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‘The mud washes off, but the memories last a lifetime’ – Festival nostalgia in the midst of the coronavirus cancellations

Posted on 30th March 2020 by Kathleen Douglas

‘The mud washes off, but the memories last a lifetime’ – Festival nostalgia in the midst of the coronavirus cancellations

Here at YOURgb we embrace everyone’s passions; it is what bonds us and makes us the strong team that we are!

My main passion is music. Music has always been around me since I was a little girl. From my parent’s dancing to Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, and The Beatles to my sister singing along to pop princesses like Christina and my brother blasting Nirvana and Radiohead in his room.

My love of music of course led to my love of music events. Music events like festivals are so powerful and truly unite us no matter who you are or where you’re from. The excitement and sense of community is something I have always loved and inevitably created my passion for working in the events industry.

One of the most heart-breaking things I have experienced this year is gigs and festivals I have been so excited about for months being cancelled, in what felt like a blink of an eye, due to Coronavirus. I can imagine so many other people feeling the exact same way. Going to gigs and festivals to see all my favourite acts is my main hobby and I am definitely going to be lost without it for a few months. Therefore, for this post, I have decided to look back at a few of my favourite festivals that I have attended over the years for a bit of nostalgia!

First up (obviously!), is T in the Park. T in the Park ran from 1994 when it started out at Glasgow Green through to 2016 when it was sadly cancelled after two years at its newest venue of Strathallan Castle. TRNSMT Festival has now taken its place every July at Glasgow Green. T in the Park remains the most iconic Scottish festival to date and I was lucky enough to experience it between 2011 and 2015.

I had the pleasure over those five years of seeing Coldplay, Beyoncé, Foo Fighters, Florence & The Machine, Kasabian, Calvin Harris, Rihanna and so many more!

Just as varied as the line-up was the weather you faced each year because summer in Scotland is always unpredictable. From torrential rain soaking you to the skin and tents floating away (SERIOUSLY) to the infamous sunglasses marks after you have forgotten to wear sun cream (You can still get burnt in Scotland FYI). Nonetheless, you were always guaranteed a good time no matter what the weather!

What also made T in the Park so epic, is the people you shared the experience with. My best pals (even after not showering for a whole weekend), the friendly strangers asking if you want to go on their shoulders when you couldn’t see the stage, and the “mental” Scottish crowds (TRNSMT reveller, 2019).

Next up! Leeds Festival. Leeds Festival is part of the renowned Reading and Leeds Festivals. They run simultaneously every August sharing the same line-up but on different days.

Over my two years at Leeds Festival I saw the likes of The Libertines, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, alt-J, Jamie T, The Wombats, Foals, and many more.

Very similar to T in the Park in terms of the calibre of the line ups and unpredictable weather but it takes place in the lovely North of England with the friendly Northern folk who I feel are kin to us Scots; Just as friendly, if not more.

As well as the friendly Northerners, a couple of other highlights from the festival include the Thursday night’s activities while there are no acts performing (involving dodgems, lots of awesome food, a massive karaoke set up in one of the tents), and also the ‘secret set’ that takes place every year. No one knows who is playing this until you all cram into the tent and wait anxiously to see who walks on stage. In 2015 on of my favourite bands, Foals, performed the secret set. I waited eagerly before realising I recognised Yannis’ distinctive guitar sitting on stage just before they walked on. I’m getting goosebumps writing about it!

All in all, Reading and Leeds Festivals are iconic and with the Thursday entertainment, Yorkshire locals, and an always stellar line up, you’re guaranteed a great weekend!

My final festival is Stag and Dagger. Stag and Dagger originated in London in 2008 and made its way to Glasgow in 2009. Now running solely in Glasgow, it is Scotland’s original multi-venue festival that takes place every May. You buy one ticket which gives you admission to all the venues acts play throughout Glasgow during that weekend.

This festival is fantastic because it showcases new music from throughout the UK and beyond. Previous acts include Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, DMA’s, Frightened Rabbit, and Catfish & The Bottlemen – all just as they were starting out.

I attended Stag and Dagger for the first-time last year and it was spectacular. I knew a few of the acts performing as I am a massive advocate of supporting local up-and-coming bands. However, even if you are not familiar with who is performing, get a ticket and GO! You never know who you may discover before they hit the big time! Tickets are only £25 as well! Absolute bargain!

What makes Stag and Dagger special along with its always unique line-up is the use of the grassroots venues in Glasgow. Our grassroots, independent venues are just as important, if not more important, than the larger ones.

What is special about this festival too is that even though these acts may be small in terms of reputation nationwide, they already have massive dedicated local fanbases packing the small venues out for them! Not only that, but the acts kick about watching other acts with the rest of the audiences and are always happy for a wee chat!

To sum up, music events like festivals are vital to us all. They not only bring a massive amount of music tourism to Scotland and the UK but they unite us all as a community. They make a difference to all our lives no matter how big or small that may be. For me, music events have made a massive impact on my life. They have provided me with cherished memories and inspired me to work in the events industry. The feeling I get at gigs and festivals are the ones I want to create for people through the events we organise at YOURgb. There is nothing like the adrenaline and excitement you experience at events!

Additionally, this is a tough time for all of us throughout the UK and rest of the world and the music and events industries have seen the immediate strain. However, there is so much we can do to help. Go and buy your favourite band’s t shirts, buy a vinyl from a local band you maybe haven’t heard of, and follow their social media to see how you else you can support them. Also, many of our grassroots, independent venues need all the support they can get! They are vital to the UK’s music scene and music tourism. Many of these venues have set up Crowdfunding pages so Google your favourite local independent venue and see what you can do to help! With all of our support I know the music and events industries will come back thriving and better than ever!

And once everything is back to normal pack your tent, wellies, sunnies and get to a festival! I definitely will!