OK festival lovers, Glastonbury is not on, boo hoo, The Isle of Wight was cursed with biblical flooding and Calcutta-style traffic jams.
The likes of V Festival and Reading and Leeds are essentially a giant three-day advert for watered-down, over priced beer.
It’s all getting a bit repetitive isn’t it? Bad weather...bad beer....bad traffic...more bad weather...some more bad beer...a £200 ticket... some more bad beer...and rain...and traffic.
I wonder if this could be the year that the ‘Super Festivals’ finally get toppled by the ease, simplicity and sheer variety of the smaller boutique festivals?
Move over fatties, the meek shall inherit the Earth, small is the new big, less is more.
If this weekend’s events at The Beat-Herder are anything to go by then I would say the answer to my question should be a resounding ‘yes’!
Set in the splendour of Lancashire’s Ribble Valley, The Beat-Herder has been a mainstay for fans of cutting edge dance music for some time.
But now, as it enters it seventh year, the variety of acts and styles of music on offer has increased along with its reputation.
So what’s in store for those brave souls dusting down their waterproofs for a summer weekend in Lancashire?
Those seeking big names need look no further than the Main Stage as iconic rave stalwarts Orbital are joined by the likes of The Whip and the irrepressible Death In Vegas.
For two tone fans there is a much anticipated set from The Beat, and wrapping things up on Sunday evening is the legendary Lee Scratch Perry preceding the new Dutch mischief makers Kraak and Smaak.
For those with good stamina there is a non-stop dance explosion on the Toil Trees stage with early sets from the much hyped Karma Kanic and Mr Scruff with Utah Saints and Eddie Temple Morris taking care of the business end of things.
Tired of dancing? Then go blundering! There’s a weird and wonderful array of goings on around the site from the Smoky Tentacles Shisha Lounge, (playing host to the outrageously good Smerins Anti Social Club) and the Rejazzle Comedy tent where you can see the UK’s up and coming talent before they start shipping their money off to Jersey (sorry Jimmy!).
For the kids, the families and the inner-hippy in all of us there’s an excellent range of ‘Green’ activities.
One particular group to watch out for are Envirolution, a Chorlton-based group that provide free art workshops with an environmental edge.
Excellent fun for all and the infectious enthusiasm of this charming collective will stay with you and leave you healing the world in your own little way.
Couple all of the above with the relaxed atmosphere and the peaceful vibe and you’ve got festival heaven.
Bands to watch out for are the enchanting Ellen and the Escapades, Urban Empire (a Manchester-based four piece), the idiosyncratic Ivan Campo (again, from our fair city) and Brighton-based brass-backed Kitten and the Hip.
The latter boasts a lead singer so intoxicating it’s worth the ticket price alone just to stand in the same field as her!
If you’re going, enjoy! I’ll see you there.
If you’re not ponder on it next year when you’re trying to remortgage to get your Glastonbury ticket because its true what us men say...size isn’t everything!