Image (C) Tom Horton
Whilst the idea of attending a British festival in January should bring about the kind of reactions usually reserved for a vampire confronted with garlic, in 2013 we made an exception. Packing our bags and heading to the windswept and snow covered south coast, despite the freezing conditions and too-close-for-comfort proximity to New Year everyone had a rather good time.
As such when we learnt the event in question- Bugged Out Weekender– was returning for another bout in the ring this March it was music to our ears. By no means a perfect three dayer, nevertheless our experiences at the previous edition were good enough to warrant another visit. Especially as this time the crew responsible return to Bugged Out’s spiritual home of northern England with a relocation to Pontins in Southport, and celebrate 20 years of putting on parties everywhere from Manchester to London.
The line up boasts a plethora of Plain & Simple favourites, the accumulative effect of which should be enough to have us making strange noises whilst gyrating on the dancefloor. Unsurprisingly then, we already have our place in the crowd confirmed. It all kicks off on Friday 7th March, meaning there’s now just over one month to go, and as such we thought compiling a list of 5 reasons we can’t wait to get involved might pass some of the time in between. Remarkably it did, and here’s what the final run down looks like…
1. Holiday villages are hilarious
Whether you would choose to stake your entire summer vacation on Pontins or not, there’s no denying the surrealism that comes with marauding through an entertainment complex at 4AM after having techno hammered at you for several hours. Arcade machines and staged photo opportunities all need to be priorities.
2. Daniel Avery, Andrew Weatherall, Green Velvet, Kolsch, Sasha, Dixon and Paul Woolford (to name but a few)
Just like at the Ambassador’s Reception, we’re truly spoilt. Avery’s debut album made our 13 from 2013. The Kolsch LP from last year was a techno triumph. Weatherall’s a hero, Green Velvet less festival regular and more special screening, Sasha is Sasha, Dixon is one of the best house DJs you can hear, and Paul Woolford is a veteran arguably at the peak of his career right now.
Most of England’s seaside big-hitters lie to the south, but Southport, which is technically Merseyside, has plenty to keep you busy in the day time. Fish, chips, piers and slot machines are obviously present and correct, but for something unique try stunning Formby Beach, the Botanic Gardens, or serene Hesketh Park, home to one of the country’s few remaining floral clocks. Nice.
It’s official- the Pontins go-karting track will be open for business over the weekend. That sounds like an accident waiting to happen, which could lead to a full scale disaster, but images of dismembered bodies aside we are literally revving our internal engines at the thought of taking one out for a test drive. Think Days of Thunder colliding with Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas.
5. Having a shower, and a home
The little things in life are what really matter, or so they say. We’re partial to agree, so whilst some might argue that a few UK festival pre-requisites are missing- fields, trees, rural totems and a summer date- in our opinion BOW more than makes up for those by providing you with a roof to sleep under, and a hot shower with which to begin each new day. If you’ve been to sleep.