I’ve got mixed views on Beach Break Live 2012. Arriving midday on Thursday I was hoping to get in and set up quickly, get a feel for the festival before settling in for a great weekend. We (me and Ollie, photographer) had some friends coming to the festival too so we decided to camp together and had a grand plan of bringing their tents in and setting them up so they wouldn’t have to worry about it.
This was the start of our issues. Upon arriving at the site we bounced from official to official, it seemed like no one knew what to do with us! Eventually we managed to get into the site and picked a sheltered spot. This wasn’t my first time at Beach Break Live and I’ve seen what the weather can do here. We got our friend’s tents up and went to set up my own… no poles. Like an idiot I had to spend the weekend sleeping in the porch of someone else’s tent which wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t for the relentless rain!
I’ve never seen rain this bad at a fest, at times it was coming at you sideways, other times it felt like it was coming up from below!
Despite the weather I was surprised how upbeat the site was, there were plenty of tents in the main arena so you had somewhere to shelter. As always Chai Wallah was the best spot to be, you meet the best people in there, the music is great and I haven’t been anywhere else that serves Agwa at the bar. If you don’t know what Agwa is, go find out, its the best shot in the world.
Unfortunately we had issues with our equipment, our mic decided to stop working and water got into the camera so no interviews. I was gutted about this, we had to cancel on Charlotte O’Connor and DJ Fresh. I’d never heard of O’Connor before but she blew me away. Standing on her own on the main stage, braving the afternoon rain she managed to build a crowd with nothing more than an incredible voice, an acoustic guitar and a fantastic prescience
There was a real sense of camaraderie amongst those who stayed to endure the weekend (a lot of people gave up and headed home) and when the sun came out on Saturday, the whole festival cheered at the sky. By a long way, Saturday night was the best. A little bit of sun was all it took, the site picked up and everyone was partying. Elated to be free of sitting in a tent, we caught Dizzie on the main stage and partied through the night.
I was burned out by Sunday but it was good to see Ben Howard on main stage, bringing the surf vibe to Pembrey despite the short set.
Ultimately I did have a great time, whether that was because of the people around me or the festival itself I’m not sure. Either way, Beach Break Live 2012 was a great weekend, already looking forward to next year.