Sunday Night Music Club host Danielle Perry is excited about discovering new bands and roaming free during the coming festival season.
Earlier in the week, I presented our joint Absolute Radio/Q show alongside the magazine’s Reviews Editor, Niall Doherty. He told me this month’s edition included a festival special (see page 49), and that each year it becomes harder and harder to condense because of the sheer volume of outdoor musical events. There are so many to choose from, aren’t there? It got me thinking of my own personal festival history – the highs, the lows, the mud, the sunburn, the climbing of fences (sorry mum!) and the all-night, life-affirming wanderings that will never be erased from my memory. Throughout the years I’ve played in bands at festivals, DJed at backstage parties, reported for national radio and also bought tickets and roamed completely free. And how things have changed. Today I was on the underground and strolled past a huge poster for Wilderness, the festival taking place in Oxfordshire in August. It boasted performances such as “A Sunday of Nina Simone with Laura Mvula & The Wilderness Orchestra” and “Talks and debates with Tate Britain” and made me realise how broad, varied and different festivals are today when compared with, say, just 10 years ago. This summer, as I wander through those musical fields with my little sevenmonth-old companion, my focus will have shifted. I’ll be exploring the new bands tents, and taking my time soaking up whole sets and exploring the unknown. Daytime festival programming is as important as the headliners – they are the heartbeat of these events, and if you’re lucky you may see a future headliner yourself. Some of my best shows have been in smaller venues: At The Drive-In at the Joiners Arms in Southampton, Red Snapper (remember them?!) at the new bands tent at Glastonbury and many, many more. And you know what? I may even make it to work without tears in my eyes on the Tuesday! Listen to The Sunday Night Music Club from 8pm every week on Absolute Radio.
Danielle: “my all-night, life-affirming wanderings around festivals will never be erased from my memory.”