It's that time of year again and we at R13 are bracing ourselves for a season of sunburn, sleeping in soggy tents, seeing how long we can hold our breaths for (portaloos, need we say more?) and getting a little bit merry in the name of bringing you all coverage of the nation’s festivals. This got us thinking: what would our ideal festival line-ups be?
Here are just some of the fantasy festival line-ups from our writers/editors:
Avril Simister’s ’TavyStock’
This would be a blues/folk/psychedelic festival in the most traditional sense. Think multi-coloured tents and the strains of endless guitar solos drifting into the night. And all set against the gorgeous backdrop of Dartmoor, as the sun sets and the velvet night begins… N.B. All of these bands would appear in their current incarnations/line-ups, because they’re all current touring and recording bands.
HEADLINER - Jethro Tull
Legendary folk rock/blues/psychedelic group, still going strong. Never seen a bad gig by them. Perfect to take the party mood into the night.
Recommended Track: Living In The Past
So reliable you could set your watch by their performances. Crowd-pleasing blues-rock anthems which should appeal to both the old guard of blues fans and younger scenesters.
Recommended Track: Keep Believin’
Cult blues group headed by Tony TS McPhee. Plenty of head-shaking down-and-dirty riffage and guitar solos.
Recommended Track: Eccentric Man
Rose Hill Drive
Blues/rock/psych band from Boulder, Colorado. Still a cult band in Britain, they’re on many ‘watch this space’ lists and currently hitting the mainstream with American television performances.
Recommended Track: Raise Your Hands
Revivalists from Oakland, California, who describe themselves as healing/easy listening. We prefer to chill out to their traditional keys-driven psychadelia. Can’t recommend these guys highly enough.
Recommended Track: Dancers At The End Of Time
Andy Latham’s ’Hard & Stiff Fest’
HEADLINER - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Listen to Voodoo Chile and tell me how anyone else can claim to be ground breaking or revolutionary after that!
Anyone who saw them at Download knows why they are on the list. Would metal be what it is today without them? No, no Sabbath, no nobody!
System Of A Down
Because sometimes we need reminding that there are still bands that can push the boundaries.
Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd
Syd plays a selection of solo material and Floyd classics
…from 1979 when they were raw, in your face and likely to set you on fire!
James Stant’s ‘The 'Who-Cares-About-Genre?'Festival’
Offering diversity, impressive stage shows, incredibly energy and a touch of humour, The 'Who-Cares-About-Genre?' Festival is a unique line-up that was never (and unfortunately never will be) experienced.
HEADLINER - The Beatles
Bowling for Soup
Rob Sleigh’s ‘RoomStock’
R13's own festival features a line-up that includes a few of the best current bands, as well as a few awesome reunions.
Stone Temple Pilots
Ross Pike’s 'When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth’
A dream festival is not too dissimilar from an all-time fantasy football XI you want to have the best players in there but should you not be trying to get the best ‘team’? I mean could Maradona, Pele, Cruyff and Best really all play together? The answer is probably not. In this vein my festival won’t be all about The Beatles and the Rolling Stones nor will it be about one musical genre despite the various merits of the Wackens and Womads of this world. It was very, very hard to whittle it down to five (no room for festival titans such as Hendrix, Radiohead, Metallica, RATM, Nirvana and a million others - God, what was I thinking?!) but without much further adieu…
HEADLINER - Led Zeppelin
The one band to captivate any audience, no matter the size and composition, with an injection of power, glory and sex is Zeppelin. Going on after the tense heaviness created by Tool will have the festival going out on a high. Just check them out with this emotional finale to their gigantic Knebworth gig back in 1979.
A bit of modernity is required and the spiralling riffs and complex rhythms of Tool should do the trick. You can always expect stunning visuals and a performance from Maynard.
Beer is sold at festivals. AC/DC is drinking music. Duh.
After the euphoria of The Family Stone we should get everybody focused and bring it down a notch. The Wolf will get everybody listening. Check him at the famous Newport Folk and Blues Festival with Son House giving him some back-talk.
Sly & The Family Stone
The loose stoned, sunshine grooves and messages of unity of early Sly will bring together the crowd and get people together early in the day. Also, the band has enough out-there clothes to put those fools in jester hats you always see at festivals to shame.
Kate Sharp’s ’Dancing in the Park’
HEADLINER - Bruce Springsteen
With a career spanning almost 40 years, the Boss and his band have a huge back catalogue to dip into for this headline set. With every track being a ‘greatest hit’, there will be no curfew for Bruce and he is most welcome to play long into the night and into the next day if he wishes. He is ‘the Boss’ after all.
As the sun sets over the festival and the strains of Matt Berninger’s swoonsome baritone swell in the warm air, it will be one of those knee-trembly moments when a whole crowd of slightly dishevelled, possibly quite drunk festival goers will all sigh and fall in love with the band in unison. Magic.
At The Drive In
Although dearly departed, ATD-I still remain a constant in the (arc)arsenal of many music fans. Known for their incendiary and exciting live shows and insightful lyrics, this will be without a doubt, a festival highlight.
For the mid afternoon moment when yesterday’s hangover is in paralysing full force, you are fearful of trench foot (whatever that is) and all you want to do is have a nice sit down and a cup of tea and just listen to something so wondrous and majestic that it soothes your ills with its loveliness. Festival goers will be encouraged at this point to lay back in the grass and have a little rest. No standing will be permitted during this performance.
Hailing from wild West Yorkshire, Dugong are one of those little known bands who never really made it. Splitting in 2006 after a triumphant show at the Out of Spite festival, they have left behind them two albums, an EP and some great live memories. From the punk rock tinged flailing fury of ‘Ain’t Seen No Trouble Like Mine’ to the steady, sensitive drive of ‘Honest Industry’, the band would be the ideal way to kick off any festival.