Bingley Music Live 2012 Review
This review was very kindly shared from the lovely people at Yorkshire Festivals – The Complete Guide to Festivals in Yorkshire.
Visit the Yorkshire Festivals website for the low-down on all types of festivals in Yorkshire – from food festivals to music to arts and literature festivals.
Over the last few years this once small festival has grown in both size and popularity. We attended the very first one back in 2007 when it was a 2 day festival with not much other than a stage and a bar. This year’s festival was a 3 day affair with 3 stages, a Kid’s Zone and a range of food stalls. However it was still only £45 for a weekend ticket which looked like great value.
Friday 31st August
The festival has learnt from issues last year and opened the gates 2 hours before the first act were due on stage, ensuring all those who wanted to watch this act were able to do so. We arrived onsite at around 6 with the entrance queues were both quick and well managed.
The weather on the Friday was shockingly bad. Many of the attendees had clearly never attended an outdoor festival before and we dressed more for a day at the seaside than a muddy festival, white pumps and vests are not a good look in the mud and rain. The first act we saw was Kids In Glass Houses, who were a bit middle of the road soft rock. Next on was soul legend Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. Her voice may not be quite as strong as it once was but she rattled through her biggest hits including Heatwave and Jimmy Mack. The set, although hit-filled, felt a little short and seemed to only last about 7 songs.
The bars were notably very busy, with people around me saying it had taken over half an hour to get a drink. This seemed surprising as they had a good queuing system with all the drinks pre-filled as well. We ventured up towards the Raise the Roof Stage for some food. Choices were much better than previous years with curry, Thai, subs and paella all on offer. We chose from Zook, a local curry house which had a stall and were very impressed. The atmosphere at the Raise the Roof Stage seemed a lot more relaxed than the Main Stage and was a nice alternative.
We returned to the main stage for the start of The Charlatans set. Frontman Tim Burgess sporting a new blonde mop rattled through their biggest hits. How High, The Only One I Know and One To Another were personal highlights from the set which was full of songs from Tellin’ Stories. Getting out of the festival was easier than expected despite much of the ground now resembling a mud bath.
Sunday 2nd September
After missing the Saturday we returned on the Sunday to a much warmer dryer festival. We arrived at around half 2 and the sun which had been shining all the previous day and all morning had dried the floor to the point where there was almost no mud.
As we had taken our one year one daughter we headed up to the Kid’s Zone, a new area for this year. This was a brilliant addition to the festival with a wide range of activities including a sand pit, bouncy castle, tunnels and face painting. The area was also well staffed by council employees who all got into the festival spirit.
Next to the Kid’s Zone was The Musicians Centre, a stage for local bands who had won various competitions to play. It was a good idea to have this next to the Kid’s Zone as it generated passing traffic for a stage which might have otherwise struggled for audiences. The Musicians Centre was close to the Raise The Roof Stage though and there was a noticeable sound bleed between the two stages due to their close proximity.
Due to this sound bleed we heard a lot of Juan Zelada’s opening songs. This was a good stroke of luck as we really enjoyed the set and wandered over to the raise the roof area to watch the rest of the set. The Raise The Roof stage has been moved out of a tent and onto a beautifully decorated stage for this year with more established names booked to play on it. The atmosphere was really chilled out with lots of families sat around enjoying the sunshine and music.
Next on were Leeds folk band Ellen and the Escapades. We are big fans of their debut album All the Crocked Scenes and their set all came from this. The vocals were superb and seemed a perfect fit for a lazy sunny afternoon. We then strolled down to the main stage where one of this years’ biggest break through acts Maverick Sabre was due on next. The queues for the main bar were back to around a 2 minute wait and remained this way for pretty much the entire day. Maverick Sabre delivered an excellent set, his soulful vocals matching well with a strong backing band. Hit singles I Need, No One, Let Me Go were all highlights along with Fire in your Eyes, the collaboration he did with last years’ Sunday headliners Chase & Status.
Next on were The White Lies, a band we have seen many times before. Many of the crowd were donned out in Neon and seemed to be here for headliners Nero so were a bit perplexed by the indie doomsters. The set had a great mix of songs from both of their albums with Death and Bigger Than Us the standout songs. We left after The White Lies as didn’t fancy watching Nero.
Overall we had a great weekend at Bingley Music Live. The festival is continuing to grow and the new additions have made it even better. The fact that they manage to provide so much entertainment whilst only charging £45 for a weekend ticket is superb value for money.
The new Raise the Roof Stage and Kid’s Zone, both were great additions
The sound bleed between the Raise the Roof stage and the Musicians Centre
Those who want to watch big name acts without paying big name prices
You want to party late into the night. The festival ends at half 9 on Friday, Saturday and half 8 on the Sunday
Overall Rating: 9/10
Bingley Music Live seems to get better year upon year. We also think it is the best value for money festival around.