With a huge Glastonbury shaped hole in the calendar this year and the faint promise of warm weather lingering on the horizon, it's time for Festival Season to slip into Wacky Races mode. With T In The Park and V 2006 neck and neck out in front, and Download and Monsters of Rock, rapidly rolling out the big guns (Guns 'n' Roses at Download anyone?) in second place, the others are trailing far behind.
But wait, who's this coming up fast on the outside. Hooray, it's Wireless, our very own proper London festival, heavily sponsored by a certain mobile phone retailer, in case you can't guess when you start to see the posters on the underground. And what a showing from this feisty little newcomer. Five whole days in Hyde Park over Glastonbury weekend, AND a weekend in Leeds. Watch out Carling, we sense a move on your turf. (Quick aside to wonder how funny a turf war between festival promoters would be; band members heads in beds and throwing cheap noodles at rivals in the street.) Anyway, we here in the music dungeon were so excited we had to run off to a dark place with the cover of that Roxy Music album.
To be honest, London's a great place to hold a festival, great transport links, plenty of shopping opportunities, tons of markets, easy enough to wander round with a giant fatty and almost unlimited free camping, although cardboard is more de rigeur than canvas on these golden streets.
It all kicks off on indie night, Wednesday 21st June with The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian and Super Furry Animals. Dress will be 1970s New York and London thrift shop chic. Thursday 22nd is £50 Man day with David Gray and KT Tunstall drawing the contents of M&S with splashes of John Lewis. Probably a good day to stay out of any guitar shops. Friday 23rd sees the acceptable face of edgy with Massive Attack, The Flaming Lips, Pharrell and DJ Shadow all promoting new material. It will look like a 'hoody' convention, but be not afraid. Just try not to talk to anyone. Saturday 24th pulls James Blunt, Zero 7, Eels and Nile Rodgers & Chic. In the words of our best friend's daughter: Don't even go there... Actually go, but leave promptly after Eels. And the festivities end on Sunday 25th with Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp and Bauhaus. It may be best to adopt a kind of Wizard of Oz attitude on this night. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home..." as The Marquis De Sade gets all contemplative. The crowd will look like the night sky. All black and sparkles, which will probably be very confusing for airline pilots.
Leeds on the other hand only get two nights "Best Of", but they do get The Who. Bastards.
Tickets go on sale Friday but anyone who wants to register should be able to get pre-sale tickets from tomorrow through these people.