The Q Festival Blog - Why all festivals can learn from Positivus' "Latvitude" feat. Vaccines, Manics, Keane & more
The many British bands playing Positivus festival seem to have one thing in common: they've never been to Latvia before. Neither has Q. It's a safe bet few of us could even point to it on a map.
The festival comes as a pleasant surprise to all concerned: playing a sun-drenched set of electronic pop on Friday afternoon, forthcoming New To Q star Lucy Rose even tells the audience: "I've never been to Latvia before, but you lot are better than any crowd in the UK!" The traitor...
In truth, Positivus is arguably better than 90 percent of festivals on our moss-covered isles. Held in coastal Salacgriva, about two hours' drive from the picture-book capital of Riga, the site boasts fields, forests and even a beach. At the latter, you find a pumping disco, the odd skinny dipper and a tower you can hurl yourself from onto an inflatable mattress below, should the urge grab you. There's local food ("deer burgers"! sauerkraut!) for sale in the food village, and enough quirky sideshows and attractions to keep you entertained between bands. And did we mention that a pint of beer costs around £2?
In the forest, where hammocks swing between trees, fairy lights lead down glades to smaller stages populated by Latvian bands. Nearly all of them are ultra-melodic indie-pop outfits. The musical sweet tooth is reflected in many of the foreign bands chosen to play the bigger stages: Keane headline on Friday and their swooning, anthemic rock makes for a 90-minute singalong. The burly Latvian man next to me was dewy eyed at points. Earlier, Sweden's Niki & The Dove, France's Housse De Racket and an elastic Friendly Fires set brought dancier thrills to the same stage.
On Saturday the heavens opened, but the festival remained bewitchingly good. Wild Beasts brought brooding anthems to match the clouds, and Damien Rice played to an enthralled crowd filling the cushioned benches at the Nordea stage. In the main arena, The Vaccines performed a blinding set blending debut album hits with promising tracks from second album ...Come Of Age, using stand-in bassist Drew McConnell, of Babyshambles fame. Headliners Manic Street Preachers played a career spanning set to close the festival in swooning grandeur.
At just two days long, Positivus is short and very sweet. In fact, it's so good, we're loath to recommend it too strongly in case it becomes overrun by invading Brits. Forget this article, jā?
Dan Stubbs @ztubbz Pictures Anna Kroeger
For more head to Positivusfestival.com.
10:29 AM | 26/07/2012
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