Early ticket sales the key to Hop Farm Music Festival announcement

Early ticket sales the key to Hop Farm Music Festival announcement

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Tuesday, March 27 2012

Playing it safe will be the order of the day for this year's music festivals, underlined by today's announcement of the Hop Farm's line up this year.

Bob Dylan will headline for the second time at the event near Paddock Wood, with other headline sets coming from Peter Gabriel (and the New Blood Orchestra) and Suede.

Fair play - all three are UK festival exclusive shows, with a fourth exclusive over the three-day event coming from Cannonball singer-songwriter Damien Rice.

And another good move from the organisers is the method of announcing all the big names now, rather than dragging out the process like last year, when Prince was sensationally announced as headliner of a third day just over two months before the festival.

Head honcho Vince Power must have one eye on making sure he gets decent ticket sales in the bag as the inevitably momumental summer of 2012 arrives.

The London Olympic Games, Euro 2012 and Diamond Jubilee are all set to divert public attention - and cash - away from annual events this year.

This is not withstanding the money people have already spent on Sport Relief, Titanic's 100th anniversary and Charles Dickens' bicentenary among other things.

To be fair, it was always going to be difficult to top last year's bill - the Eagles and Morrissey topped off with two and a half hours of the incomparable Prince was always going to be something of a one off.

That is not to say anyone is outrageously disappointed with this year's line up. As well as Dylan, pictured above at Hop Farm in 2010, there will be Primal Scream, Billy Ocean, Patti Smith (a favourite of mine from last year) and Joan Armatrading. These are all acts with top music pedigree.

In its bid to put on real music for proper music fans, the Hop Farm has not forgotten the younger generation too, with Slow Club, Tom Vek, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Maximo Park all certain to ensure the weekend is not a complete senior-fest.

It made good business sense to secure Dylan, Gabriel and Suede for this year, who will all bring hugely loyal and hugely huge followings to the Hop Farm. They will all spend their money at the soonest possible opportunity to make sure they can see their heroes in their only festival show on these shores this year.

Crucially they will all spend their money before they realise what they will need to fork out for a burger inside the Olympic stadium, a plane ticket to Ukraine or a buffet for their jubilee street party.

Of course, some quarters will cry that this chat flies in the face of what has happened with Kent's other notable music festival, Lounge On The Farm, which is still to announce its final headliner.

Yet I am sure we won't have to wait too long before we find out who will be joining Emili Sande and the Charlatans as bill toppers at Merton Farm, Canterbury.

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Categories: Celebrities | Entertainment | music | Showbiz

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The What's On blog, with Chris Price

Want to know what’s on in the music industry in Kent? Want to know what’s on in your local theatres? Want to know what’s really going on with the stars coming to the county who speak to the KM Group’s What’s On supplement every week? This is the place to find out. From last minute shows to views on all the entertainment stuff going on in the county, this is the place to find out the real picture with exclusive images, reviews and all the juicy bits of A-list gossip that didn’t make it into the paper. Follow Chris on Twitter: @thechrisprice.

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