Here is a little something to listen to whilst you read. A live “Bootleg” of DJ Fresh Preforming Louder, it’s a crowd recording, so it’s a bit noisy at the start but it gets better.
Another title i considered for this post was “Beach Break Live – Wet, Wind and Wales”, but then on saturday night, finally(!), the sun came out. That says it all about beach break really, it’s a festival whose identity is soo closely pinned to the weather that when you take away the sun there really isn’t a lot left, and damn did those weather gods take away the sun.
Everything was soaked before we even turned up!
Sure you can’t blame the organisers for the Rain, and had it been sunny from the onset it would have been totally different. That said, a festival in Wales was always a bit likely to be wet wasn’t it, would it really have been such a bad idea to plan for that?
Friday was frankly a little depressing, again maybe it all comes down to the rain, but it felt like a ghost festival. As hard as we looked, there was almost no one anywhere, and zero “Festival Atmosphere”. Hardly surprising prehaps when there was nothing to do. I get it, it’s about the beach but would a back up plan for when it’s too cold and windy to go be soo hard? As a result most of friday was spent in the action aid tent, playing connect four. Fun yes, worth a trip all the way to Wales? Probably not.
All in all not a great start, thankfully Sir David Rodigan was booked to make an appearance in the evening. He single-handedly rescued the day, and taught me a valuable lesson which would prove to be true throughout. Nothing happens at beach break until 22:00 at which point there’s a 4 hour window of fun, before more lovely nothing. Whats the point in having the festival in the middle of nowhere in Wales if it can still only get a licence for music until 2 AM?
The Abandoned festival. This was late afternoon on saturday!
Rodigan, went in exactly how you’d expect him to. Big records. Big personality. There’s a good reason why the man’s got an MBE.
Mr Jam also put in a solid friday night set, nothing remarkable but at least it got the crowd going, a rare treat for beach break as it turns out. That was the end of friday night.
Saturday was characterised by a marked improvement in both the weather and the daytime line-up, with acts like Ghostpoet, and Labrinth on the main stage, sadly the whole thing was mired in indifference from the crowd, I think this photo from Ambassadeurs set just about sums it up…
This isn’t a photo of him setting up, this is the crowd int he middle of the set!
There were two moments that the crowd came together to create anything like atmosphere, the first was for England Vs Sweden, the second was in the undisputable festival highlight “The Juke Joint”, a party house of dancing and southern comfort with an old american speakeasy vibe. It was the only place on site that really felt anything like a festival.
Dizzy rascal opened up the 22:00 – 02:00 fun window, with a solid, but short and somewhat unremarkable set. What is it with festival headliners doing under an hour these days? Still at least there weren’t any moshing Penguins!
The real highlight, not just of saturday, but of the whole festival was steeze merchant, DJ and all round bad man Toddla T. An “if carlsberg did DJ set’s…” moment, except imagine if you will that carlsberg actually make quality champagne. Perfectly balanced, just the right amount of hype and MC Serocee is always a bit win. Just when Toddla had the crowed pumped it hit 2AM Game over. Time to wander round aimlessly for an hour in search of some nonexistent fun.
I know beach break is a student festival, but I can’t help thinking its target market is a student soo stereotypical that I was struggling to believe that he / she actually existed. That is until I woke up on sunday morning to find someone pissing on THEIR OWN tent. Despite their being a Sunday lineup headlined by Friendly Fires, and some super sunny weather, the last 3 days had convinced me it was time to go. We busted out of their straight back onto the first train home.
It’s the poor underworked Ice cream men I really feel sorry for…
For some more photo’s check out the slide show below. Due to some kind of “incident” at snappy snaps which I don’t really understand, a lot of the better photo’s don’t seem to exist..