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2019 Highs and Lows

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Yes, I know there's loads of feedback in the prediction threads already; I'm recovering from the annual man flu that at least only started on Monday.


My eighth EOTR since 2011, fourth in a campervan, and just me and Mrs KYTV this year. Still the first thing on the calendar, early birds nabbed for 2020. Familiarity does mean it's a bit less magical than that first one, though.


The weather.  Missed the Saturday downpour in the cinema while Mrs KYTV got soaked.

As always, the breadth of the music.  From Pigs x 7 to Anna St Louis and from Jessica Pratt to Viagra Boys. Good sound this year.

Crying, unexpectedly, 3 min 30 into the astonishing Donnie Darko in the Let's Eat Grandma set. 

Genuinely stunning sets from Kathryn Joseph (eotr Top 10 moment), Kate Tempest and Pigs x7. 

The cinema.  Saw 3 films, Being There & In The Heat Of The Night for the first time. Rotation of the seats worked.

The Talking Heads stage.  Not a big comedy fan, but spent a great Sunday lunchtime watching Anna Man encouraging children to smother their grandparents.

Nice people throughout (except the chatterers).

Good food, and far too much of it. Particularly the onion bhajis.

The gardens.  Mrs KYTV said there was less to see but then we had a proper wander on the Saturday and saw loads of detail.  Magic, still.



Didn't discover much great new stuff.  Believe it or not, this was my first year attending as a Spotify user, previously just bought CDs and LPs at gigs. Knowing what to expect and having your must-sees and possible sorted before EOTR takes some of the fun away. 

I've never really been bothered with headliners before but was determined to find out what all the Courtney fuss was about. And I see Low annually anyway. Then everyone is tweeting that Low in the Garden was life-affirming, which I bet it was. Courtney was OK.

Those fantastic craft keg beers (By the Horns, Lost & Grounded, Wiper & True) on the main bar created the biggest queues I've ever seen for a beer.  And were all gone by Friday lunchtime.

Chatter in the Garden and Tipi.


Could well be an odd one next year.  Mrs KYTV can't do it so back to solo camping for the first time since 2015; could it be that cold again a week into September ?  And what will the crowd look like with schools already back ?

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My sixth End Of The Road. Not my favourite (last year takes that prize, I reckon), but not my worst either.


Diversity of the bill. From Parquet Courts to Ata Kak, Let's Eat Grandma to Kokoko, Mary Lattimore to Kero Kero Bonito, Serpentwithfeet to Kelly Moran. I could trust that every band I'd see would sound different - of course, there was plenty of middle-of-the-road soundalike stuff, but I avoided that. The stuff I made an effort to see was nearly always completely different from one band to the next. Exception maybe being Bodega and Parquet Courts but, ykno, they're like father and son.

Nice people. The abundance of friendly people who put up with my effing irritating tendency to just chat to anyone and everyone.

Surprises/new findsDidn't know much about Nov3l, Jessica Pratt, Kokoko or Pom Poko before the festival. Enjoyed them all a lot!

Forest. Nothing beats some mega jenga, a drunken chat in the games area, followed by a disco boogie!


Chatter. Fucking chatter. Can't be bothered to say any more...

Shower queues. Sort it out, just add 10 more showers!!


Final comment is that I seem to be the only person here who doesn't mind the Garden Stage chair gang. They stop at a certain point, and don't actually get in anyone's way. By the time the busier bands are on, they've moved. Who doesn't enjoy a lie down at the back of the Garden Stage now n again?

Edited by WM Hall
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2 hours ago, WM Hall said:

Final comment is that I seem to be the only person here who doesn't mind the Garden Stage chair gang. They stop at a certain point, and don't actually get in anyone's way. By the time the busier bands are on, they've moved. Who doesn't enjoy a lie down at the back of the Garden Stage now n again?

Garden Stage chair gang don't bother me anymore either. Not much does since retiring, and they're easy to avoid by moving in from the front.

Having been to Latitude in 2017 (under sufferance, never again), I can confirm that EOTR is still a reverential crowd compared to the Waitrose picnic in Suffolk that is Latitude. Each to their own of course, some people just don't like music.

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So, 12th year, arrived very excited, not convinced about music overall but buzzing for my favourite festival. It didn’t disappoint.
Set up, and headed out early evening having unfortunately missed Peach Pyramid so had time to chill with some ales for Flamingods (decent enough) before Spiritualised. I've been wanting to see them for such a long time, having loved Jason P since Spaceman Jr days... Just loved the whole set - epic and blissed out and everything I was hoping for and more. Not fussed about silent disco, wandered around aimlessly after a few ciders soaking up atmosphere and somehow managed to kill 3 hours having fun. Finished off with Hippy Chippy as ever
Headed in for Friday, seriously needing a couple of Bloody Mary’s to smooth off last nights rough edges. Shockingly the usual caravan in the Garden Stage wasn’t open, so had to settle for some very strong drinks from the gin bar. Did the job. Watched Ohtis who were great, then Stella D. Had seen her at Greenman where she was fab, thought she was even better here. Gave up on Jade Bird (weirdest accent since Joss Stone) and headed over to Beths who were fab. Back to tent to regroup and headed in for Bodega. Good set, nice energy to set us up for rest of the night. Was pleasantly surprised by how good Baxter Dury was and made mistake of leaving early to see Wire. Loved them last year when I saw them in a smaller venue, but couldn’t get into them here. Tried Michael K, but need more energy so headed in for PQ who were great. Blew me away when I saw them previously at EOTR but were even better this time. Ended up at Comedy stage for a change (not fussed on seeing Tipi sets) and had a great time with David O’Docherty
Best food - Pad Thai and Spring Rolls
Saturday. Usual plan - head in for BMs and find somewhere to park arses This time started in Tipi for Molly Sarle, then Happyness. Former was lovely, latter fun, with extra points for flamboyant drummer (‘End of the Road means anal to me’ ‘Come and find me for poppers’ etc}. Over to GS for Tyler Childs - just great, but definitely not enough country this year. Thought the day's line up was a bit meh after this - watched Kate Tempest but wasn’t in mood to be reminded how shit everything was, so headed to GS for Kikagaku Moyo. Was hoping for them to be a bit more mental but loved what they did. Gave Low a go (who I usually rate highly) but gave up and saw Courtney B who was great. Swerved Sleaford as I've seen. them too many times and did more comedy - Will Adamsdale: Jackson’s Way. Very surreal and not sure what was really going on, but loved just lying back amongst the trees post midnight, very drunk with a big grin on my face.
Best food - Paella (always goes cold too quickly though) 
Woke upon to find we’d missed Hardskin do a secret set - usually great, so bit gutted. Sounds as if a lot of punters weren’t in on the joke though. Not sure I see point of Secret Sets TBH - most leak anyway and I’m not convinced it would lead to a riot if everyone knew who they are up front. Anyways...
Sunday, woke up thinking how the fuck did it go so quickly. Looking forward to strongest day of music for me though. Lovely, hot day at Garden Stage. Seazoo were great, Israel Nash even better - beautiful grooves on a sunny Sunday afternoon with a pint of ale (we'd left Jessica Pratt as there was a tweet Futr Primitif, who I love, was playing Piano Stage at 2 - didn’t happen unfortunately (thanks for duff info Simon!) but saw Martha Skye Murphy who was nice enough)).
Tunng were amazing, one of my highlights, then back to van to regroup for final push. Saw end of Cate Le Bon who didn’t inspire but was good enough, then Deerhunter who were serviceable but didn’t blow me away either, and headed over to GS with high expectations for Jarvis.
Wouldn’t listen to most of his stuff normally, but he knows how to put on a show. Loved it - especially last song! 
BEAK were fab as ever, loved between song banter as well. Ciders outside Tipi for Viagra Boys and ended up at disco ship for weird drinks made with German equivalent of Red Bull (Club Mate), then some mental cinema until gone 3am. Any reason the comedy finishes so early on a Sunday though?
Headed back hoping I would hear ‘Hit the Road Jack’ (do they play this anymore?} and deep, deep sleep.
Best food - Persian chicken - gutted they’d sold out of lamb curry though
Woke up feeling fucked as ever but already excited about next year….
In reality, there’s about a dozen more I could add here
Just beautiful as ever. People generally so considerate, polite and untwattish. Weather was fab. Beers and food amazing. There’s a few gripes but I can’t be arsed thinking about them in context of probably the best festival out there. Please keep up the good work, but maybe a bit more country/Americana next year please :)
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21 hours ago, Born in the fifties said:

I loved their set so much. I was buzzing so much afterwards. My absolute set of the festival 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on the festival, but thought as this was indeed my first End Of The Road, I would bring a few of my own thoughts to the table. 

I have been to numerous festivals over the years, from the big festivals like Leeds back in my teens with friends, to Primavera, Orlando Calling, and Laneway Festival in NZ to the likes of Camper Calling when we first decided to venture back into the festival realm with kids. But I had seen the lineup to EOTR year on year and was determined this had to be out next family festival. I knew little of anything else in regards to activities beyond the music, the atmosphere, the stages and location prior to making this decision, but thought it was somewhere I needed to experience. 

And while reading everyone's thoughts on the festival prior to going, I can't quite believe just how unique EOTR actually is. The entire vibe was like nothing I had ever experienced before. 

We rocked up in our campervan a little after 5pm on the Thursday evening (also our first campervan festival as my wife was unwilling to tent it anymore!) and I can honestly say the weekend went by so fast we were amazed we got so much packed into it. Between the bands across all stages (the Garden was indeed as special as it had been made out, while the piano stage was a curious little find), the movie tent, the games area, Aardman's workshops, the Effing Forest, the Rig and circus tent, the whole family had a blast. We didn't even get a chance to venture out to the comedy stage such was the wealth of activities on offer. 

Particular highlights were the Ferris Wheel (though finding a time it was open was difficult - stewards seemed oblivious), the photo booth, the disco, and the wonderful set up of the forest.

As for the music, The Murder Capital were immense, not seen a performance like that for a while, the way they reworked their set list from their recent tour to build the set into an emotional roller-coaster was overwhelming at times. Mitski was also great, quite a change in style from the rather minimalist acoustic set I saw her perform in Manchester on the Puberty 2 tour a few years back. Low were majestic, Jarvis was Jarvis, Crack Cloud, Wand and Shame dominated the Big Top. Black Midi swept across the Garden and made a great old racket, while Du Blonde sounded good, though I missed half her set due to queueing outside.

Fontaines were disappointing, literally so flat, glad I left early to get front and centre for The Murder Capital. Same with Spiritualized, who just felt so remote I couldn't really get into. 

To be honest though, whilst we went for the music, the festival proved why it is held in such regard. It is much more than just a music festival, it's an escape, a journey into a magical land and one filled with some of the loveliest folk I have ever met at a festival. I wasn't bothered by the chair debate, which when you ventured further forward seemed to dissappear anyway, while my little girl loved having a good rock out on her dad's shoulders (and while she did urge me to go closer, I did try to acknowledge the obvious dangers of this on certain stages!). The festival had more than enough to entertain two adults, a 7 year old and a 1 year old, which was surprising to say the least!

So all in all, we have booked to go again next year, hopefully the weather holds out as well as it did this year (and a campervan really helps with the evening chill) and we encounter some more wonderful people at a delightful festival. 

Edited by the neon handshake
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