The ins and outs of #Indie16

INDIE 16 Official Aftermovie

While I’m sickened I didn’t manage to make a cameo in the official aftermovie, I have to say what a weekend! I didn’t count the amount of times it was mentioned but with the layout of the stages, the campsites and the massive lineup, Indiependence is rapidly becoming a better Oxegen.

We arrived quite late on the Friday evening so, in spite of all my talking, we missed Saint Sister. There was a mad dash to get the camp set up as quickly as possible and our Girl Guide training certainly paid off (thanks Mom!).  The tent was up in jig time and we headed for the Main Stage just in time to hear the end of the Strypes and were in poll position for Bellx1.

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Bell x1 playing the Main Stage, Friday.

I have a particularly soft spot for Bellx1 and after everyone absolutely raving about them at the Galway Arts Festival I was really looking forward to seeing them at Independence. They sounded amazing live and I was thrilled to see the first big crowd of the festival out to support a homegrown act. A good chunk of the set was taken up with newer material that fans were less familiar with and lead singer Paul Noonan did a lot of talking inbetween, some of it quite rameish-y, so it was a welcome respite when the band played some of their better knows hits and their Bowie tribute had the place rocking and rolling in fitting fashion. After Bellx1 we headed for the Craft Beer Shed and this proved to be the find of the weekend. It was relatively quiet on Friday but by Sunday evening, word had spread and there was barely room to swing a cat. All that and the fact the rain held off meant we were off to a flying start!

Saturday afternoon was mainly spent BBQing up a storm in the carpark with the Boys Across the Road aka the most prepared campers in Europe. They had a mini-fridge in the Jeep, a portable BBQ and plenty of grub so we were happy out. The only fly in the ointment was security informing us on the way out of the camp (1 PM approx) that there would be no alcohol allowed in after curfew.. at 2PM and none allowed in at all on Sunday. This led to a flurry of frantic phone calls to friends of ours who were on the way and others who were not due until later in the evening. Obviously, music fesitvals are about much more than booze but I thought this was an inconvenience and should probably have been highlighted better before the event to give ticket holders arriving late a fair chance. However, I’m sure that security had their reasons and seeing as the festival went off without a hitch, I’m happy enough with that.

Eva, who tagged along with me to the festival decided that Picture This were playing on Saturday  so at 5PM she rounded up our campsite and frog marched us to the Mainstage. It was actually Neon Wolf who were playing (Picture This were Sunday) but the boys were excellent in any case so what harm. We spent the rest of the evening shuffling between Pleasure Beach, Hudson Taylor and Little Hours but when 9 o clock rolled around we were firmly planted in the Main Stage for Walking on Cars and the Kooks. The boys from Dingle were showstopping. The sound was absolutely perfect and I think the majority of the packed to capacity tent had goosebumps for the duration of their set. A tough act to follow but the Kooks were well able, belting out the classics they had the crowd singing along to favourites like Ooh La and She Moves in her own Way. Both were definite highlights for me. We caught a brief part of the Blizzards as we passed and, with the stages winding down, it was time for another trip to the Craft Beer Shed and the 80s v 90s. The place was heaving and we definitely danced our little cotton socks off Saturday night.

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Neon Wolf (NOT Picture This) playing the Main Stage, Saturday.

Sunday we were a lot slower out of the blocks and took it fairly handy. We spent the day catching up with friends and the ghosts of festivals past, which is one of my favourite parts of festivals and definitely the reason I spend my weekends trekking around the country. Consensus in the campsite was that the Saturday night had been a resounding success and everyone was looking forward to Picture This and Editors.

I spent a lot of Sunday evening at the Red Bull Stage or the Techno Tent as I rebranded it and had an absolute ball. I also managed to catch then end of the Editors set so I was one happy bunny. In keeping with tradition, we finished the night in the Beer Hall watching a 6ft man with ‘auburn’ hair bust a move to a Michael Jackson mashup and if that doesn’t sum up a great weekend, I don’t know what does.

Overall, we had a smashing weekend. The festival was really well organized, the night security staff were fantastic, as were all of the volunteers. Music-wise, it was great. After 4 years of trying to see Walking on Cars perform I finally ticked them off the list, ideal! Would I change anything? More toilets, but shur don’t I say that after every festival. Well done to all involved, really looking forward to what #Indie17 has in store.

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