by Gee Witchalls
Review – Tunes In The Dunes 2017
Last weekend saw the return of Tunes in the Dunes to Perranporth for the third year. It was a real mixed bag, both in terms of the music on offer and the festival experience as a whole. Friday saw the arrival of some horrendous weather, which meant the start was delayed, the site was slightly reorganised, and the main stage had to be closed due to the danger posed by high winds. Most of the acts were moved onto the St Piran’s Stage but the complexity of the headliners Primal Scream’s set up couldn’t be accommodated there and they had to be cancelled.
This obviously caused a lot of disappointed punters, and some criticism of the organisers. As Adam, a teacher from Perran said, “it’s on a beach in Cornwall – what do you expect? They don’t seem to be prepared for the amount of people who are here, and it’s a bit frustrating after you’ve paid your money…but the gigs did feel a bit more intimate on the smaller stage, I was so close to Xavier Rudd it was great!” and Maria from Falmouth didn’t understand why they had had to make such an early call to cancel: “It’s only Ten now and the wind has died down, why couldn’t they play now? They should have hung around to see how it went” – the frustration was palpable around the site.
Not everyone was complaining though, Tim from St Just said he was disappointed about Primal Scream “but I like being on the sand!”.
Because of the cancellations, Friday ticket holders were offered the option to return to the festival on Saturday which seemed like the only thing the organisers could really do to keep people happy. It backfired though, with the majority of feedback on Saturday being about the perceived overcrowding and ‘dangerous’ bottleneck near the main stage. Comments on the festival’s Facebook page were scathing, with people stating that they felt it necessary to leave as they didn’t feel safe, as well as criticisms of the sound quality, insufficient facilities, number of drunk and rowdy teenagers, length of queues at the box office (with some waiting over 90 minutes and missing entire acts) and price of a pint. It’s fair to say that most of these are criticisms regularly levelled at any large event, and it does seem that the inflated crowds on Saturday caused a negative vibe amongst those already disappointed.
Sunday was a completely different experience – the sun came out, the site wasn’t overcrowded, and there was a much more relaxed atmosphere around the festival. People seemed happier, praising the way the organisers had responded to complaints and issues quickly and waxing lyrical about the location. Harry from London said it had a “unique vibe – it’s like no festival I’ve ever been to before!”
I focussed mainly on the ‘Local Legends’ that were performing over the weekend and there was a fantastic range of acts to choose from. I was interested to know how these upcoming musicians felt about sharing a line up with massive names such as Clean Bandit, so caught up with a few of them to get their thoughts.
“I briefly caught William the Conquerer on St Piran’s stage and KT Tunstall on the main stage. I prefer the vibe of the smaller stages at festivals as I’m not one for massive crowds.
I haven’t been doing too badly for exposure outside of Cornwall. I think doing TITD might help with booking more shows though. I’ve always had good national/international exposure as I started out my music career in New Zealand and touring around the US/Canada/Australia and Europe which all adds up. I think if people can see that you are working hard and producing good songs they are happy to host and promote you.”
Little Lapin features on the front cover of Acoustic Magazine 133 with her song Narrabeen, which was one of their five featured tracks of the month.
You can find out more on her website at www.littlelapinmusic.com and catch her live at Lusty Glaze on 19th July or Gylly Beach Café on 10th September.
Sennen & Megan
“We spent Friday and Sunday at the festival and really enjoyed ourselves. Even with the weather on Friday and the changes to the line-up we both had a great night. We thought the addition of the Local Legends stage was a nice touch as well – it was nice to see the festival including a variety of local artists. Seeing our names on the same line up as big acts felt really surreal. We were both very excited about it – it was an amazing thing to be able to be a part of! Jeremy Loops and John Newman were definite highlights for us – they both put on a really great show.
Getting yourself out there can be difficult and expensive to do, but events like this will definitely be useful in helping local artists to get exposure outside of Cornwall. There are people that travel down to the festival that wouldn’t otherwise come across some of the smaller, locally based artists that play there.”
Find out more about Sennen & Megan at www.facebook.com/SennenAndMegan
“[The festival] was pretty good. I love the fact it’s on the beach. I was only there on Sunday and I know not everyone was happy about the Friday and the main stage being closed but these things happen sometimes. You can’t help the weather. A lot of folk just want to moan.
It was really cool [being on the same bill as such big names]. That’s festivals though I suppose. Caught a lot of Jeanne Naylor’s set and that was fantastic. [I didn’t manage to see] a huge amount. My better half dragged to watch Lucy Spraggan and I thought I’d hate but she was actually really good. I loved her chats between songs. I was gutted that Izzy Bizu changed her set time because that’s the one artist I really wanted to see… ended up having to watch Jamie Lawson instead which made me very sad.
It’s quite difficult [to get exposure outside of Cornwall]. These events do help a little but, for me, I love playing them for the atmosphere. Everyone’s out to have fun at these kinda things.
Find out more about Ben at www.benthorpemusic.com and catch him at Blue Bar, Porthtowan on Saturday 8th July from 9pm, and at The Stable In Falmouth on the 20th.
“I had an awesome time at Tunes In the Dunes. It was an insane experience for me, having to take Krept and Konans spot, but got such a good reception, so was very pleased! It’s hard to get exposure as an artist, so festivals like this are a massive platform to gain followers etc. I have Nass and Boardmasters next in the festival list, so come check out my set! I also have a new EP that I will be releasing mid August, produced by Cassell The BeatMaker, who has worked with Plan B, The Streets, Akala, Pixie lot and many more.”
Find out more about Charlie at www.charliebowdery.com
Gee Witchalls 2017