2009’s Hard Rock Calling boasted some of the biggest names in rock with Neil Young putting on a stellar show with Paul McCartney on the Saturday night and Bruce Springsteen playing a colossal 3 hour show on Sunday. The Hyde Park festival has a great feeling with fans lounging around in every space left in the park, although the hot weather makes the Pepsi Max Stage tent a less appealing choice, especially as it also had some serious sound problems at the point when I wandered by on Sunday afternoon.

While Glastonbury was filled with Michael Jackson covers Hard Rock Calling relights the spirit of rock and roll with Jimi Hendrix covers a-plenty as Sunday main stage openers Beauvoir-Free launch into ‘Voodoo Child’ and Dave Matthews Band give their epic rendition of the Dylan song which Hendrix made his own, ‘All Along The Watchtower’. The Gaslight Anthem’s set early on Sunday afternoon is a real gem with The Boss popping onstage for a duet but it’s a shame that the band are so low down on the line-up as the mediocre jazzy pop of James Morrison doesn’t have quite the same rock appeal, although it’s pleasant to chill to.

Alongside the two main stages, the bandstand situated in the cider garden is a pleasant touch with soul singer Lisa Mitchell giving the lazing crowd some pleasant vibes and Scottish acoustic singer Dave Gibson and his band playing some sweet and touching melodies.

The range of acts seems well chosen and the crowd, on Sunday night at least, are far friendlier than at your average camping festival with plenty of singing along. This was my first experience of Hard Rock Calling and I have to say that it was definitely a pleasant one, while the layout is much the same as Wireless Festival, the acts were far more exciting this year and the inclusion of a sheltered Hard Rock Café eating area was excellent for the kind of day when you’re just not sure whether you’ll get scorched by the sun or soaked by the rain.