Gibraltar Music Festival 2013 Lawson by InfoGibraltar is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

I want to start this by saying that music is objective. My opinion won’t necessarily reflect that of other people, and if people deem my opinion wrong then that’s okay, it’s just a personal perspective.

So with that said, I would like to say that what I’m looking forward to most about GMF (I’m not typing MTV Presents Gibraltar Calling Festival 2017 continuously, I’ll just do what it is still known as locally, rather than offer MTV more needless publicity), is that I can take my son to the play area in the Leisure Centre, knowing that it will be a lot quieter than it usually would be on a Saturday afternoon. That is my main positive of this weekend.

It would be nice to say that the moving of the Bank Holiday has been a positive either, whereas last year it was a benefit with National Day falling on a Saturday, I don’t think I’d be alone in saying that I’d much rather have Monday 11th September off as a recovery period from National Day.

Personally, I won’t be going, and if Facebook sales groups are anything to go by there are a lot of people who are trying to get their money back as quickly as possible.

I’ve been on the website, and for each type of tickets option there is, you can buy up to 50 tickets per purchase. VIP, General, General Single Day, and Single Day VIP, the only option which seems to have sold out is VVIP Private Boxes. VVIP Private Boxes you’d naturally have been corporate purchases. With only 4 days before the event starts, it appears that sales aren’t going as planned.

I remember in 2015, when it was a struggle to get a day ticket, let alone a weekend ticket, and that was weeks in advance.

Since then, in my opinion, the line up has taken a dip in form, and not a minor dip, and full blown nose dive. Kings of Leon and Duran Duran set a standard, and you would have assumed that would be the benchmark going forward.

Kings of Leon are a massive band. I went to Mad Cool Festival in Madrid this summer, and they headlined alongside Foo Fighters, and Green Day, which isn’t small company, and the crowd was absolutely packed to see them.

So why not toe that line again, get in a superstar. Superstars sell, people will buy weekend tickets once general tickets have sold out to see one great artist. Tickets for bands like Kasabian, Adele, Ed Sheeran, go for about £50+ at face value, and hundreds of fans would pay the double the price to see artists they really love.

From my own perspective, the headline is the main selling point. For example if an announcement came out, and Radiohead were announced, but all the day tickets sold out instantly, and all that was left was a 2 day pass for £99, I’d take it up in a heartbeat. But who in this years line up makes that sale.

Ricky Martin may have a massive Latin fanbase, but to be honest, his relevance is minimal. He isn’t going to headline much outside of Latin Music Festivals. To me it seems like a desperate attempt to try and offload tickets over the border because what’s been put on offer so far has failed to hit the mark.

Craig David does have a current appeal, with his recent career revival, being back in the charts, he is a draw, definitely questionable as a headliner rather than the warm up, and Steve Aoki, and Fatboy Slim, are solid closers. The only thing I find strange is that on the ticket information on site, it says the doors close at 11.55.

Didn’t 2015 go on until the early hours? Would you not draw a bigger crowd moving the main DJs to the second stage and saying they’ll be on until 2/3 in the morning?

Even the second stage, the “Legends” stage comes across as extremely weak. 2015 there was Madness, actual legends. Professionals. You know you’re going to get a solid set, even if you don’t know their backlog by name, you’ll know them by sound.

I suppose Banarama have a similarity in a lot of their songs are recognisable, but my mum watched them not too long ago, and only 2 of them performed to a backing track, which is essentially karaoke. The Village People probably envisaged their advertising campaign for YOPA as their best business in recent times, but being offered a headline slot, I bet they were chomping at the bit to take that up.

The Sunday is arguably a lot stronger than the Saturday, but still feels a bit lacking.

For those of you choosing to miss out, and have the money aside, why not avoid disappointment next year and look further afield.

I’ve listed a few solid festivals which cost around the same price, and where you’re almost certain to get your monies worth.

NOS Primavera Sound – Porto 7th – 9th June Cost: €105

FIB Benicassim – Benicassim 19th – 22nd July Cost: €99

Mad Cool Festival – Madrid Dates TBC – €130

NOS Alive – Lisbon 12th – 14th July Cost: TBC (From personal experience it’s never much higher than €130 for the weekend)

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