Tuesday, August 22, 2006

V expensive and V crap

I read today that the V Festival organisers have been criticised for charging £10 for a programme to find out when and where acts were playing and £7 for a burger, that people had to queue for hours to get cash, and that anyone bringing beer or water in had them confiscated, forcing them to buy the overpriced drinks on sale at the venues. What's more, from what I can see of the line-up, the festival was crap as well as expensive.
How different from the top festivals in the US. At New Orleans Jazzfest or Beale Street in Memphis the acts are varied and genuinely top quality, so that there is something for just about anyone. The food is brilliant - at Jazzfest there are rows of booths selling anything from alligator po-boys to crawfish pie - and reasonably priced at just three or five dollars a portion. The beer is relatively cheap (if tasteless) and the facilities are excellent. In Europe too the focus of festivals is on value for money rather than excessive profits.
No wonder I prefer to visit festivals in the States or Europe rather than the UK. In my experience UK music festivals are a rip off: badly organised, unpleasant and uncomfortable and very poor value for money.


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