want to know what you think and to kick off this is what a
few of the DJs and promoters have said to us:
a complete kick in the face to everyone, in particular the
people who work in the local dance scene," said Stuart
Wilkinson of Empathy.
festival is a great way of letting many local djs play in
front of thousands of people in their home town, at the same
time though I think we were lucky to have something like this
Locus took to the stage at 6.20 pm on the Saturday there had
already been a number of fights which the police broke up.
whole club stage area was stupidly busy when we were playing,"
said Ritesh Patel of Locus and Metric. "It
had really good vibes though."
comes as a bit of sad news but I guess on reflection not too
much of a surprise," writes Jay of Chunk@phunk.
a case of the badly behaved minority spoiling everyone else's
a real shame it has come to the point where a whole genre
of music will not be getting the representation it deserves
at a so called "music festival".
doubt this will encourage further the doom mongers who are
talking about the "death" of dance music, " sent on behalf
of Crofty, Jay & Neil The Chunkaphunk Boyz @bs1.
awful, so many people love that stage and when the sun goes
down people like to dance to keep warm - I know a lot of people
do go just for that," said Ross Chester of the Detectives
not that eveything's been lost but it means some people can't
get involved. I don't think (not having it will ) it'll solve
any problems as it's always tucked away at the top of the
the authorities put their minds to it they could sort it but
they just don't want to apply what they know from other events."
want to hear what you think of the decision - get in touch
by emailing us click
read with disbelief the news that there will be no Dance tent
at Ashton Court this year," said Kiaora.
alienate such a large section of the community seems a short-
sighted solution for a festival that has been fighting for
survival over the last few years.
have no doubt that attendance will fall dramatically, which
in turn will put even more pressure on the existence of the
ban an entire genre of music that is so integral to the culture
of a whole generation seems to be giving in to the minority
that caused all the trouble last year – surely there must
be another solution? "
supposed to be a community festival, did they see how many
people were at the dance stage last year? " emailed Mat.
can they ignore an entire genre of music that the community
they are supposed to be serving wants to hear?
a sad loss and I for one won't go because of this. It'll be
the first time in many years that I'll be missing the festival,"
one gutted Bristolian, Mat.
am gutted that there is no dance stage planned for Ashton
Court this year.
I'm sure for many festival-goers, including myself, the dance
area is what really held the festival together.
the beats from that stage pumping over the hill that always
made me run the final stretch of the journey to the festival!"
there ways to prevent fights, other than removing a whole
stage from the festival? What
about a call for voluntary community policing?
have been raising concerns about the community aspect of the
festival for a few years now, first when a compulsory fee
was introduced, and second when it accepted sponsorship from
believe the festival should solve its problems through the
community, not through external aid," Joey continued.
was probably the thing that I enjoyed most about the festival,"
certainly wont be going this year now and doubt a lot of people
dont think it is as much a case of 'the death of dance music'
but 'the death of Ashton Court Festival' which is such a shame!!
people who attend to genuinely hear and appreciate the dance
music are not the ones causing the fights."
the point!!!" says Robert.
does banning the dance stage solve the problem of unnecessary
it is the minority of idiots causing the hassle surely removing
this element will enable everyone else to have a good time.
It's not like we want them there!
appreciate that violence is general unwelcome but I don't
see the authorities banning football being played whenever
there is fighting before or after a game. I would imagine
that proportionately there is far less trouble at Ashton Court
than before/after the average football match.
can only hope that this is a one-off situation and that all
will be resumed in 2005."
rubbish, Ashton Court has been running for years, the first
year they have a bit of trouble (ignoring the year at Hengrove
Park!) the Police take the easy option," fumes Piers.
having dance music represented in Bristol is like not having
Reggae in Jamaica.
a lot of people there is going to be no reason for going,
therefore bringing the amount of money raised by donation
down which could threaten the entire festival."
first time in five years I wont be there," emails Jon
saw the fights and understand why but there must be another
way to keep the dance tent going. Shame and I hope the Festival
doesnt get hurt to badly from it."
organisers have got that whole dance area so horribly wrong
for the past few years, I think maybe the fighting is being
unfairly blamed for the lack of a 'dance' stage this year,"
dance area acts should be split over two days, with the different
genres on different days.
music fans and house music fans rarely mix well - as anyone
who witnessed the heady days of Lakota and the main/back room
rivalry on Friday nights would testify.
- one day for the house/hard house/trance brigade, the other
for drum and bass, jungle, hip hop etc. Hence - no fights.
The problem has been in the organisation. I, for one, won't
be attending this year."
unfortunate as Ashton Court Festival numbers will be down
and ,as a result, so will the amount of money they make at
the festival which suffers a struggle for cash to keep it
running on a yearly basis," writes Dan.
fear that unless they pull off a major coup by having one
really big band on each day (someone the size of Massive Attack
for example) they won't make enough cash to keep it running.
music fans usually have a large presence at the festival and
tend to be blinkered to other genres so will probably boycott
the festival as a result of this decision."
Sunday afternoon last year the dance was a sea of drunken
louts, the ground was a disgusting mess of discarded bottles
and cans," says Billy.
were changing hands openly and the whole area was ready to
blow. I am surprised that the trouble was not worse.
contrast with the live music area was stunning, around the
main stages people were quietly enjoying real musicianship,
drunkenness and litter were all but absent.
hope that this year the area will be used for live local bands.
This may show some people how music is really made."
moved to Bristol in 1999 due to going to the Ashton Court
Festival and have been each year since," says Jon from
cant go this year due to travelling but all of my good friends
cannot believe it has been stopped.
witnessed some of the fights going on and it was easy to 'class'
these type of festival goers and I would say it is this bunch
that have caused it to be cancelled.
great shame for Bristol and maybe a very heavy financial loss
for the festival organisers."
been Attending the Ashton Court Festival for many years and
the dance tent is always my first stop," Tracey emails.
find it sad that it will no longer be there because of a few
stupid people spoiling it for everyone. The decision needs
to be reconsidered or they will lose a lot of trade from avid
it is my birthday around the festival time, I look forward
to going every year," says Sandra.
is celebrated as a birthday party but also an great opportunity
to catch up with people who I haven't seen over the year.
having a dance stage is a great loss to our generation as
it is our culture, but, with all the violence I witnessed
last year, action must be taken.
will not stop going to Ashton Court but will feel a void in
its place and sympathise with the DJ's who enjoy playing every
year but drastic action must be taken to not only combat violence
but the crime at our local Festival."
dance stage has been the only area with inherent organisational
problems, which construed as social problems at the festival,"
just too expensive to maintain the necessary safety aspects
for that genre of music, so we may aswell drop it.
miss the music, and the atmosphere, but it's a community festival
- not a commercial one.
worth remembering that we need to attract top quality acts
to perform for free, and therefore removing susceptibility
to a few troublemakers attached to a certain scene will remove
the temptation for trouble.
the dance genre is one of the most well-funded and supported
mainstream areas of commercial music these days (check the
figures) it's no real loss anyway. It's hardly art is it?