Friday, June 24, 2016

Stewart Lee All Tomorrow's Parties, Part 7: Monday

My interminable account of the last ever ATP lurches towards its conclusion. Previous instalments (with actual music discussion) can be seen here, here, here, here, here and here

Sunday night ended on a positive note. The bad vibes returned on Monday morning. As we were getting ready to leave we learned that the following weekend's Manchester ATP had been cancelled. I imagined Barry Hogan spending the weekend of the Stewart Lee ATP barricaded into a bunker desperately trying to shuffle money around so that the other weekend could somehow still go ahead. I'm thinking things like "If I don't pay everyone who was playing on Stage 2 I'll have enough cash to put down the deposit on the PA if they give me a discount and some credit…", that kind of thing. Oh well. I heard reports subsequently that he was trying to borrow money from Drive Like Jehu, the Manchester ATP headliners. That's not good. I also heard of artists who found themselves marooned in England because their gigs (and the money they optimistically hoped to earn from them) had been cancelled at short notice.

Since then the Iceland ATP scheduled for July 2016 has been cancelled with barely two weeks' notice. This was a bit of a surprise, as it was reputedly underwritten financially by the Icelandic government, though having seen bad banks crash their economy they were probably careful enough not to let a mismanaged music festival do the same. And it appears that the wider ATP organisation is winding up, for real this time. I wish that ATP had stopped with the one that was originally billed as the last one ever, instead of continuing and pissing on their legacy.

I wish there were still festivals like ATP. The convenience of being able to stay in a holiday camp and see a wide range of bands playing is not to be sniffed at. I noticed on social media that a lot of people reckon they could do a better job of running this kind of festival than Barry Hogan. Maybe it is time for them to put their money where their mouth is.
More astonishing ATP pictures

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