Carry On Camping

The sun is shining, the fields are green, the sky is blue, and the portaloos are engaged. The festival season is here, and nouse is on hand to help you decide where to pitch your tent

As a music-loving student, the summertime can mean only one thing: working in a chip shop for two months, to raise the money for a three-day long festival. Yes, you may curse your craving for a ticket more and more vehemently as the deep fat fryer burns add up. But don’t be disheartened, young one; for, when you finally make it to the land of music, sunshine, and the intangible yet essential ‘festival spirit’, your potato-based purgatory inevitably seems a very small price to pay indeed. Let nouse be your weird naked Indian guide, as we reveal who’s playing where, which festivals are worth a visit, and which kebabs are okay to eat.

Glastonbury will, no doubt, be infused with its unique atmosphere of goodwill, as always. But that doesn’t make the bands good, just that you might not mind if Busted showed up. Well, you’d fire a warning shot first, anyway. Fortunately for Mr. Eavis, this year’s line-up is irresistible. REM, The Polyphonic Spree, Supergrass, The Flaming Lips, Radiohead and the Manics are ably supported by the likes of Electric 6, Idlewild, Interpol, The Coral, Super Furry Animals, Doves, Moloko, Junior Senior, Lemon Jelly, Chemical Brothers and Calexico. Of the less well known acts, The Delgados, Mew, Radio 4, recent Fibbers visitors Hope of the States, Sigur Ros, Grandaddy and Bright Eyes are all worth watching.
Worthy Farm, Somerset 27-29/6/03

The Carling Weekend looks a less appealing option, relying a little too heavily on pop-punk no-marks such as Sum 41, Good Charlotte, Blink 182 and Bowling for Soup. However, the festival can boast a number of heavyweights, with Metallica, Placebo, Blur, The White Stripes, and System of a Down all headlining. The Polyphonic Spree, Interpol, Idlewild, Flaming Lips, Doves and Junior Senior, Electric 6 all hop in a fast van from Glastonbury to play here as well.
Temple Newsham Park, Leeds, and Richfield Avenue, Reading, 27-29/6/03

The V Festival is suffering from a severe case of blandness. Amongst the mediocrity are Coldplay, Foo Fighters, David Gray, Turin Brakes, Feeder, Morcheeba, and, inexplicably, Mis-Teeq and Appleton. Thankfully, Super Furry Animals, Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Coral offer something to prevent this event becoming a large, grey, forgettable smudge.
Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and Weston Park, Staffordshire, 16-17/8/03

Relatively unknown it may be, but, with British Sea Power and the post-punk-rock brilliance of Meanwhile, Back in Communist Russia… both set to perform, the Truck Festival looks as though it may be worth a visit. The price is inviting, too: £20 for a weekend ticket (available from www.wegottickets.com), represents considerably less time in the chip shop than other festivals.
Hill Farm, Steventon, Oxfordshire 19-20/7/03

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