It may be that it’s just because I’m in London, but I gotta admit that I was quite struck the moment I learned about an amazing festival taking place in the English capital’s iconic Hyde Park at the end of June called British Summer Time (BST). Proudly sponsored by Barclays (come on, somebody’s gotta do it nowadays…), the open air is characterised by a series of one-day off line ups encompassing five different days so far, and according to their website many more acts have yet to be announced. While I myself couldn’t resist not getting my ticket for Thursday 18th June (the day when New Yorker indie veterans The Strokes are headlining supported by Kayne West’s current favourite Beck and Future Islands, amongst others), it’s the whole line up that really stands out in my opinion. Being able to put together headliner acts so diverse and at the same time appealing such as UK-darlings Blur, Kylie Minogue, The Who and Taylor Swift (by the way the only day that’s already sold out, so far) it’s not something that we as audience should take absolutely for granted.
Again, it may be that I’m not used to UK and especially London’s high standards yet, but besides the fact that in addition to such supersonic headliners there are other big shots acting just as “minor appearances” filling up the blank time slots such as Nile Rodgers, Kaiser Chiefs or John Newman, I was truly positively surprised when I got to know about this series of gigs. Of course, the fact that all these fantastic days of music are taking place in beautiful (and hopefully sunny, at least on 18th June) Hyde Park, doesn’t do anything other than amplifying my excitement for it. Also, I really, really like the concept of the festival as being an aggregate of single, scattered days of autonomous line-up which you can deliberately pick for yourself (and of course this applied also to tickets-purchasing, which is always convenient). For, unlike the majority of summer music festivals I know, which normally follow the classic scheme of 4-5 days in a row of musical programme, BST covers the range of over a week with single artists-packages you can select. I honestly think that this kind of formula is probably one that’s gonna be pretty fruitful in the future of music shows and festivals, considering today’s highly busy audiences, issues of location management over a longer period of time, and not least the not always convergent tour schedules of artists. The only disadvantage that I’m aware of in the case of BST is that if someone’s willing to attend more than one single day, there’s no combo-tickets that can be purchased at once for multiple days, as far as I know. However, since the line-ups seem to be rightfully articulated with specific target audiences in mind, it’s probably unlikely that someone would actually take part in more than 2-3 single separate days (at least that’s the case for me, bearing in mind the tickets’ prices).
With that said, I’m really looking forward to seeing The Strokes for the first time after many, many years of admiration and respect. Despite wide criticism not only from established music press, but also from the fans themselves on social media, I actually really enjoyed their last two efforts, 2011’s “Angles”, even though it remains their faintest LP, and in particular “Comedown Machine”, which contains great musical pearls such as “Tap Out”, “50/50” as well as closing gem “Call It Fate, Call It Karma”. After many failed tentatives to catch them live on tour or at some star-filled European summer festivals, probably also influenced by their unpredictable stability as a band over the past decade, BST is finally enabling me to experience The Strokes live. And for this, I really wanted to thank and shout out to them.
I’d like to thank you sincerely for taking the time to read this and I hope to feel your interest again next time.