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the eFestivals blog

Entries in this blog

 

I'm sorry, Dawn Penn

I once wrote a review saying how dreadful I thought Dawn Penn was as a live act. I saw her a second time and that didn't change my mind. Both of those times she was backed by a DJ and not a live band.   I saw her again yesterday at Bristol's Harbourfest, with a live band. She was great!   That was a hard crowd to win over, too - and she got them.

Neil

Neil

 

the eFestivals app for Android

I'm really pleased that I've succeeded in knocking together a comprehensive and free Android app for eFestivals. You can download it here:- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nrgi.efestivals

Neil

Neil

 

not so wet wet wet

My own visits to camping festivals are over for another summer, and despite officially being the wettest summer on record I've not seen that much mud. Last summer I went to eight camping festivals. In every case there was more rain than any sensible festival goer would want, much use of wellies (tho I did get away with properly-waterproof trainers once or twice), and it was often far colder than you'd expect even with a British summer (the official stats confirm last summer as colder than t

Neil

Neil

 

pay to say

Payola was a big thing in the past; it probably still goes on - taking money from record companies to feature their products on mainstream radio to help push sales - but it's probably so engrained into the music biz now that it's no longer considered a scandal. From a moral point of view it probably makes bankers look honest. There's a second version of payola, which works within what is known as journalism. It's not actually journalists who do it of course, because writing fiction is not w

Neil

Neil

 

Wanted not wanted?

I'd say not, but as I've only viewed it from the M1 what do I know? Is there much to love about Luton? Anyway, the 'Love Luton' event - I hesitate to use the word 'festival' - offers a line-up including The Wanted. And Olly Murs. I can't say it's top of my own list of where to go this summer. Tickets are now £15, and anyone who bought at ticket at the previous higher price will be sent a free extra ticket.

Neil

Neil

 

choosing the weather

The weather has been dreadful lately, it's hard to believe that the country is suffering a drought. And last summer's festival weather was dreadful too, the worst I've encountered across a summer since I started running eFestivals back in 2000. With this year's summer festival season just about to start, I'm betting there's lots of festival organisers and festival goers wondering when it'll stop. For some they're now in the two-week range, when the more reputable weather forecasters ar

Neil

Neil

 

the incompetence of BT

eFestivals moved premises in mid-January. A move of phone services from one premises to another should be an easy task for any competent business to manage. And yet... - BT took the order wrongly. - BT failed to fulfil the order properly. - BT did the bits they did several days later than they should have. - The engineer did a dreadful job, requiring the wiring in both my house and the exchange to need to be re-done. - it was near-impossible to get them to send that diferent e

Neil

Neil

 

twice as big, half as good?

The cancellation of some of the more major festivals this year have brought a lot of easy headlines for newspapers and the music press, with a raft of reasons suggested as the cause - the olympics, the recession, poor bookings, expensive tickets, and the like. Those things are of course in the mix and it would be foolish to dismiss the effect they have, but there's much more going on to effect the festivals scene than just those. Back in 2006 I wrote this article titled "Regulation, Re

Neil

Neil

 

What kind of f**kery is this? - Amy Winehouse RIP

I'm not one to get all mawkish about the death of someone I don't know. And if you try juggling knives then why be surprised if they cut you? She did what she did and the consequences are hers. All the same - and I don't say this lightly - the world of music has lost a huge talent. In the 13 years I've been writing about festivals and the acts I've seen there, I can't think of any act who's talent has jumped out and grabbed me in such a strong way as Amy Winehouse. I first saw Amy and

Neil

Neil

 

bands I've seen ... but wished I hadn't (Part 1)

What you like is what you like; you don't have to agree with me. Ali Campbell UB40's ex-frontman is now out on his own. The fall-out with his brother and other UB40 members looks like it's pretty large - perhaps as large as Ali himself now is in his ill-fitting suits - because the set contained absolutely no original UB40 compositions as far as I could tell. All you get linking back to then is the classic covers - 'Red Red Wine', 'Kingston Town', and the like. Meanwhile, Ali himself

Neil

Neil

 

2009 - a brilliant year for eFestivals

It's now just over a year since the revamp of eFestivals, and the massive increase in traffic thru the year proves that it was long over-due and that it's gone down very well. :angry: There were about 6.2M unique users over the year, which is over 3 times the number claimed by our nearest competitor. There were about 75M pages viewed thru the year. Approximately 40% of those page views were for the forums, with the rest being on the main part of the site. The percentage of unique users

Neil

Neil

 

the fuss about flags - a different take on things.

There's been a big fuss about flags this summer, with many people complaining that their enjoyment of acts at festivals have been spoilt by the huge number of people in front of them in the crowd with flags, blocking their view of the stage. They have a point - at times, particularly at Glastonbury's main stage, this long-running problem stepped very firmly into the realms of huge excess. Why do some people have these flags? At the most simple level, they have them because they think it'

Neil

Neil

 

eFestivals on the up

The new website design seems to be going down extremely well. While it's not possible to do a true like-for-like comparison of last year's website traffic compared to this year's traffic due to some of the changes in the redesign as well as some other background changes, it's certainly the case that there's been a very significant increase in website readership, and the 'stickiness' of those readers. For example:- - number of pages viewed is significantly up. - number of pages vie

Neil

Neil

 

RSS feeds

As a part of the website redesign (which will go live within the next week sometime) there's now an RSS feed available of the latest eFestivals News. For all the information, please see here.

Neil

Neil

 

finding my god

As an easy way to take some load of the main eFestivals server, I've fairly recently created some new sub-domains of eFestivals.co.uk on another server, of 'images', and 'archive'. While these are good for their created purposes, I've realised since I set them up that they're only really any good for those specific purposes, and aren't particularly good for use for any other purposes. If I was to carry on in the same way I could end up with tens of different use-specific sub-domains which

Neil

Neil

 

movin' on....

It's now nearly a year since I moved more into a back office role for eFestivals, and it's been pleasing to have the time to get many of the things done that have been put to the side for years simply because there's not been the time to do them without putting myself thru bad insomnia. It's been great to get a bit of my life back. Much of what's been done won't have been noticeable to anyone, and even many of the bits that are visible to website users will have probably passed many people

Neil

Neil

 

that's another summer gone....

Well, that's another summer that's been and gone, with just a few more outdoor fests left before the weather gets bad. Except the weather is bad already - in fact did it ever get good? That's two summers on the trot where it's been generally awful. Hopefully it's all been due to La Niña, which is normally a two-year weather event and started in early 2007, which means that it's likely that next year will be back to a normal British summer (Yes, that means it rains, but also means it doesn'

Neil

Neil

 

there's so much bullshit around here

eFestivals has had a problem for a while with a certain music-based publicity company having their staff making publicity posts here. The terms & conditions of the use of these forums is that they're not to be used for commercial purposes. To try to get around that, these staff have made numerous registrations in the normal sorts of usernames that genuine users use, and then made their posts in a deceptive manner, in a "have you heard the latest album by XXXXX? It's superb, check it out

Neil

Neil

 

our first festival video

This summer eFestivals has branched out into producing videos about festivals. Although self-produced videos are becoming a bigger thing as the technology improves and becomes easier, nearly every festival video out there is of the "look at me and my mates being daft" kind, which aren't of much interest to anyone who doesn't know those people. We've gone for quality and a more professional angle, with a more documentary feel, to give a feel of what a festival is all about. We've alre

Neil

Neil

 

what do you see in the Mirror....?

eFestivals was approached by a newspaper journo - a freelancer, working for one of the nationals - the other day, after some festival information. There's nowt special about that as it often happens, however... What was rather 'special' was this journo's approach. The normal deal - a deal that is requested explicitly from them, but which is also what they know is the case for this sort of thing - is that eFestivals helps them with their research, and eFestivals gets a mention in the article

Neil

Neil

 

fashions come and go

With yet another festival (Blissfields) having fallen by the wayside for this year, it's pretty clear that fashions are changing. Blissfields hasn't been hugely ambitious and had (in comparison to other fests) a good offering at a good price, but this was an unfortunate year to go for it - many established festivals appear to suffering a downturn in sales, and i wouldn't be surprised to see a big-name established fest fall this year (it might happen this year but might well not be back next

Neil

Neil

 

the bullshit of boutique

"Boutique" is being applied to festivals attended by numbers from 500 to 50,000. So what does it mean? From Dictionary.com:- bou·tique [boo-teek] –noun 1. a small shop or a small specialty department within a larger store, esp. one that sells fashionable clothes and accessories or a special selection of other merchandise. 2. any small, exclusive business offering customized service: Our advertising is handled by a new Madison Avenue boutique. 3. Informal. a small business,

Neil

Neil

 

lower sales means it's payola time ... but not at eFestivals

It's not only Glastonbury that's suffered from slower sales this year - although it's not being said explicitly, from where I'm sat it seems pretty clear that a number of festivals are suffering from slower sales this year, and desperation is starting to set in for some. In the days when there was a huge singles market, record companies used to fill DJs pockets with cash to play their records and say how fantastic that particular single was. The result would be that the single with the payo

Neil

Neil

 

server tuning part 4

The new server is now in place, which adds around 80% to the load capacity that was available last Monday when the Reading/Leeds tickets went on sale. Had this new server been in place on Monday, then I believe that no issues would have been experienced by people using the site at that time. And as there were around 50% more users online simultaneously on Monday across the whole website than this website has experienced previously and things mostly ran OK, I think that's a pretty good indic

Neil

Neil

 

server tuning part 3

Yesterday was announcement & ticket day for Reading & Leeds festivals, and eFestivals had a new record for the number of users. There were around 40% more users than there were for the previous record, and (mostly) the servers coped better than they did for the previous record. There were still some issues tho. One of the servers that has been problematic over the last month didn't operate as it should, and led to things slowing down when it shouldn't have - the servers could and sh

Neil

Neil

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