Festival research.

Now before I get started with this post, I have to say that I did not go to any festivals showcasing any media that will directly relate to this course, due to a number of reasons (mainly due to the fact there was none near me that I could get time off work for) I did aim to make it to the BBC Music Video Festival in norwich but unfortunantly could not make the dates which had all of the main talks that I would want to see.

However at the start of the summer I went off to voluanteer at 2 music festivals, these were ‘Sonisphere Festival’ a rock festival based at the legendary Knebworth House and 2,000 Trees Festival at Upcote Farm in Withington.

Both festivals are fairly new in their inceptions with Sonisphere being in it’s third year and 2,000 trees celebrating it’s 5th Anniversairy They have massively different markets and capacities though, with Sonisphere holding up to 65,000 people compared to 2,000 trees capacity of about 4,500. Both were creating their own video content for a number of different outlets. Sonisphere had live streaming in conjunction with BT for Slipknot’s healinging performance if I remember correctly, as well as that they had a Television deal with Sky Arts to show some of the highlights and also allowing music publications such as The NME to conduct thier own interviews with some of the acts involved. 2,000 trees however had a small team of voulanteers filming some of the action to help promote the festival for later years, most of the videos produced by this team have been put up on the festivals Youtube and Facebook pages.

Slipknot at Sonisphere


Both festivals offered alternative activities outside of the music but It was much more noticeable around 2,000 trees festival, There were a good number of kids activites aswell as green events, there were artisis outside one of the tents creating new designs and gathering a fair bit of interest although i honestly can’t recall any of their names.

As for the music itself, both festivals could put themselves under the ‘alternative’ umbrellea. but i think the previously mentioned capacities show how markateable each of the variations are, 2,000 trees prides itself on it’s small capacity however, they could probably increase the capicity of the event but many (myself included) believe they would be losing the atmosphere that you can only get at a festival of that size, 2,000 trees sold months in advance of the event this year, I beleive that sonisphere sold out a few days before the event. Sonisphere hosts more mainstream rock and metal (headliners were Metallica, Biffy Clyro and Slipknot) whereas 2,000 hosts underground rock, post rock and just in general obscure rock (headliners were Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip and Frigethend Rabbit)

2,000 Trees

Both events were certinanly about spectacle but Sonisphere was based around a particular memory this year. that was the memory of Slipknot’s former bassist Paul Gray who passed away in 2009. Slipknot’s show was billed as a tribiute to the man (and I don’t think i’ve ever seen as many grown men cry as I seen at the end of that performance) there was also a 2 minute silence at 2pm across the whole of the festival site, Unfortunatly I was not in the main arena due to working in the campsites at the time, but I heard that it was a very strange and powerful site to see so many people in such a previously loud and busy site to suddenly become silent, it wasn’t the same effect in the campsite unfortunalty. 2,000 trees wanted to put the power back into the hands of the consumer at their festival, I have to say it was a nicely laid out site and their wasn’t a worker/artist/punter divide like i’ve seen at previous festivals before, because of the small capactiy you would see the same faces day after day and they were almost always more welcoming that the faces at bigger festivals.


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