After all the hype, many of the eclipse festivals have been a bit of a damp squib with mixed reports emerging from the West Country. While the festivals have all staggered on with varying problems and poor ticket sales, the South West of England has been covered by thick cloud, which obscured the total eclipse of the sun.
Before the eclipse itself had even started, the week-long Sunshadow Festival was abandoned. Following an initial battle to obtain a licence, the event simply did not attract enough people to make it worthwhile and organisers decided to begin an evacuation process.
Despite reports that it had been cancelled, The Lizard Festival will continue until Sunday. It was temporarily abandoned at one point for health and safety reasons and some bands have complained about arriving at the site and discovering they wouldn’t be paid.
According to nme.com‘s man on the spot Andy Crysell, it was the best of the legal festivals that they visited with a fairly respectable crowd and while a lot of bands had not played, there were DJs and people making the most of the event.
Similarly, after a poor start the Total Eclipse festival in Newnham park finally attracted around 12,000 people, around half the total capacity, for a bill that included Orbital last night.
The five-day Moon Mooners event has already descended into a riot with police attempting to seize sound equipment. This was following noise complaints from locals. The stand-off between travellers and police is still continuing, with revellers brandishing copies of the Daily Mail with a story about the battle with police as a victory banner, chanting “Death to the eclipse!”.
Meanwhile, the secret Lynx Voodoo party seems to have been a success. Held in West Dorset and headlined by Fatboy Slim, revellers were transported to and from Central London last night. One party-goer told nme.com the night had run smoothly, although they had encountered queuing problems entering the site which organisers had blamed on clashes inside.
A full report on the eclipse festivals along with live reviews will appear in NME next week, on sale in London on Tuesday and across the UK from Wednesday.