Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Off: the Wall

In terms of both the stature of its headliners (Pet Shop Boys, The Libertines and Mark Ronson) and the location (Heddon-on-the-Wall, just to the west of Newcastle), Festival On The Wall promised to be an interesting new addition to the festival calendar. But now the plug has been pulled on the inaugural event by the organisers, who have done so "with an incredibly heavy heart", citing "several significant operational challenges".

A classic case of attempting to run before you can walk and underestimating all of the conditions that need to be satisfied/hoops that need to be jumped through before an event of that size can be staged, especially in a rural area? Quite possibly - but as long as those who had bought tickets are quickly and fully recompensed, then it's better that the festival was cancelled at this stage, with more than four months to go, than only a few days before (hello ATP!). Better too than it going ahead and turning into a damaging farce that might have impacted on the festival industry more widely.

Meanwhile, there are no such concerns for Green Man, who have just announced that Ride will fill the new slot of Thursday night headliner. Daniel Avery, whose 'Drone Logic' has been a recent obsession of mine, is another eye-catching addition to the bill, but by some distance the most striking new name on the line-up is that of the reformed Lift To Experience, whom the organisers have said they saw at Guy Garvey's Meltdown last year and simply had to book. Given my enthusiasm for The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads, the diary clash preventing me from going this year is now an even greater source of chagrin.

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