01 May 12
Damon Albarn Presents Dr Dee. Click to see more.
The middle of April is a risky time to hold the first outdoor festival of the year, and OneFest proved to be a cold one. I have no idea what the actual temperature was, but I am sure it was not as warm as Coachella. Winter jackets and wellys were the order of the day.
It poured with rain the night before and continued into the morning so by the time I arrived, the ground had that lovely squelch underfoot. By the time the gates had opened, the rain had stopped, and it remained rain free the rest of the day. Considering this is the first outdoor festival of the year, it could have been much worse.
The site was split into 2 stages. The smaller (indoor) second stage was hosted by BBC introducing, showcasing local talent as well as some from further afield. Higlights from this stage included Jodie Marie and Michele Stodart.
The main stage saw artists battling Jetlag & The Weather. Raghu Dixit had flown in from 35 degree temperatures in India, and seemingly forgot to pack for the British Spring. Dressed in summer clothing the band got the field moving to their Indian sound that brought to mind warmer climes. Much like Raghu Dixit, Dry The River were feeling the cold and jetlag, heading to OneFest straight after flying in from some time in Texas. Their set was probably the highlight of the day for many, although they would not realise it until after Damon Albarn had taken the stage.
By the time Albarn began performing Dr Dee the temperature had seemingly plummeted. His latest outing is an opera based on the life of John Dee, Mathemtician and advisor to Elizabeth I. It was easy to see why some in the crowd began to drift towards the warmth. For those who are more used to Albarns previous incarnations it is a challenging listen, especially in a freezing cold field in Wiltshire. Those who stayed to witness the whole set though witnessed a songwriter who has once again reinvented himself and created an amazing piece of work that few would have expected, but many will hold dear upon its release later this year.
For a full gallery from the festival, click HERE