Yes folks, it’s about that time: yesterday the Lowlands schedule was ennounced!! There is a certain routine that coincides with Timetable Day: I get up earlier than usual (a feat in itself as anyone who knows me will confirm), get the newspaper, resist the overwhelming urge to spread it out on the floor right in the newsagent’s, cycle to work, grab a cappuccino on my way up to my office, grab a pen, sit down and open the paper.

There’s a strange process that follows. On the one hand I want to devour the paper and absorb every detail immediately, but then I also wince and look away when at a glance I already see beloved band names programmed simultaneously… Well, there’s no time for denial, time to grab that pen and start circling!

Friday

 

Things start out well, seems I’ll be able to start the festival off in the humongous Alpha with some upbeat Pigeon Detectives and Presidents of the USA, then sidestep for the more melancholy The National, wander over to Bravo for some quality Dutch hiphop courtesy of Pete Philly & Perquisite and then see if Amy Macdonald will deliver. After this it gets more exciting, time to get some moves going with Hot Chip, I’ll skip The Ting Tings as I’m pretty sure the vocals will disappoint.

Next up I’m curious to see what raucous rock Cage The Elephant are going to serve up all the way over in the Charlie tent, but afterwards I’m faced with my first big dilemma: The Kooks (reliable good times) vs. Santogold (slightly more unpredictable, possibly more exciting?)… And then there’s another one: looks like I’ll have to skip the magic that is The Flaming Lips AND the new boys in town Late Of The Pier in order to get anywhere near Roisin Murphy, considering she’ll have the Bravo tent packed I’d say. Poor Anouk doesn’t even get a look in, despite the fact I like her new stuff. After that: free sailing, bit of Junkie XL to see if he’s still relevant, maybe catch a movie.

All in all not too bad, no severe casualties, just some cuts and grazes.

Saturday

Good god, what were these people thinking?? How can I be expected to be up, active and on terrain at 11:30 in the bleedin mornin???? Dear sweet lovely Ane Brun, I would like to let you know I would love to see you perform and you have been officially circled on my timetable, however… I have a feeling our paths might not cross that particular morning. Now Laura Marling on the other hands, with her 2 o’clock programming, she stands a much better chance! So I get a gentle female voice to wake me up after all, good news.

Then it’s time for some seriously funky stuff: De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig! Dat vind je leuk he? But now comes one of the crappiest choices of the timetable so far: Blood Red Shoes vs. N*E*R*D. In all honesty it was a quick decision: Blood Red Shoes are simply a must see for me as I’ve missed their performances in Holland so far and I saw N*E*R*D at Rock Werchter a few years ago. But still, I was so looking forward to screaming All the girls standing in the line for the bathroom!!!

Slightly less painful, but still, I’ll be skipping Kraak & Smaak and Tunng in order to go to one of my Top Five Acts To Look Forward To: Los Campesinos! If I run real fast I might be able to make it a cross the terrain to catch a full Foals set. Then, sadly, another case of Sophie’s choice. What to do? Go for the therapeutic wonderfully warm sounds of Iron And Wine, Le Le‘s absolutely addictive beats and nonsense lyrics I can’t get enough of (listen to Kickstart Le Brommer one and all!) or, the most likely scenario, succumb to the Alpha tent pressure once on Saturday to get my fill of trusty Take Me Out jumpabouts and delectable new snacks from those self proclaimed highland discopunkers Franz Ferdinand? Decisions decisions…

Then a final toss up: cringe at the sight of The Sex Pistols clinging onto former glory or go for more reliable British Power Pop, British Sea Power style? Well none of this really matters considering it’s all leading up to my second must see of the day: Does It Offend You, Yeah? Thankfully not double booked with anything even remotely on the same level of interesting as far as I’m concerned. Already excited at the thought of We Are Rockstars kicking off!

So Saturday’s quite a tough day as far as timetable tension is concerned. Cloning required.

Sunday

Then the last festival day comes around, it must be getting easier by now right? Well, not much. Straight away I’m off to a crap start: having to choose between We Are Scientists and Lykke Li to start the day. In all likelihood Lykke Li will win as I’m currently addicted to I’m Good, I’m Gone, but who’ll say. Then, after a spot of lunch (breakfast more like) it’s time to bounce around the Alpha tent with Gogol Bordello! The gypsy frenzy is overshadowed by the fact I also really wanted to check out Yeasayer who share their timeslot, as well as Jamie Lidell.  But Jamie I got to see at Westerpark last year and I’m not missing Gogol again. Luckily Get Well Soon are playing right after and right next door to Gogol, so I’ll stick my head aroud the Charlie tent for a bit too.

Moving swiftly on we hit our next fork in the road: rock out with The Hives or join the wacky weirdness of MGMT? I’m putting my money on the latter as I expect Time To Pretend is going to be the ultimate festival anthem this year and I want to be there. Plus they’re booked in the much smaller India tent which should make for a great gig. Sadly it looks like I’ll have to miss Elbow serving up their cocktail called Grounds For Divorce in order to run all the way to Charlie for Black Kids, even though they aren’t going to teach my boyfriend how to dance with me.

Now we’re getting on in the day and the festival is coming to an end. Personally I’m looking forward to dEUS most on Sunday night. Can’t wait to hear their new stuff live, the cd is very promising. Finishing off the festival in the Grolsch tent will be Sigur Ros. To this day I haven’t been won over by their ethereal Hopelandishness, but I might pop in for a look as so many people insist “you’ll love it!”. The official Alpha tent closing act this year is Editors, not bad, but they don’t get my knickers in a twist either. I’m sure they’re larger than life epic songs will be goosebump inducing and very suitable for closing though. But I might slip away to catch The Dresden Dolls doing their thing in the India in stead…

Well there we have it, another musical minefield of a timetable. Each year I hear people saying ” Oh the best part is just walking around and stumbling into a tent to find something amazing!”. Well, I don’t buy it. Sure, you migh spend three days walking around and coincidentally bump into Los Campesinos! and have a ball, but I can’t be bothered bumping into a truck load of hard core metal new rave crap first. Military style planning is the only way to go!

[Watch this space to see how much of this rediculously ambitious schedule is actually put into practice. I didn’t really take into account the occasional stop for food & beverages might be necessary. And social interaction with your festival mates is way overrated anyway, right?…]

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