The Future of Music Festivals?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Crossfaith - Download 2014

If you know me, you know I love a good music festival. Back when I first started heading to Download in 2005 (crazy, right?), they were really only just beginning to come 'into fashion' - unless it was Glastonbury, V or Reading/Leeds, you'd be met with a bit of a blank look when you said you were heading off to what's now a household name as the premier UK rock and metal festival. The alternative music scene has certainly seen a boom in recent years - with the type of acts you'd catch at Download making it onto mainstream radio and scoring number 1 albums (Avenged Sevenfold's Hail To The King).

As festivals have become a huge part of the summer calendar, the amount of smaller festivals on offer have grown quite dramatically, with new festivals popping up every year. One of the 'big ones' of 2014 was AltFest - an idea that drummed up support on Kickstarter to offer an alternative to the bigger, profit-driven festivals and featuring a lineup of gothic, industrial and metal acts. With lots of hype and an impressive lineup without having major sponsors, it all seemed too good to be true. And unfortunately, it was. Around two weeks before the festival was due to kick off, bands on the lineup started spreading the news that the festival had been cancelled - with traders soon following suit. After days and days of silence, the AltFest team made an official statement, that due to problems with funding and the festival not selling as well as they'd anticipated, they had to cancel the event.

Also falling victim to cancellation was the London-based Jabberwocky, and although they made it back onto their feet in 2014 with a damn respectable lineup, even the large-scale Sonisphere festival saw the 2012 UK event being cancelled. British Summertime's 2014 lineup saw tons of punters getting hold of £2.50 tickets, and even Download saw smaller levels of attendance than the previous year. On a positive note, punk/hardcore festival Hevy made a welcome return, and although poor attendance for daytime bands seemed to be reported, the organisers appear certain that 2015 is a go, with early bird tickets still on sale. But with ever-increasing choice, where does the future of the UK music festival scene lie?

First off, lineups. They're THE biggest part of a music festival, and as the number of festivals increases, the
number of available headline-level bands will inevitably be split between the available events, with exclusivity contracts preventing other UK festivals from picking up some of the big draws. There's also the issue of more and more people heading to European festivals, some of which still cost less with travel included than the price of a UK festival ticket, where it seems the norm for the major players to be charging £200+ for a weekend camping ticket.

I think the long-running, more established festivals - Glastonbury (obviously), Reading & Leeds, V, Download etc - are pretty safe, as they've built a strong name for themselves. For some, there might be a decrease in ticket sales (I remember the days when it was a scramble on release day for Reading, now it's fine to wait months to pick up your ticket), but as long as they keep putting on the big draws, they'll pull in the punters and stay profitable. In terms of smaller and one/two-day festivals, the established names such as Slam Dunk and Hit The Deck are still doing well, and booking smaller but still popular bands in the right sized venues seems like the key to their success. Niche festivals are also in a pretty good place, with Bloodstock catering for those who crave a weekend of metal, and the one-day Leeds event Damnation offering the best in more specialist black/death/doom style genres.

On the subject of new festivals, I don't see many new ventures gaining much support or traction - in a market so busy, there's already plenty to cater for all tastes. The problem with AltFest is that it tried to do too much, too soon - and it's doomed failure will have certainly taken the wind out of those contemplating starting up new events any time soon. I think there WILL be new festivals that crop up, but they'll be smaller and more niche events, catering to smaller crowds rather than the masses. With the variety of festivals already on offer, it's going to be incredibly hard to make it to major player level, as the 'big ones' already have brand loyalty, financial security and a good hold on the market.

Where do you think the future of festivals lies?

Illamasqua Glamore Nudes Collection - Minx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Illamasqua Glamore Nudes - Minx review & swatch
Illamasqua Glamore Nudes - Minx review & swatch
Illamasqua Glamore Nudes - Minx review & swatch

For their Glamour Beauty Edit box, Latest In Beauty managed to get their hands on the new Glamore Nudes collection from Illamasqua, and my box contained the shade Minx - and I absolutely love it. While it's perhaps not quite a stereotypical nude, I love how Illamasqua have put their own twist on nude lipsticks. Minx is a dark, burnt pink - warm with a bit of an old-school feel. The formula is pretty thick and creamy, and not at all drying or chalky, even when it's been on for ages. It has great staying power and survived me stuffing my face with dinner. When it does start to fade, it also leaves a slight stain on the lips. For a classic and slightly retro-feeling not-quite-natural shade, this is definitely a winner for me.

Want to win an Illamasqua lipstick of your own, plus more goodies? Enter my Latest In Beauty Glamour Beauty Edit giveaway!

Adventures: A Weekend By The Sea

Sunday, 31 August 2014

This weekend, I popped back to visit my parents in Cromer, Norfolk - the town I grew up in. I had my new camera in tow, and decided to have a wander round town to test it out, and was really happy with the pictures I got. Being by the seaside is always a really relaxing experience for me - it takes me away from the stresses of city life for a bit, despite the hordes of tourists wandering around! Cromer has a strong maritime and fishing history, and I sat down by the fishing boats for a while and just chilled out, as well as strolling along the pier. Afterwards, I took a wander into town and had a milkshake at a little cafe called Huckleberries. It's in the town centre, and it's a really friendly and welcoming little place. Even though I find going back to London really exciting, it's nice to get away from it sometimes, and I'd definitely recommend taking a seaside weekend away to anyone who wants to get out of the city for a while.

New Camera! Canon 600D - My First Impressions

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Canon 600D
Canon 600D
Canon 600D

Taking photos has always been something I've enjoyed, and the composition side is something I love to play around with. However, only using my Samsung S3 camera and not-that-great bridge camera was limiting the amount I could do, so I decided to get my hands on my first proper DSLR. I'd used a Canon 1100D before for work in my old job, but I was attracted to a lot of the 600D's features, including the handy flip-out screen, which allows me to take snaps from different angles and still see the image easily. And uh. Selfies.

I picked my Canon 600D up secondhand from CEX - it was priced at £285, but thanks to having things to trade in, I only actually paid £210 for it, which is an absolute steal. It came with a kit lens, but I'll be looking to get more lenses as one thing I'm really hoping to do is get more involved in gig photography.

The photo quality I've experienced so far is insanely good, and there are so many manual settings to play around with - definitely going to be doing that a lot over the weekend. I've also had a little peek at the video settings (including using it to do my ice bucket challenge), and I'm so so impressed with the HD quality. Maybe, just maybe, a step into the world of YouTube may be afoot...?!

What camera do you use/want?

Warehouse Printed Jacquard Shift Dress

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Warehouse Printed Jacquard Shift Dress
Warehouse Printed Jacquard Shift Dress
Warehouse Printed Jacquard Shift Dress

New dress time! I've been on the lookout for slightly more 'grown up' outfits that work in an office setting, as my current work attire is girly dresses and flat shoes. Which is all fine, but there are some days where I might be off to a meeting where I want to look like I mean business - but still keep a stamp of individuality and my own style. Warehouse have a great range of women's dresses that are great for workwear and partying alike, and I think this one hits the perfect spot of what I was looking for.

This was a bit of a wardrobe adventure for me, as I normally opt for skater rather than shift dresses, and actually the first thing I've ever owned from Warehouse! It is slightly roomy at the top, but it's not noticeable and I find the dress really comfy - and I like that the sleeves are loose, so it's really easy to move in. The length is great for me - still above the knee, but long enough that it's appropriate for work. I love the pattern, colours and lightly textured feel, and would happily wear this to a wedding or other event too!

I initially thought Warehouse would be out of my price range, but I was pleasantly suprised. They do offer more expensive, luxury outfits - but at the same time, there's plenty in their range that's affordable - at full price, this was only £35, now down to £25 in the sale. For something that feels like excellent quality and will definitely last me a long time, I think that's a pretty decent price to pay!

Dress - Warehouse, £25
Blazer - H&M (similar here)
Necklace - Matalan
Bag - H&M

Accessorize - The Willesden Satchel & Chester Wallet

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

UK Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Blog: Accessorize - The Willesden Satchel & Chester Chubby Bird Wallet review
UK Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Blog: Accessorize - The Willesden Satchel  review
UK Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Blog: Accessorize - Chester Chubby Bird Wallet review
UK Lifestyle, Fashion & Beauty Blog: Accessorize - The Willesden Satchel & Chester Chubby Bird Wallet review

I really love satchel-style bags, and since my old Henry Holland satchel has almost outworn a long run as my favourite brown bag, I wanted to replace it with something similar, but slightly bigger, as a day-to-day/work handbag. I was having a browse on Oxford Street when I stumbled across THE perfect dark tan satchel, although me being me I didn't buy it, as I wanted to check if there were any good online discount deals. Looking it up on the Accessorize website, I realised the bag was actually called the Willesden Satchel - clearly fate, as I live in Willesden!

The size of the Willesden Satchel is absolutely perfect for work and day-to-day essentials, even fitting my camera in, without feeling overly bulky. Living in London, it's essential to me that a bag has a top flap and inside zip pocket to deter sneaky pickpocketers in crowded places, and this one has both, as well as two handy and subtle side pockets. The strap is a great length and adjustable, and it also detaches if you just want to use it with the handle on top. Design-wise, I couldn't have asked for anything better, the buckle detail and exposed zip are just enough to make it interesting, whilst still having a simple feel to it. For £35, it's definitely a well-priced and excellent quality bag that'll go with any outfit, and the sturdy material will last into winter and way beyond. Unfortunately I picked up the last in stock online, but they may well get more in and there were plenty instore when I looked, so if you want to get your hands on it, it should be easy enough to find!

Considering the state of my current purse, I decided to make the most of my housemate's student discount and free delivery by also picking up the Chester Chubby Bird Wallet, £15. I've mentioned it before, but for someone with a bird phobia, I really do like things with birds on them! The green colour is really lovely, but the floral inner material is even better - alongside bird prints, I'm also a huge floral prints kinda girl. There's plenty of card holders for everything I need, and they're tight enough to hold cards in so they don't fall out - which was an issue with my old purse.

With discount, I paid £45 for both purse and bag and got free delivery, and considering the amount some people will spend on a handbag, I'm really happy with this! I've never been a big Accessorize shopper before, but they have some amazing stuff in at the moment and I'm quite surprised I didn't bulk up my order any further. Definitely somewhere I'll be looking to shop more often - next up, a new going out bag...

GIVEAWAY: Latest In Beauty - The Glamour Beauty Edit

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

UK Blog Giveaway: The Glamour Beauty Edit, Latest In Beauty
UK Blog Giveaway: The Glamour Beauty Edit, Latest In Beauty

Latest In Beauty offer a slightly different take on beauty boxes to the monthly subscription style of other brands. Instead of sending out regular 'surprise' boxes, they put together collections and you can see what you're getting before you order - which is pretty handy!

Featuring nine of the summer's hottest products that will take you right through to the colder months, The Glamour Beauty Edit has been hand-picked by the magazine's beauty team. Some of the standout products include a full-size Illamasqua lipstick (!!) from their new Glamore Nudes range, the Toni & Guy Hair Whip and a product I've tried and sung the praises of before, DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil.

The contents are worth over £86, but the box retails at just £16.96 (including P&P) - I don't think they'll be around much longer though! If you want the chance to get your hands on one completely free though, I'm giving away a box so you can try it all out for yourself!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'll be posting about some of the individual products over the next couple of weeks too, so check back to see my thoughts on what you could be winning!