I know I know the Summer is months away. Yet an experienced festival-goer will only be too well aware that February and March are the months that set the excitement vessels tingling with rumours and the announcement of initial line-ups.
Close to home Cork is abuzz with an announcement due to take place on Feb 1st from Indiependance. The announcement was planned for this week but it has been moved back. A certain U.S. band that featured in many albums of the year lists are being touted but the announcement would seem to signal a significant jump in both ambition and capacity.
Across the water Bestival have announced The Cure (a band annually linked to our own Elecric Picnic as headliners along with Primal Scream (performing Screamadelica) as well as 65daysofstatic, Crystal Castles, Brian Wilson, Robyn, DJ Shadow and a half dozen more.
Heading north into Scotland an early Christmas present for T In The Park fans was confirmed in December with the announcement of Blink 182 and Foo Fighers as two of the headlining acts for 2011.
End of the Road, a personal favourite, have recently announced Beirut and Joan As Police Woman to join Midlake, Wild Beasts, The Fall, John Grant and Twin Shadow in Dorset in September.
Further south, all the way down to Barcelona in sunny Spain, Primavera Sound are making the most early moves. So far The National, Fleet Foxes, Belle & Sebastian, Pulp, Low, Mercury Rev, Mogwai, Phosphorescent, Grinderman and plenty more are booking their flights for the European mainland.
"But I am not going to any of these festivals so why would I care?" you may say you so and so you. Well my friend possibly for the shiney reasons below :
- Plenty of people WILL be at these festivals (approx. 10,000 Irish attended Primavera for the ten year anniversary last year
- Many festivals have similar line-ups. The Oxegen line-up is always very close to T In The Park so an announcement for the latter may well effect the festival you plan to attend
- It gives us a chance to see who will take to the festival/touring circuit. We already know that Pulp have reformed simply because they are booked in for a number of festivals already. The Cure are also another hitting the road and artists such as Foo Fighters and Brian Wilson are not travelling all the way from the U.S. to simply play one-off shows
Not convinced? Well at least I tried.