A few months ago, we were excited to see the announcement of Common People, a two-day, non-camping festival on Southampton Common. I was born in Southampton and my sister Sarah and her husband Max still live there. We looked forward to being able to enjoy a festival and be able to walk a pretty short distance back to their house, to enjoy home comforts!
Common People had a lot to live up to, as it it run by the same people behind Bestival and Camp Bestival. I've been to Bestival twice and it really is a very special festival, with a huge amount of work put into creativity and generally creating an exciting and special atmosphere.
Perhaps we were expecting a bit too much, as this was essentially just a day time festival with no camping, but Common People was definitely not as awesome as we had hoped. The main issue was the queues for everything. There were very long queues for the toilets [even queuing for urinals!], along with huge bar and food queues. We queued for 50-minutes for food and have friends who queued for over 90-minutes. There was just a big shortage of all facilities for the amount of people there, which was disappointing. This also lead to waiting around for friends all day, as our friends wanted to go to the loo / bar / get food and ended up taking forever to queue and get back. By the time they found us, someone else wants to go somewhere and you sort of end up in an endless cycle of waiting. Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly no stranger to festivals and events and I know there will be some queues, but these queues were exceptionally long.
We booked tickets before seeing the line up, which ended up being quite alternative. There were a few acts we were keen to see, but it mostly wasn't necessarily our favourite music. We enjoyed a very audibly and visually awesome show from Saturday night headliner Fatboy Slim, who incorporated a choir into his DJ set, which was pretty special. Jaguar Skills had the crowd bouncing earlier in the day, with one of his trademark mash-up sets. I've not seen Jaguar Skills for a couple of years and I think he's got even more awesome with time! Jaguar Skills was followed by DJ Yoda, who I've wanted to see for years. DJ Yoda was a bit disappointing, with the party atmosphere quickly sliding away and many of the crowd dispersing or sitting back down.
Overall, Common People was a nice event to take place on Southampton Common and a great way for local people to experience a festival without a lot of the hassle that can go with it. I'd recommend you give it a visit next year if you're local to Southampton, but it won't be on my calendar next year.