Still Burning‘s account of his weekend at Rockness 2011 when the weather was so changeable the ponchos didn’t know whether they were coming or going. Still, on with the show as they say.
We’d planned to arrive early in the afternoon but after a wee stop to refresh and gather more supplies in Inverness we were to take ninety minutes to travel the eight miles or so and get to the car park at Dores. A quick £15 for the three days parking and off we set to get ourselves sorted out for the weekend. A number of people have commented on the layout and there are online maps that will show you what went where but it was simply a case of park car, walk a bit, campsite, walk a bit more, area with two tents (Rock n Roll Circus and the comedy tent) and some food/hat/sunglasses/tattoo (!) caravans, then walk a bit, then its the main area with the rest of the selling folks and the other smaller tents and if you walk even more you eventually come to the main stage. A simple layout and easily memorised, in my humble. A couple of the stage tents were a bit close to each other but more on that later.
We’d decided not to commit ourselves to having a timetable to follow on the first day and just take it as it comes and see what happens and it looked like many others had thought the same by the time that Morning Parade were to open the Main Stage events for the weekend. I’m not sure if anyone has investigated this at all but I reckon the probably 80% plus of the people who were there at 5.30pm were still in the campsite areas and no doubt tucking into their liquid refreshments.
Once the Main Stage had got under way we’d then decided to go and check out the other various tents and stages that we had to choose from. Not being a follower of dance music (and all its variants) I have to admit I didn’t really stay long at the Sub Club Sound System tent but over the weekend it seemed to be constantly busy so fair play to those who do enjoy the dance-y beats.
Howard’s End Comedy Club was up next and some disgusting and offensive (but funny) words from the Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III. This tent was actually very close to the Rock n Roll Circus tent so handy to go from one to the other one an act has finished.
On our way back `down the hill` we have the Rockness Sound City tent in its Jägermeister colours and were to feature local and other assorted Scottish talent. First band we caught there were the soft-rocky The River 68’s who seemed to draw a decent crowd and looked like they were enjoying it.
Still further down `the hill` on the left was the Golden Voice tent, the big blue vinyl building that I was to spend much of my weekend but for now it was a quick glimpse and pic of Katy B who had drawn the first decent sized crowd of the day. We were also to return later for a surprisingly good set from DJ Shadow who was to use a revolving ball and many visuals to look at. I’ve seen reviews where people have complimented on the visuals of the Chemical Brothers set but I thought that this was right up there with it.
Our Main Stage performers for the opening night of Rockness 2011 were Two Door Cinema Club (did fine for me, a bit poppy perhaps but a safe performance and well received by the increasing audience), Zane Lowe (I can see why but I’d rather have a band) and Kasabian (sometimes I think these guys are over-rated but they put in a sound performance on the night).
The rest of the evening was spent just wandering around including a visit to the spectacular-at-times Arcadia Afterburner and it was good to see so many people enjoying themselves as the night darkened and started to get a bit chilly. A good start but tomorrow was going to be the day for me going by the line up.