“What I can remember from the weekend May 13-16 2011”
Never have I arrived so EARLY to an ATP but cheap train tickets and keen chalet mates meant we arrived on site at 1:30PM (and our train was late!!) Well apparently you can check in from noon but you can’t get into your chalet til 4PM, so for future reference there is no reason to show up before 3PM other than you’ll beat any queues – this ATP only sold half the tickets so there were no queues anyway!
During our 2 hour wait, I had a gross jacket potato at the Sun & Moon pub which I had never visited before and now I know why.
It didn’t surprise me this ATP didn’t sell out, Animal Collective weren’t the right curators. They didn’t pick very good bands and there was no real festival headliner which is why I’m guessing they didn’t have the big pavilion stage they normally do. It was a little sad as this is apparently the last May ATP and with only half the tickets sold and one stage missing, it did feel a little bit like a dying festival. Still this is my account of what I can remember from an amazingly FUN weekend.
The first night I ran around and saw a bit of Black Dice (awful, I am totally not into this band), Dent May (quite funny and charming), Big Boi (probably one of the best things ALL festival) and Terry Riley (who I later ran into and told him was the best thing I’d seen that night! Don’t know if he appreciated it cos I was super drunk at the time). Oh and I forgot to bring my camera so look how crap my phone pic is of Terry!
Bumped into Justin Spears (of 6 Music Professor fame) DJing in the Irish Bar, he had a lot of drunk people swinging to his tunes til 3am and ended the night at G3’s Chalet party and visiting Butlin’s church!!
Woke up fully clothed (with my shoes on even!!) in a bed with 2 friends pretty much sums up the ATP experience. Headed back to my chalet and found my chalet buddies rushing off to Splashworld so I joined them. I was a bit disappointed as we got to Splashworld just before Wet Sounds started so they had shut the slides!! “You can’t hear the music when you’re on the slides” was how the lifeguard explained it. Yes, but I want slides AND music, can’t we share the pool? They squished a couple hundred music geeks in swimsuits into the lap’s pool on the side to enjoy the Wet Sounds experience which in theory is a very neat idea – they put speakers under the water and you can hear music only when you are submerged. The thing is it’s all kind of weird ambient stuff, some spooky voices here and there. I’ve been to it before in London Fields Lido last summer and really enjoyed it. The City Shanty Band played that one which was amazingly fun. It was less special indoors and the second time.
I watched a few bands, curators Animal Collective, who were much much better than last time I saw them (Green Man 2009, when they had to ask the BBC NEVER to broadcast the recording of that concert – THAT is how bad they were). Sat in the back and relaxingly took in Beach House (who I had been lucky enough to see in London last year), stood in a crowd unable to see (pain of being short and being friends with taller people) most of the set watching Kurt Vile, I had missed him at SXSW because I had decided to eat a salad at Whole Foods across the road from where he was playing instead. Sometimes vitamins and food are more important than bands. I don’t even take drugs but somehow I managed to dance up a storm for 2 hours with Fenner and his friends to Omar-S in Reds til 3am. I was dumb enough to think Omar-S was just an abbreviated way of writing Omar Souleyman, how wrong I was. Omar-S is a house DJ!! So not a Syrian pop singer.
Went to a chalet party in E Block somewhere where I met a girl from Vancouver, Lorraine, who I’ve apparently met before and we know all the same people! Love that stuff when it happens. Random meetings in random places with people who are like-minded. Two more chalet parties later ended up back at G3 where they had 40 randoms at about 6AM. I left them to deal with it and went to bed at 7AM for the second night in a row!
Splashworld again! This time with a hangover and got to go down my favourite slides! Best band I saw this day was Prince Rama – 2 sisters from Brooklyn brought up Hare Krishna in Florida. I had never heard of them but was pleasantly surprised. I felt pretty rough this day and almost spent the evening on the couch of our chalet watching crap movies on Channel 5. Making a decision to start drinking port (I know!!) I got back on it and went out and saw Micachu for the first time in YEARS and some Gang Gang Dance, Teen Girl Fantasy and got to ride the simulator, play air hockey and won about 8 tickets (you need 3000 to exchange for even the smallest prize haha!!). That’s the best thing about ATP, you get to enjoy the fun n cheesy Butlins’ activities while drinking and watching bands. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
I passed out at 4:30am mid-conversation with Liv and Merida (sorry about that guys!).
Even though it had the worst line up of any ATP I’ve been to, they only had 2 stages instead of 3 and I missed going on the funfair AGAIN, it was still one of the best weekends I’ve had all year and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Love you ATP, see you in December xo
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