THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Fine weather and finer music at UK's first major festival of 1999...

Glastonbury‘s organisers always boast that the event itself is bigger than the bands and artists playing at it; in a humbler and less bumptious way, this is really true of Homelands.

It’s not about groups, it’s not about DJs; it’s as close to a people’s festival as you get. If you want voodoo acupuncturists and healing wholemeal theatre groups, you’ve come to the wrong place.

The organisers claim that the festival had sold out of its 20,000 capacity ticket allocation and if that wasn’t entirely true – there were still some tickets being sold in the evening – then it wasn’t far off. By nightfall all seven of the arenas and the outdoor stages were rammed to the max. When Underworld took the stage, the effect was like the walk up to a Wembley Cup Final; you either danced with the mob or you went under.

The unpredictable UK summer arrived just in time and despite a pall of grey thunder cloud passing overhead in the middle of the afternoon, the storms that buffeted the rest of the south never descended on Homelands.

Maybe, to paraphrase Faithless, God really is a DJ. Or at least a fan. Unlike God, nme.com could not be everywhere at once so what follows is a completely arbitrary trek around the first mass festival of the year.

Click here for nme.com‘s report.

There will be more news and in depth review of Homelands in NME, on sale on Tuesday in London and across the UK from Wednesday.