Bingley Music Live (BML) started in 2007 and although it is only in its 5th year BML has been a sell out for the past 2 years. With weekend tickets only costing £35 I was very surprised at how good the line up was, definitely value for money, and they also seemed to have something for everyone with the line up having a variety of music types, from the folk-pop sound of Eliza Doolittle to the drum and bass sounds of Chase and Status.
The festival is also very keen to help bring money into its local community and does this by not having its own campsite and instead allowing local business’ with land to offer camping at a small cost to festival goers. However I must admit that when we first heard that the festival did not have its own camping we were slightly worried, but once we arrived at our campsite (which we found through the BML website) we soon forgot about our worries, the campsite was spacious, had food stalls and simply the nicest toilets I have ever seen at a festival campsite.
The main festival site was only a 15 minute walk from the campsite and once on site I was a little bit surprised at the size of the arena as I expected it to be bigger for the 15,000 festival goers that would be attending over the weekend, however no one appeared fazed by this and the size of the arena must have been deceiving, because once the crowds came in to enjoy the music and atmosphere it was never too crowded (unless you were in the mosh pit).
Friday – BML hosts a free day on the Friday, where you can go and enjoy the music without having to pay to enter the arena. You would think with there being no charge for the day they would put on less than great acts but with the acts for the day being Alice Gold, Young Guns, The Go! Team, Skindred, and Fun Lovin’ Criminals, this was far from true and the day was a big success.
Saturday – With the arena being small we decided to check out Bingley’s town centre on Saturday and it was clear that many were doing the same, with the shops and restaurants being full with other festival goers. After grabbing some lunch in a little café we then headed over to the arena. We missed the first two acts but got there in time to catch the end of Dionne Bromfield’s set. We spent the rest of the day watching the other bands with Feeder being a big hit with the crowd. We were especially looking forward to seeing Maxïmo Park, and once onstage, though we personally thought they started off not so great they definitely got better to the end of their set, playing their better known songs, they put a great end to a good day. There were also some fireworks to watch before heading back to the campsite so all in all a really good day was had, even the rain had held back with only the odd drizzle earlier in the day.
Sunday – Started the day with a full English breakfast in one of the local cafes that opened on the Sunday especially to be able to feed us festival folk. It was another day with a chilled out atmosphere during the day with most just sat with a drink watching the first lot of bands and enjoying the sunshine. Sunday held a special treat for those who had access to the VIP/hospitality area; this was because Dynamo, the illusionist/magician had flown in from America to perform some tricks at BML. He even did a small performance just for press and posed for pictures.
My favourite act of the day had to be Eliza Doolittle, she sounded great and was the best kind of act to just relax in the sun and listen to. She even spent some time backstage posing with fans for pictures. The highlight of the evening though and what everyone was looking forward to was Chase and Status, and the crowd went crazy for them. They were definitely the best act to end the weekend, and just like Saturday night, the day was ended with a fireworks display.
My personal experience of BML was great and I will definitely be going back. It has to be the best value for money festival around and although it is not a big festival and you didn’t get a true festival feeling from it, BML still had a friendly and fun feel to it.