Big Weekend in Norwich

Thursday, May 28, 2015

On Sunday we were so lucky to head to Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich, arguably the biggest and best gig to ever be held in the city. Getting tickets was an absolute stroke of luck and C couldn't quite believe I'd secured them until we received the confirmation email. We waited to hear the line-up and couldn't quite believe our ears when we heard who was playing; the Foo Fighters... in Norwich!!!!

I have to admit that I was slightly deflated to hear that rain was forecast for much of the day (especially considering that the outlook for Saturday was for sunshine most of the day) so we took waterproof jackets; our regulation 500ml sealed bottles of water, cash, ID and tickets. Being paranoid about parking I booked a rather expensive 'premier parking' space which looked a doddle to reach. Wrong. We got stuck in a massive queue, the road we wanted to take was closed with no alternative suggested . I think we drove seven sides of an octagon and it was only by a stroke of fortune we found it at all. Not impressed!

As for the event itself, well it was our first big festival (25,000 people there to be precise) so I didn't really know what to expect. Earlham Park seemed huge, especially when we got to the top of the hill and looked down at the main stage which looked so far away and tiny. The music was loud, but that's a given. We just caught the closing tracks from Olly Murs which was a little bit of a shame (and I'll point my finger of blame at the lack of signage for the car park) but there was so much music going on that we moved on rather swiftly.
During the day we checked out a couple of bands on the Introducing stage; I loved how intimate it felt, the tent held around 150 people and it felt exciting being so close. I caught the last track from Youth Club, called People and loved it's funky vibe (yes, I said funky vibe even though it may mean I need a good talking to).
We mostly lingered at the main stage, straying variously closer to and further from the stage. Catfish and the Bottlemen were great, I had heard the name a lot from the radio but couldn't name any tracks – turned out I knew and loved loads of their music but hadn't realised it was theirs. My bad! They had been promoted to the main stage after Sam Smith had to drop out and I had to concur that they thoroughly deserved their spot there.

I wasn't enamoured with Clean Bandit, though the singers were talented I just wasn't that interested in their music and 'Rather Be' has been seriously overplayed on the airwaves. We popped into the In New Music We Trust stage tent once and saw a few tracks from Rory before I decided to wander off for some fresh air.

Imagine Dragons were amazing, I'm a fan of theirs and it was great to see them play live. I'd love to go to one of their own shows for sure. Rita Ora had a good set. I knew all bar one of her tracks and thought she gave a great performance, respect to her! Whereas George Ezra kept his stage presence almost nonchalant, but with a voice like his we were all focussed on the music rather than feeling the need to be entertained by dancing and lights.
Out of pretty much nowhere the crowd morphed into 90% screaming girls when Taylor Swift arrived to my dismay. I really had to grit my teeth at a couple of points; notably when girls nearby shrieked “I love you Tay-Tay”. Really?. Hmmm. Some adults brought small girls to see Taylor Swift which I considered to be an unorthodox choice when it was a particularly adult-y environment.

Oh and I really have to say that people were acting like utter pigs by leaving little everywhere. Find a bin and put your rubbish in there you lazy swines. It was disgraceful. I realised this is known festival practice but it's disgusting.

The Foo Fighters? They were every kind of amazing. We think we were about 15 people deep from the stage, we were smooshed up with strangers- goodness, no personal space at all! We waited for ages and ages but it was absolutely worth it. The set was full-on, all guns blazing rock n roll with Dave Grohl being his utterly captivating self, he had us in the palm of his hand. I think we all fell a little deeper in love that night. There really aren't the words to say what it felt like to be there and experience it so close, we saw them all with our eyes, not needing to look at the screen. It was magical and one of those utter feelgood moments in time that I'll lock away in my heart forever.

Norwich, we rocked.


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