Firefest Friday was a delight from start to finish, blowing the cobwebs away perfectly with wonderful sets from Lionville, Dante Fox, Ten and Tyketto, and was exactly what I needed. I've been having a majorly tough few months with one thing and another, and being back with MY people and MY perfect musical tastes was such a tonic.
There is something about the Firefest atmosphere which is totally different to every other live show around. The bands walk freely around the crowd, the crowd makes friends with pretty much everyone they see, random conversations begin between people from separate continents at the drop of a hat, and so on and so forth.
The only real drawbacks to the entire event relate to the venue itself, as in absolutely nowhere for the audience to sit down between sets (not that they really would have, considering it's also a nightclub) and the vile condition of the toilet facilities (a river of piss and floating turds isn't what people want to see when they've travelled from the other side of the world for it, I'd imagine...).
Those two issues are the only downer on what was another epic weekend of melodic rock music (including headline sets from Tyketto, Gotthard and Danger Danger, and outstanding sets from Lionville, Work Of Art, Robin Beck, Royal Hunt, Stage Dolls and the rest), good times with a sea of people who are a delight to spend time around, approachable and friendly crew, jovial door staff and even bar staff who didn't take the piss out of the bands for once.
I even got to see a little of the backstage mayhem while interviewing the superb Dante Fox on the Friday afternoon, and everyone involved was professional to an almost godlike degree. Special mention must go out to a lady on the crew named Jo, who broke her arm on the Friday, went to get it sorted and was back working at Firefest that night! Now that's dedication.
While the reviews from the four-strong Powerplay team that attended (myself, Rob Evans, Harry Paterson and Steve Swift) will hit the shelves at the end of this month (along with my Dante Fox interview), I just wanted to give the Firefest crew and all of the bands who put on such amazing sets a shout out and a great big and sincere thank-you.
I hope you all know what the festival means to the fans who go. In fact, I do know you understand that, as you're even bigger fans of this stuff than we are. My utmost respect for another glorious weekend of music, which a lot of other shows could learn a massive amount from. Two weeks on and I'm still in awe.