Festival Reviews

Festival Review: Big Chill 2010

By | Published on Thursday 19 August 2010

Big Chill

This was my first time at the Big Chill fest, and I’d only heard great things about it – amazing setting, cool music, and a nice atmosphere – so I went with high expectations.

Arriving late on Thursday evening we were greeted by a massive queue to get into the festival car park, which was frustrating to say the least after a three hour drive to get there. Once we’d got in and set up our tents though excitement kicked in and I was more than happy to see that it was a relatively tiny festival, with our tents being pitched pretty much right next to the arena – Yay!

Waking up on the Friday, the weather wasn’t what I’d hoped it was going to be, but the scenery more than made up for it – we were literally surrounded by big green hills. The first band I got to see were actually my favourite of the whole weekend. Despite stupidly missing the beginning of the set, I arrived to see the majority of Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane And The Heritage Orchestra. After seeing Faith No More at Download 2009, I was already aware of Patton’s greatness, but this put him in a whole new light for me – which I guess is part of said greatness; that he can touch on such a range of genres and still be magic.

Later that evening it was time to watch main stage headliners Massive Attack. Not really knowing what to expect and not having the greatest knowledge of the band’s catalogue, I was totally blown away by their performance. I was completely captured by their set which was filled with classics like ‘Teardrops’, ‘Inertia Creeps’ and ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ and a spectacular light show.

On Saturday, the first band I stumbled across were Husky Rescue. A band I’d heard of but had no idea what they sounded like, and I was pleasantly surprised, if not completely overwhelmed, by them. Next up I headed over to the main stage to catch the amazing Patrick Wolf. I’d actually forgotten he was playing so was a bit overexcited that I caught his performance.

Wearing a black and white jumpsuit, Patrick’s performance was typically full of energy and really showed off just how talented he is, although I definitely think he deserved a larger crowd.

Later that evening were headliners Roots Manuva and MIA. For me, Roots Manuva was fun but more of a warm up for what was coming next; I’ve been a fan of MIA from the start although not a huge fan of her most recent work. However, I completely loved her performance and was reminded why I liked her so much. Unfortunately, her set got cut short after she invited a ‘few’ people up to dance on stage which in no time at all turned into a full on stage invasion of about 200 people, but for it’s entertainment value I really didn’t mind. Ending the night in one of the dance tents, my fellow festivalers and I danced solidly for about three hours to Mr Scruff’s DJ set, proving that it wasn’t just his tea that was good.

On the final day, I was faced with the decision of going to see Natty or Morcheeba. Choosing Natty, I’m sure I made the right decision. Playing a mainly chilled out set with a few upbeat tracks here and there, Natty put across his message of the importance of music.

Later that afternoon I caught Villagers’ set on the Clash stage. Having missed them earlier in the year I couldn’t wait to see them live. It was a perfect chilled out set for a Sunday afternoon, which was suitably followed by Fionn Regan and Newton Faulkner and rounded off with Bonobo.

Despite the atmosphere being a little more on the rowdy side than I had anticipated, the festival as a whole was a lot of fun – an amazing line-up, cool little touches like the cinema tent and outside DJ area, it ranged from chilled out to one big party. GS