Monday, June 11, 2007

Monster Festival?

Newspaper headlines are often cause for amusement and despite the serious aspect of this one in today's Scotsman you get what I mean. 'Loch Ness rock festival declared a success despite man's death'. A man was found dead in his car and he appears to have died from natural causes. The festival itself attracted 35,000 and people were encouraged to 'Nessie spot' by a one million pound prize offered by bookmaker William Hill. Oh, and there was music too, with the Manic Street Preachers, Daft Punk and the Chemical Brothers amongst the 60 acts performing.

Festival season has just got underway and there will no doubt be many newspaper stories over the coming months, some will no doubt involve nudity - shock horror amazement from the tabloids - with the obligatory mud sliding if it's very wet. A few years ago there was nudity of a different kind at a festival in America. In 1995 the first annual Nudestock festival took place in Michigan. Whereas at Woodstock and countless other festivals, nudity was optional at this one it was mandatory, but not for the bands. "We're not paid to take our clothes off." Said Alan Parsons whose Project was one of the headliners. Others on the bill included Foreigner and Kansas and the latter’s Rich Williams, who remained clothed throughout, seemed to sum up the experience for everyone. “And you're standing there playing and there's some guy with a baseball hat and tennis shoes standing in front of you, wiggling around and playing air guitar with his pecker. It bothers you." The following year the organizers were hopeful of getting Oasis (the consequences could have been mind-boggling), Blur and Supergrass to participate, but they all declined. By the 7th Nudestock in 2004 the headliners were reduced to a Beatles tribute band and Tombstone Shadow said to be more like Creedence Clearwater Revival than they were themselves. The picture is from 2004 which shows things had gone somewaht downhill in terms of the festivals size since 1995.

The largest attendance at a rock festival was at 1983’s US Festival near San Bernardino, California. It was organized by one of the co-founders of Apple, Steve Wozniak's, and between 28–30 May and 670,000 showed up to see David Bowie, U2, INXS and a whole host of others. The largest crowd for a single day was on 28 July 1973 for the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, New York. More than 600,000 squeezed into the car race circuit to see bands that included the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers, and the Band. It’s been claimed that it was the biggest gathering of people in America – ever. It meant that on that day one in every 350 people in America were there….and they can’t all have been Dead Heads, can they? By comparison one in every 145 people in Scotland were at Loch Ness - not bad!

1 comment:

r morris said...

If the accompanying photograph is not a strong argument against nudity, I don't know what is!