Ever fancied the music of a festival without the hassle ? The sounds without the sunburn ? Being able to dance in footwear other than wellies ? Well then it sounds like a D.I.Y festival is for you.
The idea is simple. Get a few friends to chip in to rent a semi-decent sound system, sort out some people to play and then peer pressure the person with the biggest back garden into hosting it. As ticket prices for mainstream festivals continue to skyrocket quicker than banker bonuses, the appeal of being your very own Michael Eavis continues to grow.
James Campbell, co-founder and host of Pyramid At Pilrig, certainly appreciates such hankerings, “The idea of a mini Glastonbury had been bubbling away in my head for years…I think people just enjoy making the most of the Scottish summer, even if it is raining, and it’s a great opportunity to get a bit rowdy outside under a gazebo. I personally just love the silliness of it all.”
And that is the long and short of it. Whilst people hate paying over-inflated prices and drinking watered down lager, they love getting their rave on and the whole festival vibe.
The case against vacuous super-festivals really is beginning to stack up. T In The Park was by-and-large a wash out, with the Western General no doubt bracing itself for the highest number of trenchfoot cases since 1918. And again, there was a drug-related death at Rockness. As the winters continue to pass us by and our partying peak’s are but distant humps in the rear-view mirror, the idea of a music festival that has unlimited access to cups of tea and the possibility of a good sit down is infinitely more favourable.
This year year James not only managed to put together a line-up with three eclectic DJs but introduced a live band for the first time. Local beer was served on tap, with a small donation even getting you your own festival wristband. Essentially everthing you need for a weekend blow out.
As the majority of mainstream festivals continue to merge into a mash of blandness and smaller alternatives increasingly feel the pinch, people will continue to hunt for that original festival feel anywhere they can. Whilst the music at festivals is largely interchangeable, the feeling of friends having the best weekend of their year is one that cannot be replicated no matter how many Snow Patrols or Minajs you throw at it.
So, are D.I.Y festivals the future ? Well I wouldn’t be expecting the cash cows that are T In The Park or V to be closing down anytime soon. Perhaps they should be seen as more of a homage to their bigger brothers, a chance for those that have been there and done it to relive the buzz of old without actually having to spend the weekend camping in a field with a bunch of pissed up 17 year-olds.
And for James, what is the future for his homegrown piece of inspiration, “The immediate plan is to take it on tour and to visit the original pyramid. I want to get as many people up for a trip to Glastonbury as possible. I’m sure a warm up event in Edinburgh will be on the cards though!”