Saturday, September 6th, 2008
Virgin Festival 2008 Preview
Photo via MySpace
Just once, it’d be nice to have a V Fest go off without a hitch. Or at least have people talking more about who’s on the lineup than who’s not. The first year, there was the whole thing with the day two headliner Massive Attack having to cancel on account of visa issues, so Broken Social Scene was hastily called in to cover and while they put on a memorable show – how often do you get all three ladies on stage together – it wasn’t what was advertised. Then last year, it was Amy Winehouse who had to pull out in order to concentrate fully on her self-destruction, and while there were attempts to get the Yeah Yeah Yeahs in her stead, that didn’t work out and Kid Koala got the thankless task of entertaining the disgruntled masses for an hour (actually less, since his records started melting in the sun).
And now this year. After a strong start with the likes of Oasis, Paul Weller, Foo Fighters, Bloc Party and Spiritualized, the Toronto edition of V not only failed to add any more especially big names, they were actually losing them. Well, moderately big names. Swedish dance-pop queen Robyn disappeared from the lineup almost as quickly as she was announced on account of being tapped to open up for Madonna. Perfectly reasonable. Then UK brothers in arms The Cribs bailed – no reason given, but considering they’ve probably cancelled more Toronto shows than they’ve played, not a surprise. But when the official schedule was released last week and The Wombats were nowhere to be seen, that was a let-down. And inexplicable – their North American tour is continuing on as planned, and their routing still takes them near Toronto on Sunday (from Chicago to Providence) but they’re not crossing the border. And while it’s unlikely anyone bought a ticket explicitly to see these acts – that’s just bad budgeting – they were certainly draws and their absences cause for grumbling.
But on that, there’s naught to be done and at least the big guns are still coming to town today and tomorrow and if the weather holds out – looks iffy right now – it should still be a good weekend. The Toronto Star is obviously excited, devoting an entire section to the fest – previewing acts, talking to Bloc Party and Shudder To Think and generally getting all worked up. The Globe & Mail profiles a band that I’m more interested in seeing every time I listen – The Airborne Toxic Event, eye catches up with Constantines, AOL Music Canada talks to Paul Weller and NOW discusses the joys of ALL CAPS with MGMT.
Oh, and for a little audio content, one V Fest act covering another. The Kooks on MGMT.
MP3: The Kooks – “Kids”
And finally, apparently Noel Gallagher has whilst on this North American tour, but you need to be a registered member on their website to read em. I don’t think I’m quite ready to trade my personal info for access to such insights like the fact that The Beatles are his favourite band of all-time… though Details and Canada.com have more substantive pieces on the band. Either way, I’m still really forward to seeing them on Sunday night. Yessir.