Cock Rock

July 30, 2011 at 18:00 (Festivals, Music) ()

Cock Rock, or Cockermouth Rock Festival to use it’s full name, took place last weekend and I went along for the first time. It’s fair to say I had fairly low expectations but I was really quite impressed by all the obvious effort to put together this little festival now in it’s 7th year. They’ve taken all the best bits of Glastonbury (literally in some cases) and brought them to Cumbria. This year a new Green Field has been added which was the best part of the site and easily could have been part of Glastonbury. No doubt the weekend was helped out by the fantastic weather, the only dampness came with a short but heavy shower on Friday night.
It’s a shame more people weren’t there (which considering I’m not a huge fan of crowds is an odd

thing for me to be saying), apparently most of the 5000 tickets were sold but the small site always seemed sparse. On the Sunday afternoon it was actually quite embarrassing watching bands on the main stage with a handful of people (especially when the ‘crowd’ at the front were usually with the band). Perhaps the problem was too much choice and everything happening at once so only one of the seven stages drew a crowd at any one time.  Of course, the crowds came out for the headliners the small numbers at least meant I could easily get to the front row to watch The Bluetones.

A small amount of extra organisation, information and promotion could really help. The website is a mess and it wasn’t even possible to to find out which bands were playing which day, let alone which stage until the programme was released. The programme only came out of a few days before and was only available locally so little use to those travelling to the festival. Nobody was expecting three full days of “named bands” but organising similar bands or genres on to the same stage could give people an idea of where to go. Of course, part of the joy was wandering around not knowing quite what you would see next.

I don’t like to moan (well I do, but not about this) because on the whole I thought the festival was really well put together and I had a great time. It’s really great for the community and I wish there had been something like it when I was growing up in Cockermouth. The setting was beautiful, something I’m noticing more and more every time I return to the area. The Rapid Fire Stage(s) was a great idea – 2 stages side by side meaning the next band can set up and start straight away (although I was wishing for a revolving stage). I’m already looking forward to seeing what is on offer in 2012.

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