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in fact I was a bit surprised this years event actually took place, their business plan was not in line with the market & they tried to force growth where the wasn't any. It's a shame but it seems that natural selection is really taking it's toll on festivals
how many people complain about larger festivals booking the same acts, the same set of headliners, year in year out? pretty much everyone from Reading down to ATP and End of the Road gets that levelled at them these days.
they obviously tried something different with Truck these last few years, and I personally went last year for the first time in a few. the atmosphere that made Truck special was still there in abundance, and it's really a massive shame it hasn't paid off for them.
I think by the end the organizers of Truck where just trying to get as many people into the truck brand as possible which explains the 'safer' line up and the rapid increase of capacity. I think truck thought it was a bigger festival then it actually was and shot it's self in the foot whilst digging it's own grave.
I loved the idea of it as little as 3 or 4 years ago & more so in the past but never managed to go, in the past year or 2 it seemed to just loose it's identity.
Now I know having not been there I can't say what the atmosphere was like & what not but as an outsider it became less and less appealing not year by year but month by month.
there was certainly a massive outcry over it when Biffy Clyro headlined in 2005.
and I'd certainly say that last year had exactly the Truck 'identity' as when I used to go every year in the mid-00s. the thing about Truck was that it was always a little ramshackle, a little all over the place. End of the Road and Green Man and Indietracks may book more consistent lineups musically, but Truck would put Garth Hudson and Nervous Testpilot on at the same time, something which I can't see any of the 'boutique' festivals that have sprung up since Truck was in its commercial heydey in the mid 00s ever doing.
This year's festival was really a total 180 though, and I'm pretty sure it was a last ditch attempt to attract the Wood crowd, who've proved far more reliable these last few years than the Truck crowd.
But that's ok, we can all still go to ATP to see Shellac and Green Man to see Joanna Newsom, right?
is at headline level, and I noticed they were careful not to make too big a thing out of that this year, you had Mew and Teenage Fanclub last year, which is quite culty and attuned to a certain Truck spirit, and the year before Ash and Supergrass, more obviously populist but you'd go along with it. This year it was Bellowhead, Gruff Rhys and (ignoring the Bennetts' own band) the Go! Team, which is neither one thing nor the other.
I blogged a review a couple of days ago in which I made the point that had it sold out there'd be logistical problems everywhere, from the campsite space to food to general walkway overcrowding, but that it clearly wasn't much more if at all than the previous year's 5000 limit still made it feel like Truck, that there was still space and still the Rotary Club/Corn Alley/banana smoothies-fest like the overgrown village fete everyone used to say it was. At the same time, in this attempt to subtly shift the demographic in one go with the old Barn-style bands gone the main stage often felt too folky and one-paced and everything else changed - Barn somehow became Clash (much bigger in both size and name, a much more imposing presence as a second stage, but ultimately not the Barn or what it stood for), the Village Pub was uprooted and gained last.fm sponsorship (and was local bands only for two days), Market was downsized into Wood, Beathive became the DJ-only Boxford.
Ironic thing is, had Truck stayed on its own course what outside Greater London would it be directly competing with?
I did wonder though.
Opening that Wood side-project, Truck America, the Truck record shop in Oxford and attempting to almost double the size of Truck (whilst effectively alienating much of their previous target demographic by narrowing the range of genres on offer). Too much for any festival, let alone one run on a relative shoestring
but apart from that, ^this. This year's festival was basically like starting a new event (more family-oriented), and as such probably went as well as could be expected given the various changes. Everyone that came along enjoyed it, and I really hope it can go on in some form.
when a site is selling weekend tickets for more than 1/2 price in the week of the Festival.
I bought a Friday day ticket for £15 from GroupOn.
I don't think the line up for this year's Truck was very strong compared to the competition and the Friday wasn't very busy.
I hope they haven't gone bust though.
then will re-emerge from the ashes with a different company name in a few months?
I went to my first Truck in 2001 and went back 6 of the next 7 years, but I stopped going because it started to grow too big, and lost the friendly, "one big happy family" atmosphere which was its USP. I was all set to go to Truck 2011, and then they announced they were switching to 3 days, at which point I decided to give it a miss.
Sometimes, bigger isn't better.
and only missed this year's festival because of a wedding, so I am very saddened by this news.
Really hope they scale it right back and start afresh with something new, back like how it used to be - a little charity festival with mainly little local bands. Maybe this isn't possible due to the nature of music/festivals right now, but I'd like to think one day I'd be back at Hill Farm buying a cider from a drunk man dressed as a priest.
Either way, RIP Truck if this is indeed the end, its been fun growing up with you.
went to them all from Truck 2 to Truck 11 then gave it a miss in 2009 and 2010 as I just wasn't enjoying it as much. However this year was superb - different to the Truck I knew, and yes the line-up a bit lacking for me personally compared to previous years, but still a brilliant festival with a great atmosphere. I think I enjoyed this years more than any Truck for some years.
Recently it cost about £100 yet the quality of the line up has declined. It's easy to say they're simply catering for other tastes but go to plenty of gigs and hardly any of the bands I liked have been on the line up the last couple of years. So I'd rather play £30 to go to a one day festival (Friday of Lovebox for example, albeit a different market, seemed pitched at the right level.)
In 2005-7, Truck was amazing value (pretty sure first year I went it was about £30 for two days and I saw several of my favourite bands of the time - Reuben, Your Code Name is Milo, The Futureheads etc) But I can't justify playing more for less, especially stretched across yet another day which makes it even more expensive.
you can't follow an "exclusive" statement followed by a question and speculation.
they really have brought this on themselves. I had a great time this year, but all the criticism on size, cost and acts is spot on. Looks like they enjoyed the good times and didn't save for the bad.
A mate in a band who played this year said there's a problem with the full fees being paid now!
I'm also of the understanding that all the business's are linked? If Truck goes bust, so does US, Wood and maybe record shop?
I'd go and buy a Dreaming Spires record now to help out if they were any good!
but Wood has always done really well, the label itself hasn't existed for a good few years now, and I think the record shop is mostly run by that record shop that does the CDs at the festival, the one based in that little Oxfordshire town. Rapture or something? I don't remember the name. I imagine something will continue in some form.
Are saying on twitter they're not being paid. Rapture in Witney did the festival shop, but this year Truck took it 'in-house', like many other things at the festival!
Rapture in Witney did the festival shop, but this year Truck Store ran it. And like what other things at the festival?
My mistake about the record shop. Trouble is, by sticking the Truck logo on everything its hard to tell who else is involved. Instead of it being a combination of loads of good products/company's it's all one persons vision. Unfortunately, where's that vision now?
Still suprised about lack of interest in this from DISers, speaks volumes.
I can confirm 100% they are bust, they've booked people they can't afford to pay (us being one of them) and knew this was a possibility before the festival even started (so we've found out since the news yesterday) we have lost a huge amount of money thanks to people not thinking about the effect they were having on someones elses business when they booked things they didn't need... No doubt they will just re-form and carry on without a second thought to the people (and small businesses) who have been left reeling trying to put things back together again... Very sad to see a festival go but little sympathy for a 'business' who are spending other peoples money when they know there's little to no chance they can repay it...
"probably went as well as could be expected"
the bands should've been told that when booked. if things turn out for the best... you won't get paid.
"everyone that came along enjoyed it"
someone reported a rape to the police.
according to his profile, so obviously fairly close to the festival. I went this year and had a really good time, but I did think there were problems and it was pretty quiet around the stages for most of the weekend. Ultimately the line-up didn't really justify the price, especially with only 2 'real' headliners, none of whom are massive draws in their own right. As I said in the review thread, it seemed a bit between identities this year so it's far from surprising to hear the sums haven't added up.
Nope nothing to do with bands or bookings, there are a lot of people who will get effected by this though, eg if they knew the festival might not do v well why book huge stages? Why not cut back and not risk everyone elses business and trade... Or a least be honest. That way when the sh&t hits the fan the people you should have paid are more likely to still support you rather than feeling betrayed
I've just read this...
It's the only event I've been to where you can take your own booze into the arena, and as a result I don't think I queued for a drink once the whole weekend. In one sense it's admirable, but to then be relying to an extent on bar spend is a bit naive. Harking back to the review thread, I did say then that there wasn't enough choice in the food on offer, especially with the pubs and Co-op within such easy reach. It increasingly sounds like they expected a much larger scale event to work on exactly the same principles as previous events and come unstuck, I'm sure they're not teh first and won't be the last.
...and there we have it
If you've hit on a winning formula and have attracted a loyal audience who return year on year, don't mess people about by excessive increases in price and capacity or radically altering the nature of the line-up without consulting the people you expect to buy tickets.