This summer has seen the return of festivals; an opportunity to be in a bubble of music, an amazing atmosphere, dancing and an eclectic mix of clothes.
Camper Calling Festival held within the grounds of Ragley Hall, Warwickshire was no exception. A reasonable line up for a small festival in its infancy brought in crowds of 17,000 festival goers across three days of August bank holiday.
The look of pure joy and freedom in the crowds was insatiable and present. Families coming together and spending time with each other and have fun was joyous to witness.
Both the main stage and the smaller stage saw a wide variety of acts from up-and-coming bands to the more established bands and artists. Pop, Rock, Indie, Folk, R&B and even a brass band.
Moms and dads could have a go at yoga, belly dancing and even tai chi up by Ragley Hall itself. Plenty of food and drink on offer at various places throughout the festival site meant no or little queuing which was very welcome.
DJ’s and dance music dominated the main stage on Friday at the Camper…. perfect if that’s your vibe. Our photographer, Rob spent most of the time focused on the variety of bands performing on the Arrow Stage. Shop Front Heroes, Under the Fridge provided a good size crowd with a selection of songs and styles to keep the crowd engaged and dancing in the warm Autumn sun. Tribute bands Antarctic Monkeys and The Killerz both did an incredible job covering the well-known tunes of these iconic bands, which is no mean feat.
Saturday’s line up was filled with more bands and artists for the crowds viewing pleasure and the bank holiday weather was holding out much to the delight of everyone especially those with little ones in tow. Electric Enemy on the Arrow stage were amazing; easily one of the best on that stage along with Courthouse and nether would have been out of place on the main Lakeside stage and in truth both bands were in my top five of the whole weekend. Standout bands on the main stage on Saturday were The South who within minutes of being on stage had the whole crowd singing along to Pretenders to the throne…this town was not getting anybody down singing along in the sunshine. Supergrass opened with I’d like to know followed by Mansize Rooster with St Petersburg ‘pumping up your stereo’ and caught by the fuzz their set seemed to please most fans.
Sunday saw Demelza, The Clause and The NU among the bands on the Arrow Stage. The Clause played a fine set and are destined for bigger things; one to watch. A real mix on the main stage today with everything from Mr Motivator to The Manic Street Preachers! in between were some blasts from the pasts The Blow Monkeys, Jesus Jones and Altered Images. The Magic Numbers showed again why they are loved by an audience that enjoys a band that delivers wonderful, crafted songs with a smile. They love playing and it shows.
There were lots of little girls in the crowd dressed up with glittery faces and a look of wonder when Pixie Lott appeared on stage full of joy to be there. She sure has a great stage presence.
The Manic Street Preachers were the headline act and with the back catalogue of songs you could see why. Opening their set with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ followed by ‘Orwellian’ it was one great song after another ending finally with ‘A design for life.’ A night to remember for all that were there.