Hop Farm Festival - Sunday

We managed to get day tickets for the Hop Farm Festival last Sunday - SupaJam were offering 500 free tickets (just had to pay £5.40 admin fee per ticket) for each day, and as I knew Anna had never seen Suede but really wanted to I went for the Sunday tickets. After the usual online ticket buying stresses I managed to get two tickets!

Unfortunately we didn't get to the festival in time to see any of the new acts that SupaJam were promoting. It almost felt like we were cheating them somehow, getting into the festival for 'free'! My expectations for the festival were fairly low, as Anna had been to the first one to see Rufus Wainwright - apparently back then it was just one stage in a field and not much else. But things had obviously improved since then, there were four separate stages and plenty of shops, food places and rides to keep people entertained.

The first band I saw anything of were Athlete - they did Wires (obviously) but I had forgotten they did 'You Got The Style'. We were eating at the back while they were on and it was alright. Just as they finished the heavens opened, so we made our way to the Bread and Roses tent, where Jonquil were playing. They referred to the weather swelling their crowd a lot! Unfortunately I can't remember anything about their music though, which is kind of damning I guess?

It dried up after that so we had a look around the stalls, my favourite stall was probably the Hazel Bee one. I couldn't think of anyone to buy a card for unfortunately but we bought a frisbee for Nicky from there. I saw a bit of King Charles from the edge of the second stage/tent, I might try and listen to some of his stuff as it seemed to encompass a wide range of genres and was quite good.

We headed to the main stage then to see the Levellers, we caught the end of the Psychedelic Furs (no Pretty in Pink unfortunately). We were able to get quite close to the front, things were pretty relaxed:


They were pretty good, although looking quite old now! Next up were Kool and the Gang, we went to get something to eat. I had a great burger from Ska-BQ and also had an Indian chai which was lovely. I really enjoyed Kool and the Gang, I'm far too old to be snobby about music and it was just fun!

I saw Richard Ashcroft on my own whilst Anna went for a wander. I was hoping for a set of The Verve songs with minimal solo stuff and thankfully he delivered, only doing 3 solo songs 2 of which I knew anyway. He had a bit of a rant against the Tories before Bittersweet Symphony which was warmly received.



Finally it was time for Suede. We managed to get very close to the front, only 2 back from the barrier. This was our view (shame my phone camera is so terrible):


Unfortunately we had to put up with two absolutely wasted women trying to get to the barrier, despite only being two back, they spent the first half of the set trying to push past those in front for no good reason. Eventually they were told to stop it by security, but not before annoying everyone in the vicinity by falling into them.

Thankfully, despite this annoyance, Suede were actually quite brilliant, far better than I had expected. I thought they'd struggle when they did We Are The Pigs, Animal Nitrate and Trash in the first 5 songs, but they put on a great show, Brett was obviously enjoying it and took several trips along the barrier, Anna managed to touch his arm! There were several great singalongs, most notably for Beautiful Ones. At the end we waited so Anna could try and get a setlist, after a bit of a wait we managed to get Brett's from the front of the stage:

Suede setlist from the Hop Farm Festival

We made our way back to the car and were out of the car park in less than 5 minutes, and home within an hour! It was a great day out, especially as we'd only paid a tenner for the two tickets. I found the atmosphere much more relaxed than at Glasto, although that might be because we didn't have the kids with us, but also because there wasn't as much to do there, so there was less pressure to see and do everything. We'll definitely consider going again, maybe with the kids next time as there were plenty of families there.

Keane Ingram

A father of three and husband of one. I enjoy spending time with my family, staying active (especially cycling, running and capoeira) and playing video games. I also enjoy reading and watching films.

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