The Modern Festival: Is bigger always better?
We live in an age where we look towards a larger, faster and a more extravagant manner of existence, from breaking land-speed records to having phones that do more than PC´s – it is always about the next best thing. Festivals, however, seem to have done a complete U-turn in response to festival-goers that have kicked off their wellies, abandoned their rucksacks, discarded the glow-sticks from their sweaty hands and said “No!”. No to what you ask. Simply put, it is no to everything. The People have come to realize that a festival is not about the amount of headliners that can fit in on one bill, celebrities in tents or adverts about the ten new flavours of Tango.
It is not about the latest strobe-lighted dance tent, being able to “Chill ´n´ Charge” your phone or having a WiFi connection. This is not want the People want, or even need. We go to festivals in order to escape the world, not find ridiculous ways to remain connected to it. This is why there is an escalating interest in smaller festivals, not simply because of the hippie-vibes and open spaces but because of the ideals and of course, the money. A major factor that has sent people running towards the Small festival is simply because of the prices. Events like Truck and Blissfields tend to fit more comfortably into your purse than the other giant music mongrels, such as Glastonbury or Isle of Wight, which can cost you a very pretty penny.
In truth, it is an altogether very secret festival that has prompted this article and it is so small and so quiet that you can´t even Ask Jeeves. In The Woods – obscure by name and in nature. It is a home away from home that stretches underneath starlight and drooping branches, oil lamps and leafy chandeliers. This festival focuses on an altogether more personal experience between the audience and the performers; a kind of glorious one-night-stand that leaves you sweating and panting for more. We all love to have something that is secret and personal to us and that is why In The Woods appeals to the Small Festival fanatic who can appreciate musical anonymity.
There is a beauty in being given a nameless artist who, for those glorious moments that they are playing their souls out to you, stirs up a yearning sensation that every chord, every lyric and every beat must be savored as odds are, you will never see or hear from them again. They are the phantom artists of the Small Festival, those slim silver moments of joy that cannot be recaptured, reproduced and exploited by a Radio 1 DJ. This is what we are all truly after. And that is what the Small Festival can provide.