I was exhausted before we even arrived at the park and ride. Lanxton had been missing presumed wasted for a couple of days so I had to ride around half the county finding him, his bike, his gear.
Eventually we get everything strapped to the bike and headed over to Pembrey racing circuit to get the bus to the festival. The queue was epic, of biblical proportions. After skipping that, we had the pleasure of standing next to exactly what anyone with the prospect of spending a week with students would dread – drunken rugby playing students singing bad songs badly. Getting on the bus to the gate, everyone wanted to deck them. To hell with that, time to start drinking, cushion the blow.
The bus drops us off to yet another queue. At this point I’m getting ready to kick off, and I’m not the only one. Thankfully Ingrid and Sophie ended up behind us in the queue, its hard to be angry when you’re sharing a hip flask and a cigarette with an exchange student. Eventually we get into the festival, the police presence was huge but the relief of not standing in line was good enough for me.
After pitching the tent we decide to take a look around, and from that point on the week just kept getting better. Never in my life have I seen so many jean shorts and vest tops, and getting onto the ski slope to film the snowboarding and skiing competition, in the hot sun (they trucked in 60 tons of snow to dump on the dry slope) whilst sipping a beer made it all that waiting worth it. There wasn’t too much happening on the first night so we just hung out, got drunk and passed out.
The next few days are a blur, we only just managed to get the photo passes, seeing as by the time we got into the press tent we just looked like rough students. The vibe on site was awesome. Seriously, I’ve not been to another festival like it. There was no hassle, no aggro, just 17,000 people having a good time. Having a ski slope, beach and stunning surroundings gave Beach Break Live a real difference to your standard festival. It wasn’t on a bland field or an airstrip.
There was a chilled atmosphere during the day, but it was at night that Beach Break really came alive. Earlier on Tuesday we’d interviewed the Futureheads, who were on form when they hit the stage. Barry held the audience in his hands and played them with skill. After their set we headed over to the dance tents to catch some beats. Jack Beats and Sub Focus had the whole tent jumping and grinding, relentless with their sick mixes. We found some mates outside the tent and headed over to get dirty with Plastician, his bass line were filthy, 2am came round too soon. All I remember after that was passing out in the tent as the sun was coming up.
With the interviews over and enough footage to make an edit, the next few days were way more chilled, plenty of lying on the grass in the main arena soaking up the atmosphere. Lanxton had other commitments on Thursday so I dropped him off and picked up a mate. We made it back in time to catch Chase and Status headlining on the main stage. I’ve never seen a mosh pit in a dance crowd, it was amazing.
I wish I could write more but in all honesty I can’t remember much else – which is a sure sign that this was a slamming festival. I was expecting the place to be full of drunken students, passing out all over the shop, generally acting like dicks, your cliche stereotype. That just wasn’t the case. I’d rather spend time getting wasted with these guys than in any city center on a weekend.
Without a doubt, we’re going to be all over Beach Break Live 2011.