Every day, in a small pocket of North Suffolk, across sprawling fields and clustered copses, the sun rises and sets over vistas of harmonious tranquility. Birds tweet leisurely, the odd frog paddles through a clear lake, maybe the occasional doe stops for a moment to munch gingerly through the sweet green grass. This bucolic idyll is a perfect example of unencumbered natural beauty; silent, unchanging, ever present.
Alas it was not to last. For a week in mid July the distant thundering hooves and clang of wagonettes cuts through this rural paradise like Michael Portillo on a cultural rampage through Southern Europe armed with a Titan TTK587GDO 1.1HP 25.4CC Petrol Landscaping Multi-Tool and the entire resource base of the Home Office. What I speak of is the conclave of bourgeois clans in a hedonistic (yet sustainable) celebration of all things alternative and overpriced. Yes that lovely microscopic portion of vegetable curry over at the Green Peace tent is yours for only £5.00 (when you present the rotting head of a oil executive – possibly your dad’s).
This year’s smorgasbord of cultural delights, musical mayhem and lyrical triumphs is bound to entice even the most reluctant, non-confrontational, overtly PC, middle class warrior. Over at the Sunrise Arena masked merry makers Drones Club are set to tantalise your tastebuds and gratify your gullets with an explosion of sonic sorcery akin to Focus/Journey/Four Tet. Danish soulsters Liss grace the Lake Stage with Scandi RnB love whilst bearded, scary Scottish men Frightened Rabbit thrash around and harmonise nicely but firmly in the 6 Music Tent. The Maccabees are an Old Testament punishment, The National are lovely and New Order are well New Order (not really much more to say). 10/10 musical appreciation and theory there.
Poetically, phonetically, literally and literarily things continue to grow and morph the vibe of the festival. Reggie Watts prowling through the Comedy Tent is a spectacle you’d be stupid to miss. My knowledge of poetry goes as far as 16 year old sonnets crafted to woo maidens fair. Henry Normal is a nice guy go check him out and Don Paterson has Sonnets in the title so its a shoe in.
This is a warm up, a teaser, see you in the field, a field, a small secluded corner, a magical hut, a tent, a chime yurt, somewhere.
Words by Aaron Powell