XFM Column for April

Demand is now hugely outstripping supply and even with a foolproof anti-tout system you are STILL relying on luck to get a ticket

Feature | 16 Apr 2006

We Need More Festivals

This year there's no Glastonbury, and every other festival sold out in a matter of hours. As a result, there will be a lot of unhappy people reading this…

As indie and rock continue to thrive, the demand for live music has gone through the roof and it's got to the point where most people are resigning themselves to the fact that if they want to enjoy some al-fresco rock'n'roll, they're going to have to pay through the nose on eBay for the privilege.

A vocal minority complain about touts snapping up tickets and the promoters' inability to stop it happening but the bottom line is this: Demand is now hugely outstripping supply and even with a foolproof anti-tout system you are STILL relying on luck to get a ticket.

So what to do? Make the festivals bigger? There are limits to the scale these events can become and I'm assuming nobody's keen on watching four miniscule Red Hot Chili Peppers from the back of a 500,000 strong crowd (assuming you were keen to see them in the first place).

Perhaps some sort of test to prove that yes, you really are the world's biggest Who aficionado, and you saw them at the Apollo in 1971, and these pre-pubescent Kaiser Chiefs' fan wouldn't know a real band if it windmilled furiously 50 metres away from them… but then who's to say that you're more deserving than the person who just wants to weep quietly in the rain to Sigur Ros? I mean, come on, they might never get the chance again.

So, it's time for some alternatives. And I'm not talking about the 'Go To The Park With A Carry Out' option. Although given the amount of people happy to shell out for T in the Park and Glastonbury tickets without a sniff of who's playing you wonder if some people wouldn't have almost as much fun.

No, what I'm hoping will happen is that we start to see some new festivals spring up; maybe in more unusual locations? The Skye festival is looking more attractive every year, not least because of the surroundings and the wee adventure involved in getting there for most of us. And certainly with some more unusual line-ups. At different ends of the scale, Download and All Tomorrows Parties have been a real joy as they attract so many like-minded music fans to the one place.

T in the Park is great, but I'm hoping that this time next year we'll all have a ticket for something we really can't wait to see.


Provided by John McInally, Music Scheduler, Xfm Scotland

Listen to Music Response with Fraser Thomson every night between 7pm-10pm to pick up copies of these albums and hear album tracks.

Yeah Yeah Yeah's – Show Your Bones (March 27th)
New York's finest angst driven punk rockers add a little more subtlety to their second album. Although new single 'Gold Lion' shows a more refined side, the blistering new wave punk they are renowned for still remains.

Morrissey – Ringleader of the Tormentors (April 3rd)
Recorded in Rome with legendary producer Tony Visconti, Morrissey's second album in as many years after a seven-year absence will not fail to disappoint ardent fans. The former Smiths' brand of operatic dark pop is cleverly blended with an underlying sense of beauty and love which make this one of his most accessible albums to date.

The Streets – The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living (April 10th)
Mike Skinner reflects on life yet again on his third outing with religion, popstars (as heard on new single When You Wasn't Famous) and trying to buy a dog in the pub, all up for scrutiny through his lyrical musings.

Embrace – This New Day (March 27th)
Embrace make a quick return with an album packed full of arena fuelled anthems which threaten to force your hands in the air. Preceded by the beautiful Nature's Law, look out for the band touring the country with XFM Scotland.

The Charlatans – Simpatico (April 17th)
The Charlatans return with an album full of their classic hammond filled funk rock floor fillers. Current single Blackend Blue Eyes is but a taster of what to expect.