“Aha you and your rock festivals Atul”
Was the funny response to when I answered what I am up to during the summer break. That’s because I have now done the rock festival thing 3 summers in a row, they do get better every year and so does my summer off 🙂
Tutoring work has been a lot more intense this academic year too with record time away from London and spells when I tutored all 7 days a week away from home. But it was intense and really satisfying. My common entrance students have already done very well which is such a great feeling. And I also said goodbye to some students I had been teaching for a while who will move on to the next stages of their lives.
Hellfest 2011 in France
My first rock festival trip this year was to a festival in Clisson near Nantes in France. It was the first time I have actually been to France despite actually living closer to it than to Yorkshire (where I travel up to maybe 15 times a year!). The festival was for 3 days and I flew quite conveniently from City Airport in London which is a nice small airport really close to me. The festival had some good moments, and I saw some sweet new bands that I hadn’t heard before. I was pleasantly surprised to see Mr. Big who I used to listen to loads as a teenager. Although metal is a sort of country in itself and metalheads seemingly look and act the same (long hair, moshpits, devil sign etc., etc.,) I did get a sense of the French culture and uniqueness with a little trip to the tiny town of Clisson. The locals were well into the festival and it was cool to see metal bands in the town streets in the open. Something unthinkable in the UK! The organisation of the festival wasn’t as good as UK ones and it rained for some of it but it was pretty cool overall.
Wimbledon 2011/Bon Jovi in Bristol
I went to Wimbledon in its first week. Luckily this time there were no big names on the and as I went reasonably early the queue was only an hour long. This is truly a record! I didn’t see as many big names up close as last year but it was cool to see Sania Mirza, India’s tennis star up close playing in one of the small courts.
I also went to Bristol for the first time in over a decade and saw Bon Jovi there at Ashton Gate Stadium. Later on by chance I bumped into an old uni friend who I hadn’t seen for 7 years so it was pretty sweet to catch up so I extended my stay in Bristol. Hanging out in Bristol town on a sunny day and evening was pretty relaxing and holiday like 🙂
Sonisphere 2011 and the Big 4
It is safe to say that this year’s Sonisphere was my best festival experience ever. The line-up of old and new bands was awesome. The Big 4 are the big bands of the thrash metal world from the 80s; Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. Not much into Anthrax and I had already seen Slayer and Metallica 3 times before so the main thing I was looking forward to was Megadeth. But no way man! Megadeth were cool but Slayer gave out one hell of a performance, it was the best one by far and I got caught smack bang in the middle of a mosh pit…hell yeah! And the headliners Metallica delivered an incredible set with some unusual songs that were a nice surprise. They are amazing performers and it was sweet to see them again.
Other bands that I liked later were Spider Black, Weezer, Sum 41, Motorhead and loads of other ones I can’t remember now. The atmosphere this year there was even better with lots of friendly peeps who’d happily start chatting about music to anyone, give the metal sign randomly and lots of other random moments 🙂
And the summer continues..
But we’re still only in July here and the summer continues..other things I would like to check out are the India V England cricket series, some museums in London and continuing my exploration of the outdoors world of London town. I have already been on the Thames Clipper ride for the first time and I am sure there’s more new things to come 🙂