May 26 2013 Latest news:
Friday, June 22, 2012
The music extravaganzas in the county kick-off with the Hop Farm Festival
After more tweets than you can shake a stick at, more Facebook ‘likes’ than are strictly healthy and enough column inches to make us all experts, the eagerly anticipated festival season is finally upon us.
There may be no Glastonbury for the BBC to get all excited about and pack the schedules of its digital channels this year, but to make up, Kent has excelled itself with a line-up of events which suggest we will be rather spoilt for choice.
And with a line of reasoning which goes along the lines of ‘the weather’s been so appalling so far, it must get better soon, why not in time for the festivals”, the hope is that the sun will shine and the pictures will give future generations the impression 2012 was a vintage summer.
The Hop Farm Festival is an event which pleads for a sunny few days – if nothing else for the fact you fear for the health of some of the performers were they to slip in a puddle of mud.
With the likes of Bob Dylan, Ray Davies, George Clinton and Bruce Forsyth on stage, you cannot help fear that one slip and the phrase ‘hip replacement’ will appear on a legal claim before they’ve had time to brush themselves off and try and look cool.
Last year’s event was bathed in sunshine for the most part, and there are few things in life better than watching a world class performer strum their hits before a delighted audience as the sun goes down.
A world class performer strumming their new album as the rain and mud whips around the faithful is a rather different kettle of festival fish.
Plus it seems a shame for the one and only time in the year when Paddock Wood becomes cool, for it to also end up caked in mud.
No sooner have the big names boarded their jets after their turn on the Hop Farm stage, then attention will switch to Lounge on the Farm, Canterbury’s three-day event which is on a far smaller scale than the Hop Farm but has a particular charm all of its own.
Last year there was drizzle on the Friday night but the all important dry ground to sit on was back by the Saturday.
But the weather can make or break a festival. Bathed in sunshine and blue skies, the crowd will forgive some ropey performances (are you listening Lou Reed?) on account that they were able to eat, drink and be merry, and get a sun tan too.
If the over-riding memories are of the toilet ditch overflowing or catching trench foot and watching your souvenir t-shirt float away in a torrent of rainwater, then the chances are you may not be back in a hurry.
So let’s look on the bright side. Because summers are defined by the events they host and the experience of it all.
And one thing you can be sure of, in Kent this summer, is that there are some truly fantastic experiences to be had.