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FRF Staff Picks: Don


After Jinki's take on the best of the fest, here's the word from the Don.

Best stage: Yeah, yeah, the Palace of Wonder is a riot, but I'm sick of hearing about it. And if everyone wasn't pissed or worse by the time the Palace opened, they might notice that the Field of Heaven is better. It's got A-list names, check Lee Scratch Perry and Spearhead last year, The funky Meters this, Jack Johnson, Phish, Femi Kuti and Ben Harper in the past - but it does just as well with smaller acts. When there are 200 people at the Green Stage, you feel sorry for the artist. An empty Red Marquee looks empty, but somehow a lightly populated Field feels just fine. Ask anyone who saw the party Undercover Express put on last year.

Best food: the pizzas from the full-scale pizza oven in the Field of Heaven. Worth the wait, and the only food at the fest that you could serve in a posh restaurant.

Most disappointing food: the samosas in the Oasis area. Half of them are empty.

Best drinks: like Jinki said, the Tengoku bar

Best celeb spotting: just in front of the Palace of Wonder, around 2am

Most what-the-fuck-were-they-thinking scheduling this year: Booker T, the funky Meters and Public Enemy on at the same time. I know festival schedules are supposed to clash a bit, but what the fuck were they thinking?

Best place for sex: the woods between Gypsy Avalon and the NGO area. Fresh air, and just enough chance of getting caught.

Best place for a souvenir: the woods between Gypsy Avalon and the NGO area. You never know what you'll pick up there.

Best stage name: New Power Gear Stage. If Prince opened a hardware store, he'd call it this.

Daftest way to spend your time: Lining up for an official t-shirt on the first day. It goes something like this: Friday: 2 hour queues; Saturday: 20 minute queues; Sunday: 2 minute queues. Bring something to wear for Friday and go and enjoy the festival. We don't care who your favourite band is anyway.

My 2009 hitlist:

Last year I didn't see one act at the Green Stage, this year I'm all over it on Friday. Lily Allen, Paul Weller, Patti Smith, Oasis, and if I could get up in time, which I won't, Tokyo Ska Para. But then, there's Rafven and Orquestra de la Luz at the other end of the site. Then, for the first time ever, there's a Rookie a-go-go act I'm not going to miss - the great JariBu Afrobeat Arkestra, and then what will surely be the most oversubscribed show at the fest, Lily Allen at the Palace.

Wake up late. Spend day grumbling about the schedule clash in the evening, then stand watching Public Enemy, wondering if I should be watching the Meters instead, go watch some Meters and wonder if I'm missing something great with Booker T, and so on. It's not too late to change the schedule, Smash.
Oh, and Rafven will be playing the new Cafe de Paris stage in the PM.

Royksopp rocked the Red Marquee last time they came. Anyone with any sense will be there at the White Stage to see if they can do it again in the open air. Plus Rafven again, and Shibusa Shirazu.


does that pic say "Nookie a go-go?"

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