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bombfrog

The future of Silver Hayes

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What do people think the future holds for Silver Hayes? A few thoughts have led me to ask the question.....

1) A recent poll on here showed that it's one of the least liked areas.

2) I haven't seen an act in SH for a few years, despite loving electronic music.

3) I've been saying for ages that it doesn't have a venue big enough for a big dance act so even if they did want to book one they couldn't really.

4) Having loads of small venues close together has always been a huge problem with sound bleed. I tried to watch Maverick Sabre on the Sunday night but gave up after 10 minutes because he's quite chilled and the sound coming from the Pussy Parlure right opposite drowned him out. The sound is just a total mess.

Now, I do think that there have been a few improvements this year. The Sonic stage was definitely better (the tent, not the lineup) and having better access through the widened side exit towards the pyramid markets was an improvement, but I can't help thinking that it's been overtaken by other areas which do the same thing better, in particular having Carl Cox, Fatboy, Annie Mac and Andy C on Arcadia Pangea this year to me shows that SH has failed and that electronic music is just better represented in other areas of the site now.

Is part of the problem that the kind of tmusic they play there just doesn't work at 2 in the afternoon? Acts are put on in order of popularity, not suitability to the time of day so you have some unknown drum and bass act at midday and Maverick Sabre at 1am. It's just bizarre.

So, could it be improved, does it still have a purpose or should the space just be used for something better? 

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The area is just a bit .... well..... meh and nondescript. It needs a big overhaul... 

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As much as I love dance music I do despair at SH. Is it a coincidence the initials have a double meaning. Complete SH. IMO. 😄

I do feel it's getting left behind . Nice big area that could be 'redeveloped' with some fresh thinking. Maybe a greener approach needed to deter some of the waste I've witnessed in the past.  🤔

Edited by mashedonmud

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We went there for Joy Crookes who is also quite a quiet act & some of her most beautiful songs had to compete with a heavy dnb backdrop. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the positioning of the acts in that area.

.....but for the first time this year it hit me that the sound bleed  isn’t just a problem when you are watching an act, it’s a massive problem as you walk through. There is no way that any one tent can simply draw you in, in that way when you are just passing and HAVE to go & check it out because ‘There it is! That’s my sound!’ 

As you walk through there is just a tangle of beats so that unless you are heading for a specific act, you will keep walking, nothing will grab you because nothing is distinct. It’s trying to do far too much.

In it’s early days it was the go to destination for dance music but the SE corner, Pangea/Arcadia & The Glade are all preferable in their unique ways.

I’d ditch it as a ‘dance’ concept and  keep a collection of one off stages there (but not so close together) - Gully/Blues, pull The Rocket Lounge (which has a much more generic appeal) over from the SE corner, maybe Glasto Latino & the Rum Shack - give it a bit of an overall Caribbean/reggae/soca/ska personality.

Edited by amfy
Noticed several typos which lost some of my meaning
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7 minutes ago, bombfrog said:

What do people think the future holds for Silver Hayes? A few thoughts have led me to ask the question.....

1) A recent poll on here showed that it's one of the least liked areas.

2) I haven't seen an act in SH for a few years, despite loving electronic music.

3) I've been saying for ages that it doesn't have a venue big enough for a big dance act so even if they did want to book one they couldn't really.

4) Having loads of small venues close together has always been a huge problem with sound bleed. I tried to watch Maverick Sabre on the Sunday night but gave up after 10 minutes because he's quite chilled and the sound coming from the Pussy Parlure right opposite drowned him out. The sound is just a total mess.

Now, I do think that there have been a few improvements this year. The Sonic stage was definitely better (the tent, not the lineup) and having better access through the widened side exit towards the pyramid markets was an improvement, but I can't help thinking that it's been overtaken by other areas which do the same thing better, in particular having Carl Cox, Fatboy, Annie Mac and Andy C on Arcadia Pangea this year to me shows that SH has failed and that electronic music is just better represented in other areas of the site now.

Is part of the problem that the kind of tmusic they play there just doesn't work at 2 in the afternoon? Acts are put on in order of popularity, not suitability to the time of day so you have some unknown drum and bass act at midday and Maverick Sabre at 1am. It's just bizarre.

So, could it be improved, does it still have a purpose or should the space just be used for something better? 

I don’t know why there needs to be so much electronic music over the whole festival? I get why I suppose, drug use is pretty common and what goes with dropping a disco biscuit? A 4 to the floor techno banger. I just think that the space of Silver Hayes could utilised better and doesn’t really need to be playing Drum & Bass at half 1 in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong I know people are in to it and that’s fine but I do think like you said it’s not at its best at half 1 on the Sunday afternoon. 

Why don’t they have 2 split time tables? Have bands in the day time DJs / electronic artists after 9 o’clock? Could book some different stuff. On maybe just one big stage. More reggae? Could book artists like Toots & The Maytals? The Wailers? The space could definitely be used better in my opinion. 

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It's a very big space, in a festival that has run out of space. I like the idea of splitting it into a daytime and nighttime line-up though, would reduce the need for acts to be programmed in order of popularity. Might also increase the chances that somebody might pull a big crowd into SH during the day.

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I thought Silver Hayes was decent this year, 

Sonic had massive improvements, WoW stage expanded and speakers seemed a lot louder and thought they had quite a diverse line up which represented the current UK music scene quite well at the moment.

Although saying that Gully Blues sound system didn't seem as good this year.

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6 minutes ago, lukethekid said:

 Don’t get me wrong I know people are in to it and that’s fine but I do think like you said it’s not at its best at half 1 on the Sunday afternoon. 

 

Oh, oh it is 🙂

 

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Barely even wandered through there this year, so brace yourself for some un-informed commentary :D

First up, I think it needs a rethink rather than a replacement.  Given the number of stages, areas, bars etc already at Glastonbury, I don't think another "proper" stage would work so well.  T&C and Cabaret fields are already covered, and pretty sure we don't need any more shops selling wacky hats.

BBC Introducing stage could happily go somewhere else, that just sticks out like a sore thumb.  Feels better that they've moved it to the north end, but I wonder if they could find a way to put it closer to the JPT?  Either change up the camping and use some of Lower Mead, or even swap it with the Beat Hotel location.

Move Wow! and Sonic further apart, having two noise systems that close together just destroys it a bit. @amfyhas picked up on that, but as a walker there's no discernible difference to pull you in, just a mess of sound and bass. Maybe even lose one of the stages there.

Design generally could do with a change.  Commented on so often that it just feels like a big pathway with some shit stuck either side of it.  I know SE Corner is its own beast, but if you compare just how interesting the place looks in comparison to SH, not even close.  I don't know if it's because that part of the site is just so open? Not much there for them to build an area around?

In terms of the music, none of the stages seem to have an identity really.  Gully Blues is probably closest, but its identity this year depended entirely on what day you went there!  Maybe think of taking a bit of an approach that you'd get on a club holiday to Ibiza or something; a later start with chilled Balearic-type beats early afternoon, hammocks, shit like that. As the sun starts setting and people start waking up, then the music ramps up.  I probably still wouldn't be there in the evening as it's just not my scene for the most part, but I could definitely see me taking some time out in the afternoon to sit back with a beer and some chillout tunes.

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Did a night in the Silent Disco & enjoyed that a lot.

Nothing else held any attraction - it does seem to be an odd mix of tents/stages 

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20 minutes ago, lukethekid said:

I don’t know why there needs to be so much electronic music over the whole festival? I get why I suppose, drug use is pretty common and what goes with dropping a disco biscuit? A 4 to the floor techno banger. I just think that the space of Silver Hayes could utilised better and doesn’t really need to be playing Drum & Bass at half 1 in the afternoon. Don’t get me wrong I know people are in to it and that’s fine but I do think like you said it’s not at its best at half 1 on the Sunday afternoon. 

Why don’t they have 2 split time tables? Have bands in the day time DJs / electronic artists after 9 o’clock? Could book some different stuff. On maybe just one big stage. More reggae? Could book artists like Toots & The Maytals? The Wailers? The space could definitely be used better in my opinion. 

Like you say, people like it so why bother changing it? There's always enough crowd there.

I dont know a lot about disk jockeying but I imagine you cram a lot more acts in for less money and having to lug a lot less gear around.

Also I've never looked at the line up and thought 'this could use more bands'. Clash city as it is. I believe it was a great space for grime and the like this year as well. 

I dunno it's not really my area. Some people like to chill at the pyramid at 2pm. Some people like to explore the site around that time. I like finding stuff to angrily nod to drinking warm beer. Clearly lots of people like moving tent to tent listening to dance music.

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44 minutes ago, Quark said:

 Commented on so often that it just feels like a big pathway with some shit stuck either side of it.

I'm not really a fan of dance music anymore, and this is exactly how I feel about Silver Hayes. Pretty much every other area on site has some appeal to me, but I just find this a bit soulless. It would be great if it got a rethink and went big on some acoustic acts, some chill out stuff and perhaps some nice activities during the day, getting more dance focused as the evening wears on.

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The area needs to be split up ... I think one person has been looking after the area for quite a while now ( memory could be wrong ) it needs injecting with some new creative flair ( if anyones listening :) I'm free :) ) the blues / gully was much better in that dip by the stream and this is probably the most aesthetically pleasing in that area ... Some of the old stage additions would look great around there too ... what happened to the phoenix ? .... and maybe the path shouldn't be directly through the middle ... there seems to be plenty of space for other additions too ... this and the other stage seem to suffer from a pretty flat layout therefore making it more difficult to make it interesting 

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As a first timer this year to modern Glasto i have to say that SH stood out as a lacking a personality when compared to Pangea and the SEC in terms of Dance locations. 

Having said that, we were there for Thursday night for Annie Mac and Friends, and Friday night headliner slot for Wilkinson B2B Subfocus and both times there were decent crowds and the tunes were decent with everyone enjoying themselves. 

We also walked through it at various points in the day / night as it was on our route into the fest coming down / going up from Ped Gate A.

- Soundbleed is clearly an issue, both when trying to watch someone specific and as others mentioned as your just walking through. I think fewer stages / tents with larger capacities are probably the answer here. I like a boogie, but often, my and my missus would like to sit at the side of a tent / stage late at night and just listen to the tunes, we tried to do this at Camelphat but as soon as you were out of the tent the noise from 3 other stages just made it an unpleasant place to sit, we were about to leave when Gully Blues finished and finally we were in a great spot to just sit and listen. 

- BBC introducing - just shouldnt be there, doesnt fit with the rest of the 

- Acts whether bands or grime artists during the day followed by DJs in the evenings would make more sense. 

- Gully Blues seemed to dominate both visually and sound wise, but it never appeared that busy - seems like the production was all spent on that stage and very little left for the others. 

Definitely one of the areas which i think could do with more themeing and excitement, although i thought the line up was decent from a dance perspective. My missus would happily have spent all weekend there.  

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Its a bit mixed up alright. There were a lot of big names there this year and any time I passed through most of the stages had a good crowd. Gully Blues could be pretty empty during the day though. The area probably needs a total revamp from the ground up although I don't know if that's worth the effort for the festival, the changes they made for this year were definitely improvements. WOW tent is too small for the names they're putting in there now. I went there for four tet this year and it was uncomfortably rammed, that combined with the low tent canopy made it feel really claustrophobic.

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JP tent moved a few years ago, pick it up again and drop it in the middle of where SH is now.  Maybe keep BBC there too. 

Everything else move to Woods / where JP is now.  Would there be more scope for the existing venues to fit into that area in a more interesting way and hopefully no longer so much sound bleed?  Lots to be thought trough in terms of placing backstages and rejig of camping areas.

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It's the one area of the festival, as others have pointed out, that seems to have no distinct personality or flair. If somebody asked me to describe it without reference to it's location I'd really struggle. "It's the dance area, but not SE corner, or Pangea." In fairness, it's competing against those two areas that are visually mesmerising.

What I would do:

1). Relocate BBC Introducing - would it fit where Beats Hotel is/was? 

2). Cut down the number of stages. There's too many, they cut across one another. 

3). Identify one main stage - Sonic or Gully Blues. 

In fact, I'd copy The Park by having a main stage/large tent and then lots of smaller tents. A big problem is that the big dance acts get bumped to Other stage, so Silver Hayes is never going to have the biggest names playing. But at the same time, it's so visually uninspiring compared to the Glade, SE Corner and Pangea.

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1 hour ago, priest17 said:

Like you say, people like it so why bother changing it? There's always enough crowd there.

I dont know a lot about disk jockeying but I imagine you cram a lot more acts in for less money and having to lug a lot less gear around.

Also I've never looked at the line up and thought 'this could use more bands'. Clash city as it is. I believe it was a great space for grime and the like this year as well. 

I dunno it's not really my area. Some people like to chill at the pyramid at 2pm. Some people like to explore the site around that time. I like finding stuff to angrily nod to drinking warm beer. Clearly lots of people like moving tent to tent listening to dance music.

True man, if people are in to it and enjoy it how it is then why change it to something that might not be as popular. I do think though that although people obviously enjoy it they probably are missing out on other more interesting things (to me anyway not everybody has the same interests as me I understand that). If you want to go to Glastonbury simply to go and stand in the middle of Silver Hayes for the duration surely there are other festivals better equipped for their needs? Saying that that’s not to say people don’t do those festivals as well as Glastonbury so just completely ignore everything that I’ve just written. 

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5 minutes ago, p.pete said:

Everything else move to Woods / where JP is now.  Would there be more scope for the existing venues to fit into that area in a more interesting way and hopefully no longer so much sound bleed?  Lots to be thought trough in terms of placing backstages and rejig of camping areas.

The sound restrictions on that side of the site are the most stringent so moving Sonic or Wow further that way won't work.

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They should never have got rid of the Dance East & Dance west tents and kept the G stage. Always had a good mix of bands and djs on through the day.

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In 15 years of going to Glastonbury I think I can count on one hand the number of acts I've seen in the Dance Village/Silver Hayes...

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9 minutes ago, lukethekid said:

True man, if people are in to it and enjoy it how it is then why change it to something that might not be as popular. I do think though that although people obviously enjoy it they probably are missing out on other more interesting things (to me anyway not everybody has the same interests as me I understand that). If you want to go to Glastonbury simply to go and stand in the middle of Silver Hayes for the duration surely there are other festivals better equipped for their needs? Saying that that’s not to say people don’t do those festivals as well as Glastonbury so just completely ignore everything that I’ve just written. 

Ahah I think everyone here is making valid points but no one here seems to be what its aimed at. Maybe some people put aside one day just for a SH day. Maybe people love that with the option of nipping out to see kylie minogue or anything else on show. I dont by any means think it's perfect and doubt anyone does but it's clearly got its fans. Personally theres nothing missing from my Glastonbury experience that changing that are could give me and with the JP tent moving it's not like it's even a way to get anywhere anymore. 

The festivals constantly changing so I'm sure itll become something else over time. Talking to people who already like it it's not really the Barron horrible place people on here are making it out to be.

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10 minutes ago, priest17 said:

Personally theres nothing missing from my Glastonbury experience that changing that are could give me and with the JP tent moving it's not like it's even a way to get anywhere anymore. 

Except all the West campsites

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9 minutes ago, priest17 said:

Ahah I think everyone here is making valid points but no one here seems to be what its aimed at.

If it's not aimed at me (a life long lover of electronic music and former DJ) then I'm not entirely sure who it is aimed at. I think the point here is that it has  very little mainstream appeal for an area which takes up such a large and central slice of the site. I cam in Pylon so walk through it every day at least twice and it's definitely empty most of the time. Gully Blues is an impressive looking stage but I didn't see more than around 50 people dancing in front of it at any time. Putting a big screen up in front of it was.... optimistic at best.

I did like that little "No Average Groove" stage though. There was good music coming out of that at all times of day and always at least 10 people dancing in front of it :D

 

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