It’s time to start getting excited, Dear Reader. We’re less than a month away from the unofficial start of our 2019 festival season. That May Day Bank Holiday weekend means one thing – Live At Leeds. Packed with (literally) hundreds of the best new bands on the planet, it sees one of the country’s most vibrant creative cities turned into a mecca of buzz, hype and awesome live music.
To celebrate, we’re holding a special Live At Leeds takeover. Over the course of the day (11th April 2019, in case you’re coming to this late – Ed), we’ll be bringing you all kinds of stuff from and about the acts playing this year’s event. If you’re going, it’ll help you plan out those all-important spreadsheets. If you’ve not yet picked up your tickets – well, what are you waiting for? You can grab ’em here, right now.
Marsicans singer/guitarist James Newbigging helps navigate some totally realistic problems that definitely happen at summer festivals.
You’ve been waiting to see your favourite band on a small stage all day. It’s 5 mins before they’re due on, and it’s rammed so tight you can’t move. But – disaster! – you really, really need a wee. If you move, you’re not getting back in. Just how big of a festival monster are you, Marsicans?
If you have to, piss yourself, deal with it later. I’m not missing this.
Your mate has bought a comedy jester hat. Your mate is insisting on offering everyone free hugs and was already ten tinnies deep before the festival gates opened. We’ve established by now your mate is a fucking nightmare, you really need better mates here. He keeps shouting ‘bollocks’ at 2am in the morning, and it’s starting to piss off some hefty lads who are camped nearby. This isn’t going to go well unless you deal with him or them. How?
Tell them to chill out a bit. If they fail to revert into a manageable human being, ‘accidentally’ lose contact with them. Miss their phone calls, lose them in the crowd, whatever it takes. They’re not holding me back.
Foo Fighters have been playing for twenty-eight hours straight. Dave Grohl has been singing ‘the best the best the best of you’ for the last forty-eight minutes. There are other things you’d like to see on other stages, but you really wanted to hear ‘Everlong’, probably. Basically – at what point during a really long set should you bail?
You have to find an inner peace. If you know you’re happy with what you’ve seen, then it could be at any point during the set. If it’s my favourite ever song, there’s no way I’m leaving Grohl and the boys. If it’s a song that I would just really like to see, but I’ve already seen a fair few bangers, I’ll perform a quick statistical analysis in my head (a very complex procedure), and if there are other bands on my list, I’ll probably bail. I actually did this exact thing during the Foo Fighters set at Glastonbury a couple of years back, absolutely nailed it as well. I saw ‘Learn to Fly’ and loads of other bangers. I was content.
Oh, bollocks. You’re at Glastonbury, and Michael Eavis has heard you laughing at his upside-down head! He’s gonna chuck you off site if you don’t think quick, and then you’ll never get to headline the main stage. Think quick!
Head to the nearest clothes stall and get the most outrageous disguise I can find. And the best thing is at Glastonbury; you’ll fit right in whatever you’re wearing.
It’s Latitude time, and your wanker mate is back. You get back to the tent, and he’s nicked one of the famous coloured sheep. You don’t want to ask questions but also he’s refusing to take it back, and if a steward sees you with it, you’re gonna be toast. How the fuck are we sorting this one out?
First of all, get him on my side by calling him a ‘fucking legend’ for nicking it. As he now trusts me with the beloved sheep, I ask to borrow it. And… whoops, I’ve lost it! What a shame. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
You’re trying to hang out with cooler people – you need to ditch that errant chum eventually – and you’ve agreed to go to A Very Cool Music Festival. But honestly, every act seems to be playing some form of East German Nose Jazz, and you’re bored out of your skull. How do you liven this one up?
We’ve all been there. There’s only one thing that can get you through it: get the pints in and go on an adventure.
You’re at an ‘inner city festival’, and there’s a huge queue for the venue where the buzz band you want to see is playing. Loads of people have been waiting for ages. At the front of the queue is a young megafan wearing all of your band’s merch, but you’ve got a wristband that lets you jump the line. A lone A&R staggers out of the venue, meaning it’s either you or them. Do you? DO YOU?!
That is a tough one. I actually once did it at Live at Leeds when The 1975 were playing at The Cockpit. There was a huge queue round the corner, and I waltzed to the front thinking I was Leo DiCaprio or something. I felt pretty baller doing it that day, so I think I’d probably do it again. I may hang my head in shame afterwards and beg for forgiveness, but it’d be worth it.
It’s the last day of the festival, and you’ve just remembered it’s your mum’s birthday tomorrow. You’ve got some cash left over, but your only option is to find something on site. You’re gonna have to be creative. What’s the plan?
If there’s any official festival merchandise, I’d buy that. A poster, a keyring, whatever they’ve got. Alternatively, if there are any bands she likes playing, stage invade, grab a setlist and get kicked out of the festival. As it’s the last day, the risk isn’t too high, but the reward potential is.
Taken from Dork’s Festival Guide 2019. Marsicans play Live At Leeds (4th May), Truck (26th-29th July) and more.