I was in Europe late last year. The whole scenario was apparently the perfect time to ignore the enormity of the Eiffel Tower or the calamitous historical context behind the Berlin Wall and instead focus on picking a festival lineup out of artists living or dead to top all other… hypothetical festival lineups… So it sounds like I wasted my trip. Sure, it sounds like I did. But it was actually a remarkably challenging exercise that made me feel like I really achieved something when the festival had finished and all that remained were the memories and the cum stains of my wasted afternoon.
The criteria was pretty simple. 3 days, 30 acts and (I really did write this) 1 or more orgasms. Fuck I hate my life. Anyway, so I made a rather tediously long shortlist, excuse the oxymoron but it was incredibly long. This was basically just 200 of the artists that I either love or just feel were necessary to consider. Think along the lines of Billy Joel, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, Otis Redding and S Club 7 (Thou Shalt never forget). Then I kind of wanted to make a festival of artists that sort of complemented each other, thinking about what type of set they were going to play, how long they would play for, how much Novocaine I would require to get through the 3 days and whether I’d have a ‘no dickheads’ policy or even a ‘no dicks’ policy to really eradicate the real problem. I didn’t want a festival full of feminist vibes so I scrapped the ‘no dicks’ policy and attended to the immense task at hand. The final question that I asked myself was, if there is a heaven/hell would they be allowed to write new music and thus come with a new and improved set list? After I asked this question I contemplated necking myself but recalled that famous quote that was mocked throughout high school, ‘no question is a dumb question’. What a load of rubbish.
Anyhow, here is my official attempt at creating the greatest music festival of all time.
The crowds gathered, the rain stayed away and the people were excited. Unfortunately these plebs would not be coming to the Dead or Alive extravaganza but instead would be attending the Big Day Out, headlined by Tool (again…). The crowd at this prestigious festival? An intimate 1000 people. The price? Your motherfucking soul.
The Day was kicked off at 12 o’clock with the Four Tops, one of the greatest quartets of all time. They wowed the crowd with their matching mustard turtleneck shirt and pants, whet our whistles with a high paced medley of songs of the ilk of ‘I can’t help myself’, ‘Baby I need your loving’ and ‘Reach Out’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXavZYeXEc0
1.30: Marvin Gaye entered the arena spreading his message of free love, peace and a cryptic aside that mentioned something like ‘watch for the gun toting father’. Everyone had a good old chuckle. The man played a scintillating hour and a half set that was just laced with sexual energy and hypnotic hip thrusts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7eTOnNBwYU&feature=fvst
I’m going to scrap this ‘witty aside’ format and get the fuck on with the festival. I kind of feel like I’m that crowd warmer who fills about half of the sets with jokes about his seven ex-wives.
3-4.30: Billy Joel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxBjKa8KcW0&feature=fvst
4.30-6: Jeff Buckley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Pyd1D_0FA
6-7.30: Cold Chisel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Wwq9_zn_c
8.30-10.30: Michael Jackson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlNEiN2ZJQs
10.30-12.30 The Rolling Stones http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khD1dMJk_s0
12.30 – 2.30 Oasis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myyLF3GmKCs
End of Day One.
Comment: So the soul brothers stole the show early and the rascals of 90s British Rock finished the night. Depending on whose perspective you are relying on, Noel and Liam either just about fucked on stage to show they were firmly over their issues or Noel bottled Liam before they went on and borrowed an autotuner and a Tupac hologram to appease the adoring crowd. A dastardly mix of brilliant rock and brilliant soul made up the first day of what could possibly spark a trip to the psychologist.
9-10.30: Joni Mitchell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKRThOEPl7Y
10.30 -12: Frank Sinatra http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5gKS6f7h5c
12-1.30 Tchaikovsky http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHRkR4YPfBs
1.30-3 Aretha Franklin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9nSU2hAqK4
3-4.30 Bon Iver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAgbX7OYamQ
4.30-6 The Strokes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbo-6durmBk
6-7.30 Creedence Clearwater Revival http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f33qUqdZapw
7.30-9.30 Bob Dylan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEAV6KeI-oo
9.30-11 Prince http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HnvNtgZmLc
11-1.30 The Beatles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HklegXU5S58
1.30-3 Jimi Hendrix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEdUhErJq9E
End of Day Two.
Day Two and the place is starting to stink. The rain begins to fall and a few people have taken to eating the dirt to enhance their high. Great times. Several of the performers immortalised their names at Woodstock whilst others are still plying their trade (Dylan and McCartney transcend categories in terms of their longevity). Hendrix ends the night by lighting himself on fire and allowing Keith Richards to snort his burning corpse. It’s a nice touch but remember the guy was dead before this so it isn’t that impressive. John Fogarty isn’t particularly pleased that Prince is playing before his band but don’t be fooled by Prince’s delicious purple blouse, he’s an argument away from kicking the shit out of someone. Justin Vernon is carrying his grammies but can’t help adding that he doesn’t believe in the whole system. Of course Justin, of course. I actually feel sorry for the audience by this stage. It’s like a regular festival but there are no shitty acts thus sneaking off to your tent for a quicky is off limits and no one brought fresh socks so fungal infection is rife.
10-12: Ray Charles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IumnmhnPJKQ
12-2 The Eagles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXT1h3Ags94
2-3.30 Van Morrison http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbHuHaPOrtk
3.30-5 Robbie Williams http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkobBi9UvBA
5-6.30 Stevie Wonder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ul7X5js1vE
6.30-8 Bruce Springsteen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJQgwqojirs
8.30-10 Otis Redding http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD_QexnZ3oM
10-12 Bob Marley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WlCdiU9IzA
12-2 Queen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8L3TCXsyX4
2-3.30 Arcade Fire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpm-qLnUJRM&feature=related
3.30-4.30 Daft Punk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OjFzUCSlCs
End of Festival.
Comment: The hipsters across Negril beach, Jamaica (it’s my fucking hypothetical, I’ll have it where I want) are fuming with the decision to have Robbie Williams play after Van Morrison, or even at all, but the guy can perform. Otis Redding, the King of Soul brings the absolute stage down and his pants are perfectly fitted around the crotch, extremely tight pants. Stevie Wonder takes in the sights, hideous joke, brilliant set and Marley comes and delivers a brilliant home ground performance. Everyone is ready for bed at 3.30 after Arcade Fire decapitate Delta Goodrem during their encore performance of ‘Rebellion (lies)’. The crowd screams for blood and sleep but Daft Punk decide to ooze their way through a set that sums up why Generation Y are completely and utterly sleep deprived. Freddie Mercury exits the bathroom with a smile on his face.
There were arrests for narcotics, several people overdosed, 12 people drowned, Flo Rida was sacrificed to the Grateful Dead (but they seem like nice guys so I’m sure they’ll look after the big fella) and Sinatra threw a hissy fit but no one gave a fuck because the media were too busy writing about how Stereosonic has cleaned up its act or some shit like that.