The variety of food on offer is very extensive, and with tickets priced at just over £30, it is excellent value for money.
review by: Phoebe Rodwell

photos by: Courtenay Francesqa Wells

Friday 5th August 2011
Victoria Park, Hackney, London, England MAP
£31.50 for 13-17 year olds only
last updated: Thu 21st Jul 2011


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