This was my second year shooting Ashford’s Create Festival, although my first year shooting for the Summer Festival Guide. This is also my first written review!
So, what can I say?
For a start, it’s free to gain entry – anyone and everyone can attend. It is promoted as a family day out and it is exactly that! With a great range of entertainment for the kinds, ranging from a giant inflatable slide, so water-zorbing and a beer tent for the adults, it’s fun for all!
Create is held in Ashford’s Victoria Park and is easily accessible by car and train networks. It boasts four stages; Main stage, the Right Track Music Stage (which is sponsored by a local music business called… you guessed it, Right Track Music), the Revelation Stage (which houses acoustic acts and this year, poetry) and the Create @ Canterbury College DJ Stage. Supporting local bands, acts and artists, it actively gets the public involved in the music culture that surrounds Kent which they may not have otherwise seen and has BBC Radio Kent turn up to help introduce the acts, provide radio interviews and a little Dj set.
This year, Create celebrated it’s nineteenth birthday and had an expected turn out of 13,000 people, which is impressive by any means. The weather was perfect, for about an hour. Then the clouds rushed to the main stage and let loose their contents for a solid five to six hours. Although this put some people off, an estimated 2,500 people stayed at the main stage during the torrential down pour, which has absolutely no protection. The other three stages housed around 100 people all in all and no one could quite believe that people would hang out in the rain, for free, just to help support local acts. It was breath taking. We are all used to seeing images from Glastonbury of people covered in mud from head to toe without a care in the world, but those festival-goers have payed hundreds of pounds to see international artists. So for a free festival which is mostly populated with local artists is heart warming and touching. It provides hope and support to those acts.
Besides, let’s be honest. It’s not really a festival if it doesn’t rain, right?
For eight hours, Victoria park [in which it is situated] is the epicentre for local talent – right down to the stalls selling clothes, or raising money by cycling on static bikes. There is something for everyone – acoustic to rock, a little death core metal to BBC Radio Dj’s, Create has it all.
Headlining the Right Track Music Stage were the trio known as Old Town Souls, who's blend of excellent guitar shredding and wide vocal range, provided an energetic and powerful hour-long set end to day before handing over to the Main Stage to close the day. Covering artists from AC/DC and Black Sabbath, to proving the can write music as well as they play it, but showing us some original material. The crowd where won over by the front man’s very young son, all of four years old, who kept wanting to get on stage and join in with his Dad on the microphone! Some superb talent from these guys, definitely worth keeping an eye out for!
Of course though, everyone was there to see the Main Stage’s headliner act, known other than Nizlopi! Wearing what I can only describe as very colourful, very baggy trousers and no shoes, the lead singer, Luke, brought a torrent of passion to the closing forty-five minutes of the day. Joined with his back up singer/guitarist/treble bassist, the due wowed the crowed right from the off. I lost count how many times the lead singer jumped off stage to meet the crowd, even jumping the barrier to hand out hi5’s and hugs! They of course played the song they’re probably best know for – the JCB song but actually ended their set with a song about bringing peace to all man-kind, saying that we are all fundamentally the same and how we should all stand up to the Government to defend our rights. It was also eluded that a little known artist – by the name Ed Sheeran – used to be Nizlopi’s rodeo before his career took off!