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Lost Weekend

international news _ 5th June, 2006

Lost Vagueness' (Non) Raving Madness

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Lost Vagueness production chief Leila Jones chatted to Skrufff this week about the alternative festival's upcoming event and revealed that this year's musical line-up is deliberately skewed towards live bands rather than DJs and club culture.

"The whole dance music scene is something that we like to stay away from because that's catered for by other festivals. What we prefer to do is mainly programme bands," she said, "We do have DJs but they'll be playing rock & roll or northern soul rather than dance music,"

Lost Vagueness sprung to prominence in 2000 as an alternative space within Glastonbury Festival offering burlesque entertainment, casino style gambling and fancy dress fun and this year takes places as a stand alone 10,000 capacity party in the grounds of Powderham Castle (over the same weekend, June 23-25-that Glastonbury usually happens). While previous star attractions have included Fatboy Slim and the Scissor Sisters, this year's headliners are the New York Dolls and Julian Cope, in keeping with their non-dance ethos.

"We prefer to have different kinds of music and to move away from that whole dance tent feel of an event," she added, "Though having said that dance music usually ends up being catered for at 4am somewhere because that's ultimately what people like- but we do like to present them with other options as well."

Lost Vagueness emerged from the counter-culture traveller community that used to flock to Glastonbury in their tens of thousands during the 90s, to rave at parallel free parties that would run for days in the car parks outside the festival's perimeter. Welcomed inside by Glastonbury chief Michael Eavis as anti-traveller/ raver security clampdowns grew ever stricter, the collective have gone on to host spaces at Lovebox and Godskitchen Festivals, along the way being forced to be pragmatic, said Leila.

"The political message has been diluted heavily, I think for everyone, we've all changed and our needs have changed and for Lost Vagueness to survive, we need to make money essentially, although the message is still there - you just have to look through the feathers and glitter," she said.

"We've had to legitimise what we do and make it more accessible to mainstream audiences, which has definitely taken a political edge off it. The event's needed to become more palatable. The audiences are also so varied now and many of them won't even remember the early free party days."

She stressed however, that Lost Weekend remains firmly focused for alternative types, rather than the curious, particularly with Glastonbury's predominantly mainstream audiences not camped next door.

"We tend to attract people more from the leftfield crowd and at our own parties, the vibe feels very different," she said.

"The people who come are more like us; they're probably slightly older, and more into the anti-mainstream thing whereas at Glastonbury there are a lot more spectators."

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