Some guy from England decides he wants to push his 'ringtones' on this side of the ocean and he's throwing a two-day concert to promote them. SIR Richard Branson is a little full of himself and he's promised to bring us a rare treat. Of course he doesn't think the bar is set too high as hesays "You don’t have a lot of festivals of this sort of caliber in Toronto." Well, 'caliber' is subjective isn't it? He's planning on 40,000 attendees.Wonder if anyone gave any thought to that lake? This ain't Podunk, MR Branson, you'd best bring your "A game".
The Virgin Festival has been 10 years running in the UK. This year we get a lite Canadian version at the Toronto Islands. It' not lite on the number of bands or the number of days, it's just that the Baltimore one-day version got The Who and Red Hot Chili Peppers as headliners. We got Massive Attack and the Flaming Lips. When you're passing on a headliner to watch a band closing the side stage you know there just wasn't enough name recognition in that top billing act.
Which is not to disparage the Flaming Lips, they are well loved and even more important, well liked. My game plan involves capturing bands my sonlikes, more than following the bleating masses. Long as I don't miss the Raconteurs I can take all the Buck 65, MSTRKRFT and alexisonfire they canthrow at me.
(UPDATE: This does not bode well. The day before the festival Massive Attack was pulled from the schedule and replaced with local band, Broken SocialScene. This is wrong on so many counts. Right now they are taking the same set position, closing the festival by following The Raconteurs. Good news is:we'll be able to head for the ferry a little earlier than planned.)
MR Branson says they have to 'start small' in Canada, build up to something worthy of being a VFest. Man, if the people at the venue are as condescending as the organizer this is gonna suck all day long. If you think the faux-Royalty in Britain are snotty then you haven't met their flagship band, Radiodead, er, Radiohead, who have 'their people' at the Festival to "evaluat(e) the event to see if it’s worthy of their artists." Oh, please, let us not be worthy of those whining-fucks. The only thing they've ever done for me is cure my insomnia. If they'd have died in a plane crash after releasing the unexpurgatedversion of "Creep", they would be sub-culture gods. Alas, they didn't and we got the 'radio friendly' version and any balls the band may have had, disappeared.
Ironically, and I don't know how this happened, the V-Fester's have had only limited success in providing a good time over 'ome. Perhaps having Radiohead ANDMorrisey on the same bill is a little much for anyone to overcome. Add to that: not enough food, not enough bathrooms (why would you need BOTH?), notenough ATM's...etc, and you have a day in EMO hell. We've been promised these things have been addressed. Let's hope so.