How exciting, finally going to a festival again. And a bit scary! After several postponements and a revised UK based lineup, its Friday and I’m here; negative test results shown to friendly security, I walk in to lovely Moseley Park, and everything looks the same! Well, perhaps a bit quieter, less stalls, but everyone is very considerate, plenty of space for social distancing, lots of hand gel, and it feels safe enough. Many artists express the feelings I guess we all have, of how special it is to be back. And, spoiler alert, I test negative each day since. I was pretty careful though, no late night partying this time.

Despite a reduced size and a last minute change to one of the venues Visions still delivered an incredibly diverse set of bands across a wide range of genres. Most of the punters still look like they could be in Black Midi or BCNR (some of them probably are), Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club is a suitably shabby chic new venue (despite the ten minute walk in the pouring rain to get there) and, while the spectre of Covid still lingered (temperature being taken before entry, some mask wearing in the more crowded areas) generally the vibe was as good as always.

“The best weekend Ever”. It’s not often you start a review with a quote like that, but Latitude delivered that and more and showed the way forward after the last 16 months. 40,000 were in attendance and it was exhilarating and liberating. There were a few adjustments around the site with wider walkways and access and the tents opened up to allow for more circulation of air otherwise not too different.

For the past two and a half weeks I have been in Glasgow, virtually, at Celtic Connections: A festival the line up of which I have always admired from afar, and now because of the pandemic I was able to join in. I made full use of my online festival pass and watched every concert - some more than once. It was a fantastic experience.

The shows were all filmed beautifully; mostly in Glasgow venues; some in other locations. The sound quality was superb and the musicianship phenomenal. Full marks to the entire organization for bringing this to us.

Tradfest 2020 proved that you do not need eye-catching big names to put on a quality festival program and attract an audience. The event, which has outgrown the Temple Bar area, gets many visitors from overseas, and quite a few shows were sold out in advance.

Eight venues across Nottingham hosted the third Beat The Streets festival. All the profits from the festival merch, bars and donations go to the charity Framework which provides housing, health improvements, employment, care and support services to people in need across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire.

2019 was my 13th End of the Road festival. The festival has seen many changes to the site over the years, although the music has remained consistently excellent. No changes whatsoever to the site this year, apart from the parking the cars, pointing in a different direction in the car park! Our Rock Club crowd was split into two this year, the camper Van section and the campers,  but, we all managed to meet up for gin and cake over the weekend!

Fairport's Cropredy Convention is a festival I had never been to. When I saw their 2019 line up it was a no-brainer: Frank Turner, the Waterboys, Richard Thompson, Martin Simpson. I could stop right there and justify the cost of the ticket.

Welcome back to the Black Mountains of Wales for the 2019 edition of The Green Man festival, and a lush green welcome it is. The audience age range at this year’s festival must have been roughly 2 months to 80 years old. The festival has grown into a true family event for all ages, from the fabulous kids area for the tiny tots, to Enstien’s Garden with excitement for people young and old. There is comedy, there are films and talks and obviously, there is the unbelievably excellent line up of music which gets into full swing on the Thursday evening.

Our second visit to this festival in Northern Spain, on a mountainside just outside the beautiful city of Bilbao in the Basque region of Spain. Camping is available but with the festival running til the early hours we opt for the Festicket package which includes a city-centre hotel, well served by local busses and the courtesy festival bus back to the city in the wee hours.

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