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Bearded Theory 2024


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Wednesday didn't start well, thought the signage for the car park was crap. When we got there it just said 'pick-up/drop off' so we drove past it twice (as did both my mates who arrived at different times on the Weds morning). Two hours late opening the gates, but appreciate with the extreme weather probably took longer to get whatever agreement is required to open the site. Generally think the site held up relatively well considering. 

 

Had great conversations with absolutely loads of lovely randoms, but for the first time did see some real dickheads this year, (including the couple who had a very loud profanity filled blazing row in family camping at 3am (I know it was 3am because they kept shouting it out like some sweary drunken Big Ben)

 

Music wise think Bob Vylan was an absolute highlight, thought Dexys were surprisingly good and Beans and Jess Silk were great. We decided to shoot Sunday lunchtime so sadly missed Big Special (but had seen them the week before). Didnt really find any new bands before.

 

Overall, generally enjoyed it and it got the thumbs up from the two mates and their families that I'd finally persuaded to come for the first time.

 

This was our 6th Bearded and we normally book early birds but think for next year we will wait for the line up announcement...being there next year doesnt feel as essential as it has previously. 

Edited by Flaminglippy
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30 minutes ago, balti-pie said:

They’ll be better informed in terms of logistics the next time that site gets a dollop of weather - it’s used for Bloodstock in August too, so it’s all useful research. The last really wet BT was 2014 apparently, so there’s been a fair few layout and logistical changes since then, but now they’ll know where might need shitloads of straw laying down, metal pathways, all that jazz. As ever it’s a work in progress. It was specifically tricky circumstances with that much weather on that day in particular. 

Bloodstock and a cider festival and some sort of fireworks gig as well I think, plus presumably other more local events, shooting parties whatever.

Yeah 2014 was epic muddy too. Site coped better than that I reckon this year considering the rainfall level. As a business they do need to absorb costs like chipping and track etc when they need them and make hay so to speak when it's dry and they don't need them.

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2 minutes ago, Pinhead said:

Bloodstock and a cider festival and some sort of fireworks gig as well I think, plus presumably other more local events, shooting parties whatever.

 

Prior to this year, they also had Back2 festival, featuring all the crap 90/00s pop you can imagine. Though I think it's moved this year.

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1 hour ago, Nobody Interesting said:

There is no way you can plan for extreme weather like there was that has never happened before

I've lurked long enough on the Politics thread to know that you probably don't mean how this comes across. I know you understand that 'extreme' events are dialed in to become more common as you spend time (quite rightly imo) proselytizing over green issues. We have to trust that festival organisers have thought through their contingency plans in the manner that @Pinhead describes. Just because BT have been lucky for 14 years isn't an especially great argument.

 

1 hour ago, Nobody Interesting said:

How much track do you want then - one long road in the middle where once you have to turn off that you are in the water and mud

Yes, of course. Even putting an extra half dozen down would have had a disproportionately positive impact per field: multiple routes off the track meaning less deeply cut up ground; multiple points of access onto grippy track for getting out; shorter trips for the rescue vehicles to tow vehicles to; shorter lengths of time spent recovering vehicles; being able to winch vans from the tracks not the mud so the rescue vehicles don't need rescuing; no vans getting stuck in the exit again and again etc.

 

As a previous poster has already mentioned there were a LOT of difficult stories being played out in fields like ours. We ended up spending long spells in the field trying to help each other out and trying collectively to understand what was going on. That added up to a large amount of time that should have been spent drinking/dancing. This was a big organisational stress test for BT and listening to individual stories will help them learn from it and be better the next time an 'extreme' event happens.

 

Like I said before, I had some very good times, met some interesting people and I hope to be back.

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1 hour ago, Pinhead said:

The river was a rising fast too over Wed PM.

Ha! Remember using the loos at the back of Pallet and seeing the river for the first time, Thursday I think, and going sh*t, that's only a foot away from coming over. Hadn't realised quite how surrounded by rivers the site is. That river was flowing FAST!

 

Mark Thomas was supposed to have been on site Sunday and sent a tweet out saying he'd been told that flooding was imminent and turned around. Don't know who told him that, the risk was over by then and I'm not aware of any other acts dropping out? Lightweight 😆

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57 minutes ago, shi said:

 

Agree.....Bought early birds, was really disappointed with the lineup, as punk isn't the side of the musical spread that we started going for. 

As it turns out, we had a great time. However our musical highlights were not the 'big hitters' and if the next one is so shouty I think we'll have to give something else a go.... which is a real shame because the bearded punters are amongst the best I've ever shared a field with.

The fact is that when you pay 200 quid for a ticket and your best 3 things are in maui , you're probably going to the wrong festival 

Pleased to read that most people have had a great time despite the weather. This is how I feel about the festival at the moment. The lineup for me was all "shouty" at the top end. First band I would have paid money to see if they played locally was well down the poster. I am encouraged to read that the fest remains a dickhead free zone and that despite a pretty unusual level of precipitation the site remained "usable". Because of this year's lineup I won't be trying for early bird tickets. I'll need to see a few heads or subs first before parting with 200++ 

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Just now, Kurosagi said:

Ha! Remember using the loos at the back of Pallet and seeing the river for the first time, Thursday I think, and going sh*t, that's only a foot away from coming over. Hadn't realised quite how surrounded by rivers the site is. That river was flowing FAST!

 

Mark Thomas was supposed to have been on site Sunday and sent a tweet out saying he'd been told that flooding was imminent and turned around. Don't know who told him that, the risk was over by then and I'm not aware of any other acts dropping out? Lightweight 😆

The river was about two foot lower on Sunday, compared to late weds and thurs! 

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There's a delay of 24h on river levels which I pointed out on Wed when it was high enough then and said it's likely gonna get higher plus the catchment is quite substantial locally for the river. It survived because the route is artificial and landscaped when the estate was built so the 'levvies' (is that the right term) are quite high.

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Just a push this morning.

 

Had to be towed out of lower left Trent on Saturday as we were stuck and blocking the only new exit they were making from our field into the Accessible field. Ended up in Oaklands but needed a push on the Sunday morning as they'd put us in a place that was then blocking the new exit after the sunday rains made the old exit run impassable.

 

Sunday night was hilarious. A lorry tanker vehicle parked up on the only bit of hard track exiting the field. You could theoretically get out going past him on the non tracked bit but it was muddy as f**k. The driver got out the vehicle and left it for the night and the steward couldn't persuade him to move it. He said his shift was over and that he'd be back in the morning. That put an end to any vehicles wanting to leave through that exit late on the Sunday night. He was supposed to be back at 6.30am but by 7 we'd given up waiting and helped organise a 'push' team along with the stewards to get vehicles out.

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I made a very late decision to come to BT (solo) as I missed out on Glasto ticket this year - bought my ticket Weds eve in slight trepidation because of the news from site, but the line up was right up my street so I thought what the hell. 
 

I arrived Fri morning fearing the worst, but  was front and centre for Pip Blom barely 2 hours after pulling into the car park, even with a second trip back to the car once the tent was up.

 

it was my 2nd BT and a few things have changed since my first - the best was the new (for me) Meadow stage taking the pressure off the Woodland for the later acts. The Woodland is one of my favourite stages on the festival circuit, and two of my highlights were Jane Weaver & BC Camplight on Fri/Sat night. 
 

My other highlight was on Sat afternoon for Jimbob - even though it was strange watching him play Carter hits with Les standing to the side of the stage - but Les coming on for the last track was superb. I went along to see Abdoujaparov later in the eve which was wonderful.

 

I watched a few bands yesterday but left after English Teacher as I had to get home - a real high to finish the wkend. 

 

Some great food, cracking beer, and met loads of lovely people - I hope to come back again soon as it’s a great festival 

Edited by mario man
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6 hours ago, Kurosagi said:

First time at BT and yes I'll be back. But for f**k's sake organisers lay some effing metal track to give people a chance - one or two pieces per entrance was taking the piss.

 

They lay enough to get vehicles towed in and out on if necessary, they actually got more down than usual. 

 

5 hours ago, Nobody Interesting said:

 

How much track do you want then - one long road in the middle where once you have to turn off that you are in the water and mud, several roads where you still have to turn off them into the mud and water or the entire field covered?

There is no way you can plan for extreme weather like there was that has never happened before - track needs booking months in advance and costs heaps as do the teams needed to lay it and all for a  scenario nobody could ever have expected.

 

Indeed, it rained for around 24 hours non-stop, people expecting mircales.

 

4 hours ago, Pinhead said:

 

Is it actually grazing out of season? I thought it's mostly on the estate's parkland hense all the rules concerning ground damaging activities. No animal fencing where you'd expect to see it near river either.

 

Crossing points needed hay / woodchip, e.g. between Trend and Arena / Woodlands. A big pile of hay was parked on the Production road all weekend and went nowhere...

 

Yes a lot of the fields are, came for a site visit one year and sheep everywhere. They don't have them in the main arena though.

Landowner does not want lots of hay/straw/woodchip down and the small bits they could do needed permission. 
 

 

4 hours ago, Pinhead said:

The river was a rising fast too over Wed PM. I saw someone from BT mgmt and said have they contacted the EA to ask how high it's gonna go and said 'good idea' or whatever. The EA can open sluices further down in some cases if it gets threatening. Anyway it peaked Thurs and avoided flooding Rugby to Prod route and anywhere else on site. Can't imagine what it would have been like if it had gone over the top...

2 inches away from game over and off you go home.

 

4 hours ago, balti-pie said:

They’ll be better informed in terms of logistics the next time that site gets a dollop of weather - it’s used for Bloodstock in August too, so it’s all useful research. The last really wet BT was 2014 apparently, so there’s been a fair few layout and logistical changes since then, but now they’ll know where might need shitloads of straw laying down, metal pathways, all that jazz. As ever it’s a work in progress. It was specifically tricky circumstances with that much weather on that day in particular. 

After 2014 a lot was spent on drainage, if it hadn't had been, it would have been a lot worse.

 

3 hours ago, Pinhead said:

Bloodstock and a cider festival and some sort of fireworks gig as well I think, plus presumably other more local events, shooting parties whatever.

Yeah 2014 was epic muddy too. Site coped better than that I reckon this year considering the rainfall level. As a business they do need to absorb costs like chipping and track etc when they need them and make hay so to speak when it's dry and they don't need them.

If punters are happy to pay more for the tickets, they can put more track down but 99% of the time it isn't needed. 

 

People moan already about increased costs, yet have no concept how much infrastructure costs to hire in 

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Anyway I had a great time, seen a record amount of acts and didn't let a muddy field spoil my weekend!

 

Sprints 
Soft Play 
Tarantism 

Brewers Daughter 
Peat & Diesel 
Panic Shack 
Bob Vylan 
Bez 
Bar Stool Preachers 
Mighty Flux 
Flap Sandwich 

Beans On Toast 
Jess Silk 
Pet Needs 
Goat Girl 
Dogshite
Kitty Liv 
Slamboree Woodland 
Sleaford Mods 
Bentley Rhythm Ace 
Jim Bob 
808 State 
Janes Addiction 
Orbital 
Chris Liberator 

Bodega 
English Teacher 
Jolly Grogsters 
Cherry & Persh
Dry Cleaning 
The Orb 
Steve Davis 
Amyl & The Sniffers 
System 7 

 

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Hello. Have only just found this site and the thread. Is anyone on here a user of Accessible Camping? I wondered if the position of AC had changed recently, or if it had been extended? And has anyone seen hydrologic maps that would explain how, whilst other areas drained, the ‘pond’ in Accessible Camping actually got deeper and wider? We ended up.leaving on Sunday evening, just before 9pm because we couldn’t reasonably expect our small car to make it through the water if we had to stop (eg in Monday morning’s traffic). And I am completely p****d off about it because, to my relatively experienced eyes, that was an obvious consequence of any heavy rainfall. Obvious to anyone who knows the estate well, that is. Natural drainage channels don’t change over a weekend, and thus the landowner and/or estate management team must have been aware of the inevitable consequence of said rainfall. And yet, they put Accessible Camping there. I don’t know who made that decision,, but it was a cynical one, to be polite.

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To answer your query, Accessible camping only went there for the first time last year, the last wet Bearded was in 2014, before some drainage work in the arena was done for the 2015 festival.


Everyone got off fine yesterday, plenty of 4x4 responders to tow anyone that did need help.

 

You do realise how much rain actually fell during the constant 24 hours of it?

 

Oh and the landowner and/or estate management team do not run the festival, nor decide what goes where. They only lease the land to organisers DHP, who are only in their 3rd year of being involved, the previous 2 years were not rainy.

 

 

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12 hours ago, Spuddhism said:

On Saturday night, heading back to camping, my mate dropped his phone in the mud. By the time he realised, we couldn't find it. We were directed by a marshal to check in Welfare, and it had been handed in. And still in the case were his credit cards and the entire £100 in cash he had in it. You've got to love the BT crowd, punters and crew alike.

Please tell me you had been in the Tea Tent on the Saturday nigh? I found a nice phone and handed it in behind the bar? Anyway, good that your mate got his back.

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Another great BT for me, third time. Highlights for bands;

 

Sprints, Girl Scout, Liines, Chameleons, Ist Ist, Katherine Priddy, English Teacher, Bodega (doing Bob Dylan) then a mad rush to the Woodlands to see arguably the best surprise of the weekend... Big Special.

 

It must be said, The Wooodland Stage is easily the best stage sound and atmos of any festival I have ever been to. Bloody marvelous!

 

See you next year.   

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11 hours ago, Rumblestripe said:

Pleased to read that most people have had a great time despite the weather. This is how I feel about the festival at the moment. The lineup for me was all "shouty" at the top end. First band I would have paid money to see if they played locally was well down the poster. I am encouraged to read that the fest remains a dickhead free zone and that despite a pretty unusual level of precipitation the site remained "usable". Because of this year's lineup I won't be trying for early bird tickets. I'll need to see a few heads or subs first before parting with 200++ 

I was a bit worried about the lineup myself. I wasn't hugely bothered about any of the headliners and challenges getting about the site meant we ended up swerving Jane's and Amyl in favour of staying within easier reach of our tent.

 

Despite that, there were still plenty of people I didn't manage to see - Big Special, Big Moon, BC Camplight, Katie Malco, Jess Silk and lots more - but I get it's the *names* that drive the ticket prices up.

 

Is it too soon to ask who people want to see next year? 🙂

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8 hours ago, Paul ™ said:

If punters are happy to pay more for the tickets, they can put more track down but 99% of the time it isn't needed. 

 

People moan already about increased costs, yet have no concept how much infrastructure costs to hire in 

 

For me the main part is that this weather had never happened before, nothing like this at this time of year so even if they took the worst historical weather and planned for it they would still not have had enough.

To those saying they ned to plan for the worst, how must grit do we need on site? I ask as snow in May does happen. Last time was, I think 1979, but pretty sure everyone would say planning for that would be a waste of money.

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11 hours ago, Kurosagi said:

I've lurked long enough on the Politics thread to know that you probably don't mean how this comes across. I know you understand that 'extreme' events are dialed in to become more common as you spend time (quite rightly imo) proselytizing over green issues. We have to trust that festival organisers have thought through their contingency plans in the manner that @Pinhead describes. Just because BT have been lucky for 14 years isn't an especially great argument.

 

Yes, of course. Even putting an extra half dozen down would have had a disproportionately positive impact per field: multiple routes off the track meaning less deeply cut up ground; multiple points of access onto grippy track for getting out; shorter trips for the rescue vehicles to tow vehicles to; shorter lengths of time spent recovering vehicles; being able to winch vans from the tracks not the mud so the rescue vehicles don't need rescuing; no vans getting stuck in the exit again and again etc.

 

As a previous poster has already mentioned there were a LOT of difficult stories being played out in fields like ours. We ended up spending long spells in the field trying to help each other out and trying collectively to understand what was going on. That added up to a large amount of time that should have been spent drinking/dancing. This was a big organisational stress test for BT and listening to individual stories will help them learn from it and be better the next time an 'extreme' event happens.

 

Like I said before, I had some very good times, met some interesting people and I hope to be back.

 

What I am trying to get at is that to plan for 'new extremes' is impossible without spending so much that all events are no longer viable.

The rainfall total for the 24 hours Tues into Weds from early data suggest over 70mm fell in that time. The average for the whole of May is 67mm in that area.
There really is little planning that anyone can do to cope with such events and even moving into the future I really have no idea how the rich world is going to cope as the changes needed are vast and expensive.

The best we can do is hope events like this happen away from the festival - and yes, I have have more or less given up hope that the UK (and other places) will do anything near enough to cope into the future as that sort of spending is huge and there is no will to do it.

Anyway, the festival is amnazing and next year will be even better and less muddy.

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1 hour ago, The Dawg said:

Please tell me you had been in the Tea Tent on the Saturday nigh? I found a nice phone and handed it in behind the bar? Anyway, good that your mate got his back.

His was dropped somewhere on the track from Meadow to camping. Your ears would've been burning as the owner of that phone sang your praises 🤍

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