Saturday, September 17, 2011

End of the Road Festival 2011

So the weekend of the 2-4th of September saw me and two friends attended the End of the Road Festival 2011. The End of the Road Festival is an annual music festival which focuses on alternative music. It is hosted at the Larmer Tree Gardens (Link), on the border of north Dorset and Wiltshire.
The festival is run over four stages: the Woods Stage, the Garden Stage, the Big Top Stage and the Tipi Tent, as well as a clearing in the woods around the Garden Stage containing a piano at which semi-secret sets take place. There are also children's areas and workshops, a healing field, a film tent, comedy, a library in the forest and a games area (ping pong, table football etc). Due to the nature of the gardens the festival is set in it is not unlikely to see peacocks wandering around the area and parrots in the trees.

The first thing that I noticed about EoTR I thought was absolutely fantastic was it's virtually in the middle of nowhere. It was great how you really needed a car to get there as it made it feel more private and special.
Camping wasn't overcrowded either. There was plenty of room to just chill out where we were and by the looks of it the campers around us had lots of room as well.
In the main event areas it was so relaxed and not overcrowded. There was a wonderful atmosphere and a real feeling of community. Compared to the other festivals I've been to this really was a family affair. All sorts of people were at EoTR. Parents with children, couples, people going solo and mates (the category I fell into) just chilling out listening to music. It was wonderful just to lay down on the grass and listen to bands.

Now the bands. I must admit beforehand I'd not really been paying attention to the line-up but looking back now I think this worked in my favor as I went in only knowing of a few of the acts.
I was really please to have come away from the weekend having discovered the likes of Josh T.Pearson, Micah P. Hinson, Tinariwen and The Secret Sisters. Without a doubt though one of the higlights musically of the festival was Bob Log III.
Bob Log III is an American slide guitar one-man band. During performances, he plays old Silvertone archtop guitars, wears a full body human cannonball suit, and a pilot's helmet wired to a telephone receiver, which allows him to devote his hands and feet to guitar and drums. The spectacle has been described as a guitar dance party.

I was lucky enough to see Bob for the first time at one of the late night secret gigs that take place in the Tipi Tent. I recommend you do a search for him on You Tube he won't dissapoint.

Of course the best thing of all about this weekend after the music was that kids and drunken adults shared the same spaces without bloodshed and no one set fire to anything like at certain other festivals I don't care to mention. for anyone who’s never been grab a ticket for next year asap and enjoy a different festival experience. I'll be going back in 2012 for sure.

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