At the beginning of the month I shot two days of Lodestar Festival 2012, unfortuantely I was double booked on the third day.
is held in Lode, just north west of Cambridge. It's a wonderful festival of music. Doug Durrant runs it on his farm. I went there last year for the first time primarily to shoot The Travelling Band so I only spent one day there. I was bowled over by the quality of artists at what is a small and I guess local to Cambridge festival. Lodestar is extraordinary in many ways. First of all it takes place on what is described as a 200 acre lawn. To my amazement that description is accurate - a perfectly flat area of grass extending virtually as far as you can see in every direction. The other extraordinary thing is the quality of the artists who come from far and wide. An eclectic mix with a common theme of talent.
This year the first day was headlined by
The Go Team
and what a headline act they were! Check them out
Ninja - The Go Team
I heard Lodestar was to be their last perfomance - I certainly hope that is not the case.
At the other end of the day the first band up was
Often the first band on is perhaps somewhat lacking, maybe inexperienced etc. but Lodestar kicks off with real talent and that flows through the whole event. There is only one negative about Lodetsar and that is the fact that the campers, who are on a part of the 'lawn' outside of the main arena and festival gates, appear to spend most of the day chillin and drinking around their tents as opposed to in the stage area. They then arrive en masse for the final two or three sets. I'm unclear why but it's frustrating for talented artists playing to often very small crowds when festival goers are only a few hundred yards away. But don't let that small negative give a wrong impression, if you like live music you'll love Lodestar.
Last year my 'find' of the festival was Kill It Kid who I have followed ever since. This year it was..
Luminites played on the Saturday and were about halfway through the day. They had been mingling with the festival crowd for a few hours before they went on stage and I soon got the impression they were lovely people.
Then when they were on stage - what a joy. They are a mix of hip hop, beatbox and bouncy rap. They absolutely wowed the younger members of the audience and as their set went on everyone else began to take notice. These kids are really talented. They are also NICE - it may not always be cool to be nice but Luminites really pull it off. Their interaction with the crowd was a joy to behold.
Corey from Luminites
Ben - Luminites
Now a few pics of other artists at Lodsetar this year
Ryan Keen - who really impressed me
Ryan was brilliant and after a long set he actually went into the crowd and did an accoustic set while the next band was set up. Nice one Ryan!
The Rocket Dolls also strutted their stuff early on the first day..
Nikki Smash - Rocket Dolls
and then the penultimate set on the Saturday night was Katzenjammer. This, can I call them a girlband?, from Oslo were something else. they were different that's for sure and I'm sure they will be a massive success
They took it in turns on this weird bass guitar. The girls are versatile, talented and break some boundaries. Get to see them.
Well that just leaves the headline - Sir Bob Geldof. I'll be honest, I wasn't fussed and nearly shot off to process what I'd shot that day. OK I quite liked the Rats many years ago, I definately still don't like Mondays and I have great respect for what the 'gobby one' has done for the suffereing, world peace and single parent males but come on - Sir Bob Geldolf on stage - I really wasn't sure. Anyway I decided to hang a round for 'first three no flash'. Wow! what a surprise.
Here he was with his aging cronies and they could play. Bob had a presence I guess I should have expected but he was brilliant..
I take it back Sir Bob, I enjoyed your set just as much as your (surprisingly young) females fans. Apologies for doubting you.
Oh yeah and you make a great subject to photograph
Well I hope that's given you a taste for Lodestar. A testament to the festival is that it took place at all this year - a year when so many festivals have failed financially or been cancelled altogether. I can only believe that Doug loves music and puts a real effort into his line up and that his supporters, you who went again this year, are happy to buy a ticket and spend most of the day chillin in the sunshine before having a boogie in front of stage. (try and leave your tent parties a bit earlier next year e? Oh that's another thing, Doug provides brilliant weather alongside his awesome artists. It would be worth your while to head for Lode next September.