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Because I'm going in April and I wasn't there this weekend.
Better? Worse? Indifferent?
Hi. That was my 7th ATP and apart from slightly better facilities and water slides it was definitely worse. The 3 venues are really strict for capacity. When they were doing 1 in 1 out they seemed half full at best inside and a lot of people ended up getting locked out.
Fair play to ATP they were really apologetic and sorted out extra sets by 4 of the bands which was much appreciated and most people got to see the bands they wanted to. For the MC5 set last night though you needed to ask for a special wristband. I have visions of people touting these for the bigger bands if they don't play twice in future (Nick Cave is hardly likely to if he is already playing 2 different sets). If this is the way forward for ATP I might not bother going again.
but they seem like the sort of people to take their feedback into account with planning in the future...
in and out of the venues was abysmal.
The door staff did not seem to care how long it took to process the queue of people trying to get in, and although the capacity of each hall is vast (2800 for the largest, 1500 for the second stage) not a single gig was truly 100% full, and most times they just stopped letting people in as soon as it appeared that more than 10 people at a time turned up at the doors.
One of the saddest sights was when I left halfway through Leslie Keffer's set who performed for only a handful of people plus a couple of stragglers at the back, and outside was a queue of 20 to 30 people being held up by surly security staff. This was the common theme throughout the weekend, with bands (Deerhoof, Comets on Fire, Sun City Girls) playing for half-empty rooms and the central area covered with scores of people not allowed into any of the halls.
The 'no drinks in/out of the venue' rule got a bit tedious after a while as well, because even though there are a kazillion number of bars in the complex, you had to finish your pint before moving to the next place. Soft drinks were allowed to change places, so a bottle of coke and the trusted hipflask put an end to that policy.
It seemed to me that the ATP organisation were really let down by the Butlins management, who clearly had no experience of similar events and had a constant look of bewilderment on their face.
I've been to a ton of ATPs. There were some great bands here, but the thing I've always loved is being able to wander inbetween stages, watching sets by artists/bands I barely know, and just generally being educated. I've fallen in love with music this way. The queuing and drinks policy makes this really hard if not nigh on impossible.
I appreciated the notes - and that ATP must have been gutted at what a logistical mess it turned out to be. Basically, there's just too many people for the space available. I don't really know how they're going to sort the planning out for next year. I think I should maybe start queuing for Nick Cave now.
On the plus side - the facilities are miles better, the chalets nigh-on luxurious, and it's a beautiful location. And everyone tried to make it work. I feel gutted for those people who couldn't get in to see MC5, though. At least the main hall at Pontins could fit everyone in - and you didn't have to factor queuing time into the equation.
I'm sure they'll make it work next year.
the queues were a bit of a letdown sometimes. Pretty gutted to have missed Comets on Fire, and now to hear that the venue wasn't even full. People seem to have forgotten how rammed the downstairs room at Camber would get.
Overall, thought that the facilities were much better.
Anyway, there are bound to teething problems, but I had a great weekend.
That's what was so annoying. They gave out wristbands and indicated that if you didn't have one you wouldn't get in. Which obviously wasn't the case, but by then other's have gone elsewhere rather than hang around in the cold. I know these are all teething problems, and I'm not a moaner by nature, but they are problems that need to get sorted out.
I turned up about 1o minutes before they started. Apparently they gave out 2000 priority bands, with the other 800 places to people who queued. I think most people didn't even bother trying to get in.
I just got home, I don't want to discuss my current hangover but what has been said is true. The venues just weren't big enough for the number of people attending. Deerhoof, Melvins, Gang of four and Dinosaur Jr all had to do 2nd shows so that everyone could see them (though from what I heard the latter still had a huge queue) The venue was just horrible, millennium dome-esque tent which itself was completely soulless.
The atmosphere was really different and not really very ATP-like. The intimacy of Camber Sands which encouraged a more sociable atmosphere (chalet parties, meeting new people) was near non-existent. The staff and security were also incredibly rude and aggressive, though this was often the case at Camber too. Stupid rules like not being able to take the booze you bought in one venue to another, meaning you had to stay and finish it.
There 's loads more I'll say later when I'm somewhat rested and not wanting to cry but I'm seriously not sure if I want to go again at that venue unless there's some major changes.
so i cannot compare it to the previous venue(s) but there were good and bad things about the place. The facilities were good and generally well-kept, and the sound in the stages was all pretty good.
As mentioned above, it didn't really have the feel of an intimate gig - there wasn't a lot of atmosphere and the staff weren't that great.
The queues were ridiculous since the venues were never that full and although the security were surly, they never really checked you out so it was easy to smuggle drinks in
All in all, I really enjoyed it but I have no barometer for past even comparison
a couple of times, but was too scared incase it wasn't. I also think I saw HADDOCK last night but again I kept quiet.
i'm similar like that. i even refrained from going to speak to someone i travelled down with, cos i wasn't 100% sure it was them
name badges should be a pre-requisite
queues were a problem, however I soon learnt to turn up a band before for a band to see (like say for Gang of Four turn up for Sun City Girls and then just wait it out) although I really didn't get to see many bands beca. You have to feel sorry for those who couldn't get in to see Dino JR or even MC5, these are MASSIVE problems and they need to be sorted for next year. The clashes were also horrendously planned, i.e Comets and SY.
The secruity were a massive bunch of prickfucks too. The bald guy on the Reds stage for Deerhoof was threatening/mouthing off to people and nearly started on a bunch of guys.
Despite the queues and the fact I smashed my face on the bottom of the swimming pool really didn't dampen my spirits.
off the train, not feeling too worse for wear from my 12 hours of travelling fun, which is nice.
First ATP too, so i don't know what Camber was like, but i thought the venue was actually pretty good. I think the problem was that there were too many people and the staff were too over cautious. I didn't have trouble getting into any of the things i wanted to see, but i know loads of people did because there were so many clashes and they tried to see two half sets. I saw almost all the sets that were "full" and none of them seemed to be nearly as full as they probably safely could have been.
They were, as people have said, very apologetic, and the fact they organised extra sets is commendable, but i think they could definitely have asked the staff to be a little more flexible.
Anyway, aside from all that, i did have an amazing time, the chalets were really nice and there was a good variety of places to eat/buy food from. As much as people may complain it was still a lovely atmosphere, full of really nice people, and i think i'll almost definitely be going back in April or May. I'd do both if i could afford it!
all the cool kids are going i hear?
i mean may. go may. better weather. hopefully.
and there's not that many bands i would rather see that would convince me to go to may :D
shellac is May.
I thought vs the fans was april, but no, looking at the site it is may. MAY! I'm going to that then (Y) sparklehorse + shellac + akron/family + built to spill = worth it on their own, really. And echo and the bunnymen! YAY
i haven't gone to bed yet. i should really go to bed.
may lineup rawks!
but I still had a great time. Saw some good bands and some bad ones but it was all fun.
I'll go into more detail in the morning.
and i have to say,
okay the facilities are better and the chalets were luxurious compared to the mould spore infester ones at camber ...but it didn't feel like atp. the sense of community had gone.
the security were doing their usual good job, but i noticed a bunch of twats giving agro out to anyone for no reason. espeically security people and staff who were just trying to do their jobs. all the staff i encountered bent over backwards to help. so I don't agree with the comments about them not being helpful AT ALL.
Usally, I generally see a lot of the bands on my own (as i like different music to my chalet mates), but I felt the need to hang out with my bf as i simply didn't feel safe sometimes. there seemed to be a feeling of things boiling just under the surface and almost people wanting things to go wrong, (this has been totally the opiasate in all other atps ive been too) which is maybe why the security staff were weary about letting to many people in.
I think ATP need to reconsider how many tickets they sell in future...as i dont think all of the venues combines can hold up to the total of people in the sire.....
I agree with her - I really did not feel as safe at this ATP and had to stay with my bf all the time.
The five other ATPs I have been to at Camber, I happily walked around on my own in the middle of the night - but this one seemed to have a lot of tension. It felt like some of the other festivals where things kick off for no reason.
As for the queues, they were ridiculous and I did not get to discover any new bands this time as I was so conscious of being in venues early in order to see the bands I already knew of and wanted to see.
I'm genuinely surprised to hear people say this. I thought the atmosphere was pretty good, despite the queues. I met some really cool people. Maybe I didn't pick up on it being a bloke? Where did you think was particularly bad for this kind of atmosphere?
i thought the queue outside Crazy Horse before Leslie Keffer was a bit odd, but otherwise i didn't think there were too many problems. we just walked into everywhere except Sonic Youth on saturday, and we still got to the front of everywhere we wanted to. we went to see bits of as many bands we could as well.
the 'no beer from other venues' thing was shit, but it was easy to smuggle in stuff in soft drinks bottles so getting drunk wouldn't be a problem if you really wanted to.
but then, we weren't concerned about the pubs and bars and whatnot as we were there for the music and there wasn't a point where we weren't watching a band whilst they were on.
i think too many people went without any idea of the music, which is just silly. surely the whole point is the music? it is a music festival. if you go purely to get boozed up in the pub, you're wasting £120.
to me, ATP was always about so much more than just the music, as it is with every festival. Bleurgh.
there were either people talking all the way through bands, which spoiled some of the quieter acts, and also (and it is quite snooty i suppose) lots of people who seemed to be there for about 2 bands or because it simply was ATP.
this ATP was a great opportunity for people to hear some fantastic new music but on certain occasions i felt that not enough respect was being paid to several bands: there were plenty of bars and places to talk that weren't 5 metres from the stage in Reds.
and because it was ATP. I still saw loads of good music and had a brilliant time.
i didn't word it well enough.
people like you = good
the dickheads that came out of the woodwork purely for Sonic Youth/The Stooges = baaaaaaaaaad
the talking for 16 Bitch Pile Up especially, was so fucking annoying.
If you don't like it, what the hell are you doing there, go somewhere else!? Perhaps he thought they were going to be Wolfmother!
and I don't know why. If that was their ploy, it worked.
cant wait to see em in may
when i tried to watch and listen to six organs of admitance but I couldn't really enjoy them as someone was shouting practically down my ear talking to their mate who was stood behind me.....grrr
I don't like change.
speaking of the atmosphere thing...there was loads of erm (i know the irony of saying this at a nerd festival but) "macho" groups running around, play fighting and stuff...,but it was always on the edge were it could turn nasty..and thats why i didn't feel safe.....
Quit your moaning.
its fun. and its actually constructive if it will make it better next time.
There were definatly loads of people there who weren't normal 'Atp' people, really macho and silly with no respect for bands. At other ATPs I never met anyone who wasn't worse than slightly dull, for the most part you had several thousand fun an interesting people. When you get big bands involved you get stupid people coming.
Which is elitist of me I suppose.
I didn't queue for more than 10 minutes the whole weekend (and that was for the Toilet Bowl slide thing) plus I got to see melvins, deerhoof and gang of four twice. You snooze you lose. I loved Camber but honestly thought Minehead was excellent. Will make a nice change.
and saw everything I wanted to see. I thought it was great.
seemed to me that there were a lot of people who were there purely for sonic youth and iggy. I overheard a few conversations where people were complaining that all the other bands were shit, which was quite funny.
"i hate noise music"
just because it's not your personal taste?
it's easy to leave and go to a bar.
i was just really fucking irritated at how so many people spoke through loads of great quieter sets.
going to the back of the room and talking doesn't make much difference when the act is really quiet, and if there's a hundred people all doing the same thing it's really offputting.
it's only considerate.
than talking though bands, did anyone see fursaxa? There was some pissed up cunt yelling for a good minute right through a song.
i didn't feel unsafe in previous ATP's ive been to.
but i did on this one.
i still wondered around on my own, but i didn't pay my money to feel weary about some people.
i guess it is just a consequence of ATP getting bigger.
were lovely. The only dodgy characters I saw were the guys from Flipper. They were a bit scary.
Although I would have for Dinosaur Jr if i'd even bothered to join the giant queue. Lots of people were missing out. The thing was with Dinosaur Jr, it was very likely that about 4-5000 people would want to see them. That seemed obvious from the start.
The only way to avoid that sort of thing happening again would be booking less famous bands or selling less tickets to the event. Otherwise it'll be the same thing again in May fo sho.
since the last time anyway!!
queues where a bit boring and the venue reminded me of the trafford centre.they're never moving back to camber(for good reason!!!)so we better get used to it
Really the only bad thing for me was the queues. BUT, i still managed to see everyone I wanted to, including some bands twice which was a real treat. They obviously realised there was a problem quickly, and must have put in a bit of work sending letters out, wristbands (for MC5) and sorting out 2nd shows. They did repeatedly say to get there early, and i found by doing this I was successful in seeing who I wanted to.
I'm not sure if you call it playfighting, but me and my mates were definately larking around in Reds on Sunday night, but it was after the bands had finished whilst the DJs were on. We were causing no trouble to anyone else, just celebrating my birthday and a great weekend. Purely for laughs and probably making dicks of ourselves.
As for not feeling safe, I absolutely never felt like this at all. For us everyone seemed really friendly like at all ATPs. We met some really nice random people, some of whom we invited back to our chalet for a rock out to Melvins.
We brought 2 in our party who had never been to ATP before, and i can safely say they are converted. Soon we are gonna get to the stage where we need to book 2 chalets and not 1.
So yes, there were some teething problems, but still a great weekend, and the line up was fantastic. Roll on May...
Great line-up. Missed a couple of bands I wouldn't have minded seeing (maybe 2 due to clashes and 2 due to clues) but I'm not terribly bothered.
It was however relatively shit for organisation. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who'd been to the first one at Camber to see how it compared...
ATP is better without ques and without excessive drinks restrictions. Fact.
But if they're gonna make more money (which they can justify by claiming they need it to get bigger bands, or they can just buy bigger cars, either way it's not necessary...) then I can see ques becoming a feature, whilst sorting out the alcohol license situation drops off the list of priorities.
They also ran out of draft grolsch most places by Sunday. I want to buy the beer that doesn't taste like piss. Have plenty of it. Cunts. (That probably is more butlins than atp though. provide plenty of alcohol in your bar shouldn't be the kind of instruction that a promoter has to be too specific about)
The only playfighting I've ever seen at an ATP was on the beach at Camber, but whatever. I can't imagine a less scary festival, and I don't think I met anyone who hadn't been to a previous ATP (and I think I met a lot of people)
Special thanks to the guy who was 24, wasted, and worried about something to do with what this generation does, in reds on sunday at 3:30pm. I don't know if he was concerned that ATP wasn't as good as woodstock, if he thought he was old or was just talking absolute nonsense, but it's not everyday a sweaty dishevelled long haired bearded mumbling man gives me a cigarette. Normally they want to give me a big issue and take money off me.
Although I do like clues. Much more cryptic.
also 3:30 am* not pm* I was getting out of bed at 3:30pm.
it was monday technically. bollocks.
has made me realise how cavernous and vacuous the atp venue was
and facilities and chalets were about a zillion times better than camber sands.
yes, the queuing was a problem but the organisers seemed as genuinely horrified by it as everyone else, and i think they handled it as well as they could have done.
i imagine, with six months further planning and consultations with butlins, it will be quite different for the next one.
and people saying they felt unsafe.. seriously - what?
I had a couple of people get very aggressive when I asked them not to queue jump.
Normally I do not care about queue jumping, but when you have been queing for 30 mins and the venue is one in and one out it starts to piss you off a bit. Especially when I would have been in the venue 15 mins earlier if 20 other people had not already queue jumped up ahead.
Wolf Eyes were immense. I'm also a bit puzzled by people saying they felt unsafe but if anyone was feeling intimidated then that isn't a good thing and shouldn't be dismissed lightly.
I'm sure ATP will work hard to rectify the queueing system (it wasn't just a capacity issue as there was room for 200 more people at each of the supposedly full shows).
A few people have mentioned not being able to take drinks from one venue to another as a problem. Surely this could be solved by saying that we could take drinks from venue to venue as long as we didn't carry them through that Skyline Pavillion (maybe it's a Health and Safety issue?). The entrances to Reds and The Crazy Horse were both outside the main Pavillion and even the Centre Stage entrance was only a few yards inside the Skyline Pavillion.
Thanks also to Mike DiS for the tunes and loan of his headphones on Friday night.
Dear ATP Organisers,
After this past weekend I feel compelled to write to you to tell you my thoughts on ATP at the Butlins site.
This was my 4th ATP, normally I can't pick a favourite ATP that I've been to, they were all so excellent in their own ways, and I usually cant wait to go to the next one. This weekend fell amazingly sub-par to previous ATP experiences and has actually made me seriously re-think even going to the next one.
ATP is such a wonderful unique festival, with an incredible atmosphere and spirit. The spirit was totally missing from last weekend, it felt to me and many others I spoke to like the soul had been sucked out of the festival.
I appreciate that the organisers worked very hard and did their best to battle such problems as a queues by putting on extra shows. But I feel that the fundamental problems with the weekend were down to the layout of the venue and therefore non-fixable. Normally at ATP I float between the upstairs and downstairs stages as I please and as a result see many bands that I've never seen before (some of my favourite bands I discovered at ATP for the first time) due to the layout of the venues at Butlins plus the problems with lines, this was not possible. I actually saw only 5 bands the whole weekend, mostly because I had to queue up over an hour before just to make sure I could get into see the bands I really wanted to see, but also because it felt like such a mission to just go from one venue to another. The atmosphere in the accommodation area was virtually non-existent due to the rooms being very spread out or in apartment buildings therefore isolating them.
I realise that the reason for upgrading to Butlins was to increase capacity to allow more people to enjoy the festival, however the fundamental element that makes ATP so unique is its intimacy. Doubling the capacity has completely killed that off. There is no point in making the festival available to more people if doing so ruins it.
To give some constructive advice as how to make the May events better though, I'd like to say that the clubs close far too early, and the pub closes even earlier than them! An all night pub is must. Also if ATP could choose the music played in the water park that would be good too, especially considering Butlins choice of pool music was The Darkness and Creed. Also one merch room where all merch could be sold would be better too, it was very confusing having it scattered all over the place.
On another note, I'd like to make a particular complaint about the Center Stage bouncers, who can only be described as brainless thugs. I was filming as part of the ATP documentary and despite audience filming being apparently cleared with the festival and Butlins, the bouncers continually stopped me filming and tried to take my camera, I also saw them doing this to at least 4 other fellow documentary filmers. Also during the "stage invasion" during the second Iggy show, a friend of mine asked a bouncer if he could climb over the barrier, the bouncer motioned him forward and then punched him in the stomach. During Gang of Four, I was repeatedly threatened for filming, meanwhile a couple next to me were threatened with being kicked out for kissing! I really wish I were exaggerating, especially about the last incident, we really couldn't believe it. In the 3 previous years I have been to ATP I have never once had a problem with the bouncers, these particular ones however were going out of their way to be abusive.
Please don't feel from this letter that I am implying the weekend was terrible. There were some great times, and it was a good festival. It's just that that festival did not feel like ATP.
p.s please please please move it back to Pontins!!
raped my childhood
in fact the more I think about it the more I really liked the new venue. I think it made a nice change. Even if it didn't feel like ATP, whatever the hell that means. If by feeling like ATP you mean having one of the greatest weekends of the year (behind Primalona) than it felt very much like ATP to me. Unsafe unschmafe. And complaining about what music they played in the aqua park is the stupidest thing i've ever heard.
about the taking drinks out of the venue thing and he explained that every venue in there has a separate licence and so cannot allow drinks in or out. That seemed fair enough to me and the bouncer was very friendly and for me to think what a bouncer said seemed reasonable and that he was friendly than at least some of the security must have been doing a LOT right.
permanently, if at all, are slim. I think people have to accept that it's likely to be at Minehead and get over it. It was the first time there, hopefully all the problems listed will be ironed out in future but saying that, I still thought the venue was good.
so yeah it's not going to happen.
Anyway I'm sick of talking about this now, what should I have for lunch?
with beetroot in and other ingredients that you are fond of.
whatever next, eh?
i can't really relate to the comparisons with the old site as i never went, but i think people are going a bit far with their misery here. i had a totally brilliant weekend and the queues were annoying at first but they didn't come close to ruining it.
the only thing that really got to me was having to drink up before entering/leaving a venue. that's gash. and open later too, plz. i'm talking to you, swinging shelelagh.
the facilities were fine, the people were nice blah blah blah. some complete d00d even found my wallet and handed it in without nicking anything from it. i was overcome with gratitude and joy.
5 bands all weekend? i saw nearly three times that number, and that wasn't with huge amounts of effort on my part and without seeing any bands before 8pm on friday.
and as regards the "loss of intimacy", it's hardly the fucking carling weekend, is it?