Jersey Live Festival 2005


Events, Features, Music, Review | by — September 4, 2005


by Richard Bunn

What a great festival! I highly recommend this little beauty (quite literally) to anyone who loves live music in a great environment – forget about the fact that it’s technically ‘abroad’ and make the effort to get there. At only 40 minutes from Gatwick it’s got to be done! You’ll have barely eaten your in-flight breakfast before you land in the sunshine!

First couple of things that hit you as you’re strolling around trying to get a feel for the place are how warm it is, how chilled everybody looks and how incredibly compact the whole event is! For one of the later festivals in the year it’s great to have such roasting weather (a major benefit of the being in Jersey) alongside great atmosphere and music – everyone around was smiling and relaxed.

There was only one field (or event area) for everyone to jam into, with the Positiv Main Stage at the bottom end and the indoor Theory Dance Arena (also housing the press barracks) at the top end. A five minute stroll over revellers’ picnic blankets, past well-kept toilet stalls and food vendors would get you from Stage to Arena – so flitting from group to group was no demanding trek. Especially if you stopped to get something cool from the Jersey – Takes Some Lickin’! ice-cream van.

So, onto the important stuff – the bands! Being a remote and reasonably low-key festival Jersey Live doesn’t attract too many top-shelf bands and DJs. Though with Kasabian, The Bravery and 2 Many DJs backed-up by lesser-known, but no-less quality bands there was something decent to listen to throughout the whole day.

Luckily for us the backstage hospitality suite with luxury bathrooms, bar and hot-tub was situated right next to the Positiv Main Stage, so we were able to appreciate some of the bands away from the noise of the crowds, relaxing with an ice-cool Jack & coke. Amusing if you like to pass the time watching band members flirting with bikini-clad ladies in a hot tub overflowing with soap-suds! Which, of course, we do…

Later in the evening as things began to cool off, the bigger names started taking to the stage. Roaring performances from The Bravery and Kasabian made the crowd go a bit mental and – accidentally it must be said – push over the security fencing near the stage. The Theory Dance Arena was full of energetic dancers being fully entertained by some quality sets. The only draw-back being that the DJs were set well back, making hard to see them in action.

The end of the evening was a bit of a mash up, with everybody clamouring to make it onto a bus back to St. Helier – cheap bus travel was laid on throughout the day between the festival and the town. Though some careful skirting of ill-organised queues saw us straight onto a coach full of cheerful folk all looking for more fun. Around Jersey there were after-parties organised at most of the major nightclubs (some sponsored by bands looking to get themselves recognised) so there was plenty of options for those wanting to continue the buzz. We weren’t in the after-party mood however, preferring to retire to the hotel pool for a beer and a swim in the pool at 1am. You can’t help but want to relax in Jersey – the place seems made for it.
The only downside to Jersey Live is that it feels over too soon, being only a one-day event, though it’s certainly a case of ‘short and sweet’. A major upside is that you can spend the next day recovering on the beach, tanning that danced-out bod – not something you get to do at too many mainland festivals.

The ice-cream van sums it all up quite nicely. Jersey – Takes Some Lickin’! It ain’t wrong…

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