London · Music

British Summer Time (BST) Festival at Hyde Park

This year seems to be my summer of 1 day London festivals. It started in the beginning of June with Field Day. Next up for me was British Summer Time Festival which takes place over the course of 10 days at Hyde Park. I’d been 2 times last year to see McBusted (full post here) and Arcade Fire. This year they had a special offer on selected dates where you could get tickets for 2 of the days at a special price. First up was The Strokes!

Bulmers had their own little cider garden in the corner with colourful sheds that really caught our eye. So, we went over to explore! Each of the sheds had a different game or activity to do. Shed number 1 was mini golf. Ash was far better at this than me! We skipped the second shed as there was a big queue (but keep reading as we visited it a few days later!), so it was straight to the 3rd which had a massive tiny disco inside! It was literally a mirrored room with UV lights, disco ball and club music pumping out of the speakers. Of course we decided to ‘ave it large in there! The next shed contained a karaoke booth, complete with fancy dress items, but again a big queue for that one too! The 5th and final shed was our favourite – a ball pit!! This one was lots of fun with a prize at the end for those successful to complete it. Within the ball filled pit were 7 balls each containing one of the letters to spell out BULMERS. We had 2 minutes to find them all, and we only ruddy done it!! Our prize was some bright yellow sunglasses – how very fetching.
After a spot of grub, we headed to the main stage to catch Beck’s set. BST have a new layout with an inner circle bit around the main stage which they shut off when it gets to full capacity. It wasn’t quite full when Beck came on so we managed to get a pretty good view. Halfway through I left Ash happily bopping along whilst I popped to the loo and then grabbed a Bad Brownie (actually extremely good, don’t let the name mislead you!).
Ash came to find me at the front of the growing crowd for Temples on the Barclaycard Stage stage, who were pretty amazing and probably my favourite act of the day! Once they had finished we headed towards the bar to grab some drinks before the main act hit the stage!
By the time The Strokes were about to come on, the inner circle had reached capacity, so we had to find a spot a bit further out from the stage. The thing with these big gigs at Hyde Park is that the sound is restricted due to complaints from previous years. The speakers sounded quite muffled from halfway down the park so I didn’t feel as into it and I would’ve been had the music been louder past the middle barrier. It’s a shame because it looked like an amazing set from the lights and the crowd dancing around, but it was let down by the low music levels.
My second visit to BST Festival was a bit more successful, even with the downpour…
Amy accompanied me to see Blur headline Hyde Park. As soon as we made it through the gates, I took her straight over to the Bulmers cider garden where we got our hair did in funky coloured chalks in shed 2, raved it up with UV face paint in the tiny big disco in shed 3, before finishing in my favourite, the ball pit! I was well prepared for this one, so we got stuck straight in and managed to find all but one (though one that we did find got knocked back in, but we found it again!), but the guy running this particular shed still gave us the prize as he said we were so funny.
We took a wander around the site and caught our first band of the day, Sugarmen. In the crowd, I’d spotted a guy wearing a rucksack with ‘Kipling’ written across it, so thought I’d crack a cake joke. Turns out Pieter was from Belgium so didn’t get my joke, AT ALL. Nonetheless, we ended up making friends and he joined us over the course of the rest of the day. It was time for some food, and by food, I clearly mean Krispy Kreme doughnuts! They do an amazing Biscoff one which was bloody deeeeelish!

Next, it was off to the Barclaycard stage to see Kitty, Daisy and Lewis. I’m a bit of a fan, hence the tee, so was not put off when it started to pour down with rain. I love watching this talented family. I wish they’d adopt me, though I have no musical talent…  We managed to catch bits of Metric and The Horrors’ sets before claiming our place in the ever growing crowd for Blur. There was a much better atmosphere for Blur in the middle of the crowd compared to The Strokes just 2 days before. They played a blinding set which included all their most loved songs that had everyone singing along to, plus some fresh tunes from the new album.

BST is a firm festival favourite of mine as there is so much more than music to be discovered. Plus, I can hop back on the tube home for a shower!

Did anyone else managed to catch one of the days at BST? Who did you see?


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