Bastille, in concert at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, recorded this past weekend by the venerable BBC Radio 1. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention, but it seems to me that Festival season is starting earlier and earlier each year. A bit like celebrating Christmas of late – with ads and Christmas music wafting in and around shopping malls the day after labor Day in September. Festival season, at least for me, always meant Primavera Spring in Barcelona, and the kickoff to the big European festivals going all the way until September, when things would head indoors for the start of the Autumn festivals and then the Winter Festivals.
Now it seems like festival season is all year-long – wherever the weather is good or the venues are big. For people on a budget, heading off to a festival takes some real decision making – because, let’s face it, it’s become an embarrassment of riches, particularly with the broad spectrum of acts represented and the mashup of vintage acts with up-and-comers on any given stage, making your choices can be tricky. Festivals have become a lot more about interesting programming, rather than jam a bunch of bands together under one tent (or stage). We’re getting to the point where there’s something for everyone – and festivals have taken the place of what radio used to do – turn people on to new and interesting music.
So here we are, the last weekend in May and BBC Radio 1 has their now-annual Big Weekend Festival in Exeter. Luckily for everyone, the BBC has been very good about covering these events – and even though you don’t get to see everyone who is playing there, you get a healthy sample of up-and-comers and venerable big names.
Starting off this week with a set by Indie-Pop/Electro-Pop wunderkinds Bastille who have managed, in a very short time, to snag just about every major award the British Press and Music Industry in general have to offer. They have managed to successfully cross over from Indie to mainstream – and have not alienated anyone in the process. Together since 2010, and with two albums and two eps to their credit, Bastille have covered a lot of ground and made a lot of fans in the process.
If you’ve missed them (and I don’t know how you could), or are just getting acquainted with them, check out this live gig by Bastille and hear for yourself what all the fuss has been about.