The Big Chill 2008

We’ve just spent the weekend at The Big Chill 2008 festival at Eastnor Castle Deer Park, near Ledbury in Herefordshire.

We had a great weekend, lots to do, the weather was mostly pretty good; good enough that I got a bit of a tan anyway.

Nigel & Vic at The Big Chill 2008

Highlights for me were:

  • Alabama 3 acoustic set
  • John Hegley
  • African Head Charge (once the sound was sorted out a bit; it was terrible for the first 3 songs)
  • John Shuttleworth
  • Adrian Sherwood (Lee Perry was quite funny to start with but got a bit annoying after a while)
  • Russell Howard (as seen on Mock The Week)
  • Tom Middleton’s “Summer of Love” set
  • Cider Bus and the food stalls in the Enchanted Garden
  • The Disco Shed
  • Burning down the house on the hill.

Building the House

Other stuff I saw, but didn’t hang around for, or caught the end of:

  • Leonard Cohen
  • Beth Orton
  • Bomb The Bass
  • Martha Wainwright
  • Ty
  • Roots Manuva
  • Roisin Murphy
  • Martina Topley-Bird
  • Hot 8 Brass Band

We were in the Quiet Camping section of the South Camping field. The toilets there were pretty much clean with paper and handwash throughout the festival. More waterpoints or some sinks would have been useful. The security there was also fairly innocuous and we didn’t see any heavy handedness. A tent a couple down from us had money stolen while they slept and two police officers were patrolling the area the next night.

Burrow Hill cider bus in the Enchanted Garden

Although the food was pricey, it was mostly of a very good standard compared to the woeful burger/noodle stalls I’ve encountered at other festivals. Manic Organic were charging £7 for a plateful of tasty veggie food. I didn’t go to Glasto this year, but seem to remember they were charging £6 last year.

The festival programme was £6 extra, with some of the money going towards The Big Issue, but charging for the programme was a bad idea, given that the times weren’t announced anywhere else obvious.

The main field was pretty messy with litter by Sunday afternoon, but others were remarkably clear of litter, certainly better than any Glasto I’ve been to. Watching the rubbish collection, it also looked like people did bother putting the recyclable stuff in the right bins.

Watching the Hot 8 Brass Band

It was definitely a good idea not having vehicles moving around on the main site, it stopped the ground from getting churned up and made it safer for kids, and there were a lot of kids at the festival.

We missed Bill Bailey as he was on first in the comedy tent when there were no other major crowd-pullers on. We had a look over an hour before he was due on and the tent was full.

Nice clear journey there and back, but we were both shattered by the time we got home.