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Summer Sundae Weekender
From: 2014.08.17 To: 2014.08.19
The first event held in 2001 was a modest one-day affair, over two stages, headlined by Morcheeba and featuring 14 bands. From there on the event grew rapidly, moving to two days in 2002, which was also the year that the then fledgling BBC 6 Music became involved in broadcasting from the festival. The festival included a dedicated area for children and families and featured 30 acts including David Byrne (ex Talking Heads) and the Stereo MC’s. Year 3 was a watershed in many ways – the festival opened its first campsite, paving the way to becoming a truly national event. It extended to four stages and three days, including the first year of partnership with The Musician venue, and with a stellar-line up that culminated in the Concert for a Landmine Free World featuring Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Chrissie Hynde and Billy Bragg. By year 4, growth was such that a second campsite was required, the BBC had become a headline partner and the number of acts exceeded 70, including Air, Super Furry Animals and Mr Scruff. 2005 was even bigger and more successful yet. Following an extensive consultation, permission was obtained to use the main outdoor stage for the first time on the Friday night (previous years had been indoors and on the minor stages only). For the first time the event became a true three day festival featuring 84 acts and headlined by Patti Smith, Lemon Jelly, KT Tunstall, The Magic Numbers and Idlewild. By 2006, the festival had grown again and was pushing at the limits that the site could accommodate. A new area ‘The Village’ was added on the Victoria Park part of the site, featuring much enhanced shopping, a cabaret tent programmed by Leicester Comedy festival and a campsite that had grown yet again and the capacity had risen to 6000. Acts included Belle and Sebastian, Elbow, Gomez, Delays, a number of key rising acts including Jamie T, Little Man Tate and Larrikin Love. The total number of acts exceeded 100. The festival completely sold out in advance for the first time, and despite some rain, everyone loved it. This culminated in the festival being voted best small festival at the UK festival awards in November 2006 Throughout audience feedback has remained the same; despite the constant growth of the festival, customers still constantly comment on its family friendliness, atmosphere, artistic diversity and sheer level of ‘civilisation’. In essence there are a number of key reasons for this. The people who attend like the scale, and the fact that they can get around easily, and see the acts in comfort. They like the relative absence of corporate sponsorship, the competitive bar prices, and the absence of rip off. They respond well to the very high production values in the staging, lighting, sound and site design. And above all, they feel that all these things add up to a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and perception of safety at the whole event. The end result is that the festival enjoys considerable customer loyalty - it has quality acts, presented in a way and in an environment that everyone really likes.