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I head off for deepest darkest Hampshire for give described with all
sorts of hyperbole on the oh so pretty flyer.

1 Jun 2000

have had an interesting few days at different ends of the spectrum. had rising hopes about Homelands with my views to some degree influenced my memories of the Gathering and other outdoor style parties (Clearlight also coming to mind).


so it was with some excitement that i heaed off for deepest darkest Hampshire for give described with all sorts of hyperbole on the oh so pretty flyer. the trip there proved something of a battle, SE England could readily be described as overpopulated and come a long w/end everybody seems to hit the road in search of a bit of country - consequently you get gridlock which is about as far from the stress relieving countryside as you can get...oh well never mind - there's treats to come. we arrived near the site and found one distinct similarity to the Gathering - the queue to get in. after driving for about 2-3 hours we were now faced with a long painful queueing process, with our exasperation levels rising considerably due to the rather unBritish approach that many people took to queueing. oh well, we eventually made it into the parking area so expectation levels rose again...only to be slightly dampened by a sudden downpour. oh well, eventually we head off to the site.

the Homelands is located in a rather picturesque natural bowl which sounds good and i guess it is when the weathers great but a bowl also acts as a collection point for water when things aren't quite so sunny (more on that later). anyway the first thing that had me doing mental somersaults were the police pulling out the odd person which has me beginning to flip out in a not particularly healthy way (and this is before the substantial consumption of intoxicants). i guess it's kind of a inevitable outcome of the consent process that would have been imposed on the organisers, but party is without 'rugs would simply be not quite the same. anyway, someone is pulled out from the queue about 20 places ahead of me and with him goes the dog and with it surges a huge wave of relief through my system, now all i have to survive is the body search further on. feel a bit more confident about this as i haven't yet have a body searcher go through my crotch region and today is no exception. i do get a grilling about my bananas and the empty paracetamol packets, but am eventually let through.

Signs of recent rainfall are beginning to show with the bowl coming into its own as a water collection device with the crowd slowly being turned into a quagmire. this initially meant it was rather slippery, but as the water levels grew deeper your feet seemed to gain tractin as they sunk further and further into the mud. anyway, on arrival i caught up with some friends and went and saw the final 15 minutes of Moby - there were more than a few dissappointed faces at his early stage time and he did have one of the more
exciting stage presences. oh well, from there trawling through the different tents through to the jungle tents to see Ed Rush and Optical.

now i remember the odd person complaining about the Gathering going a bit commercial when they had sponsorship from Red Bull back in 1997/1998 (the last Gathering i went to) but this was on a totally different scale. would really love to know what the funding breakdown (tickets vs sponsorship) of it was because the sponsors were obviously getting a lot of visibility for their money and in some cases (notably Budwesier) getting a monopoly on the distribution of their product. the other thing i didn't like was the way
that the gig failed to clearly publicise the times that the various acts were on, choosing instead to flog listings at £3 quid a pop with a necklace emblazoned with all the sponsors logos...welcome to CORPORATE CLUBBING (was kind of wierd seeing PE ranting on about 'fight the power' in the Ericsson
Home Arena).

oh well, caught some of Rush and Optical but got restless pretty quickly so find myself setting out on a wander....a mistake of sorts. this is not like the Gathering where you can count on running into some acquaintances in every zone, with a crowd estimated at 40,000 people. ultimately meant that i caught mere snatches of time with people.

acts that i caught and were impressed with were Public Enemy, Reprezent (cool to see the full cru in effect), Andy C with Die Krust and Dynamite at the end of the night probably being the highlight (Full Cycle team have the wicked stage presence), given by that stage i had my head in order and some headz to hang out with. up until then it had been largely a case of wandering around aimlessly through the huge puddle that seemed to cover the whole site (including inside the majority of tents) falling upon indifferent music (unfortunately there's an awful lot of shite with music going nowhere). would love to have seen more leftfield and down beat - but hey...

anyway the whole show wrapped up at 6 but i was still charging which was a bit of a pity. a bit of waiting aorund then the journey home. watched Fight Club that night which is worth a view. had an interesting talk with Paul about. guess its one of those films that can ultimately be read different ways, but i'd hardly see it as a radical piece.

anyway the shit hits the fan for me the next day. i take a mouthful of milk which is past its best buy date and at that stage my stomach decides to turn on me and for the next 48 hours i'm unable to hold down any food, with me seeing little other than my bedroom and the bottom of a toilet bowl...guess that'll teach me to be up all night shaken my booty.

all in all an okay time, but a reminder that scale ain't all important with the night's experience not beating some of the smaller parties i've been to were i've been surrounded by friends...oh well

best be off as dinner to cook and washing to do (mud soaked clothing still hasn't had any attention)