Turning Point Festival is especially great if you have a need to be made acutely aware of your own mortality. Never has the relentless march to the grave seemed so concrete as when stood on a balcony surrounded by midriff-baring teenagers.
Teenagers, by the way, come in four flavours at the moment, and if you are about as hip to their culture as we are you might need a little recap: there are the ones who gyrate awkwardly to reggae; one’s dressed head-to-shelltoe in unfeasibly immaculate sportswear; bedraggled hecklers who describe themselves as “high-caffeine rockers” and hormonal anomalies with lustrous moustaches. They are all terrifying, but in the spirit of Turning Point Festival, assembled and curated by under-25s and squarely aimed at the 13-18 age-bracket, they are all wonderful and unique and the whole thing with the playing music on the bus is just a phase.
This manifests itself with slightly preachy speeches from the artists – from Professor Green to Ms. Dynamite – about just saying no and staying in school, met with teenager applause (roars of approval, one fist in the air) from the baying crowd, which, it being the Roundhouse, is lumped together in the middle of the main room, enclosed with a line of bewildered parents. The calibre of the acts were great, but the mass migration from the room when Rob Da Bank’s 10pm DJ set started was indicative of the bedtime of the majority of the audience over his quality.
Sweet, sweet refuge came in the form of the comedy tent, kitted out as some twisted hospital room, adorned with blood bags and syringes, and stocked with some stellar emerging comedy talent: Will Andrews, full of a sort of nervous energy and armed with a bagful of MP3-player assisted lines; James Acaster, who was superb at going off-road and got embroiled in an improvised gang- fight; Joey Page, who despite wearing a pork-pie hat was very likeable; and Colin Hoult, who did two character based sets and was absolutely hilarious. They were headlined by Milton Jones, who machine-gunned the audience with a series of rapid-fire gags, and was great.
Getting the bus home was a noisy affair, but otherwise the vibe – that is a teenager word we picked up – was really positive.
By Joel Golby