Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Footnotes from Sonisphere

IT was a fun and eventful weekend at Sonisphere, so here's a few additional bits and bobs noted over the festival.

  • The idea of facing main stages is genius. Keeps the fans hanging around less between bands and cuts down on trudging from stage to stage. Although anyone in the disabled section trying to enjoy Dream Theater on Sunday evening would've had it drowned out by the Metallica soundcheck.

  • Iron Maiden is more than a metal band, it's a religion. Their fans swarmed the arena on Saturday, all wearing band T-shirts, denims, badges and costumes. And they came in all ages, from teenage girls to hairy old men and everything in between.

  • Sonisphere had the most families I've ever seen at a festival. There were lots of parents with older kids, but also with babies and toddlers - as well as nan and granddads. Great to see.

  • These festival-goers love a bit of merchandise. If it wasn't a Maiden T-shirt, more often than not it was an official Sonisphere one or a Knebworth 40th anniversary one. And some were Maiden celebrating Knebworth's 40th anniversary at Sonisphere.

  • Ironic T-shirt of the weekend: The guy wearing a 'FUCK AUTHORITY' top standing out the way behind a barrier after a security guard told him to finish his drink before entering the arena.

  • £4.90 for pint of Tuborg lager seems excessive. It may be the going rate for a festival beer, but Sonisphere doesn't have to follow the norm. The price did include a 10p cup desposit, but £4 a pint would surely have been a decent enough mark-up.

  • Cup collecting has become a serious business. Diving at the feet of a moshpit to pick up discarded cups now not only makes entertainment for kids bored of the music, but there were guys who brought their own kit to pick up all those will-be 10ps off the floor.

  • While Metallica's By Request set is a great way to get fans involved, the last minute "you can vote for one more song by texting at a cost of 25p plus standard network rate blah blah blah" did smack at wringing every last penny from the fans. 

  • The guitarist from Anti-Flag can fly.

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