A music festival where you cannot hear the music, is like a restaurant where the food is for display purposes only.
All the elements of a good party were there – plenty of like-minded people, lots of DJs (too many, more about that later) and good music – except that I could not hear it.
I wasn’t originally intending on going as the original plan was to do Ketoloco on Sunday but the people that I knew who were going weren’t going to that until late afternoon and a spare ticket and spare seat on the transportation were available for SW4 on the Saturday so it seemed rude to turn it down, especially as my hero, Sven, was playing.
And I had really good days out at SW4 in 2008 and 2009 so it seemed like a good idea.
Arriving there in the rain, not that I am too bothered about it – after all it rained for 5 minutes in the queue at Cocoon In The Park (granted it was perfect weather for the rest of the day!), and there were tents to shelter in. And yes it rained heavily several times during the day.
Walking through the entrance straight into two inches of mud was not exactly glorious. Thankfully I chose not to wear my brand new trainers unlike many other idiots there.
Within about 5 minutes I had lost everyone I came with and with very patchy mobile reception I was several hours on my own in total – again not something that especially bothers me as I had an amazing time at Cocoon In The Park on my own.
However when the music is impossible to enjoy thanks to not been able to hear it over the crowd chatter, it is highly disappointing – especially as the poorest sound quality and volume was in the Cocoon tent where I had expected to spend most of my time. Initially I just thought it was Cocoon being Cocoon, starting off quiet and building it up – but it actually seemed to get quieter.
That said I still had fun – if you cannot have fun at a festival with some very good friends and lots of like-minded people and the odd drink, then something is clearly wrong.
The other thing that they got wrong in my opinion was packing way too many DJs on the line-up – perhaps why they could only afford the crappest of sound systems. What is the point of giving DJs just an hour or slightly longer? I want to hear DJs express themselves, 3 hours should be a minimum. I know I am banging on about it but Cocoon In The Park gave each DJ somewhere between 3 and 5 hours.
SW4 was a waste of money, I cannot recommend anyone to go again. There are so many other festivals out there, and if you want to see Sven, then go to Cocoon In The Park in Leeds.
I even turned down the offer of an after-party to go home instead!