The rain fell and it fell and it fell on Brisfest on Sunday, with the Ashton Court site seeming noticeably quieter as many people stayed away. This, however, did mean that getting to the bars took much quicker than on Saturday, which had resulted in quite a bit of grumbling and anecdotal evidence of queues of up to an hour to get a drink.
Drink is always best with food, and Brisfest was well served by some well-known Bristol eateries in festival form, including Pieminister, Thali Cafe, Biblos and The Burger Joint.
Food, drink, friends and music. Those are four of the best things about festivals. Drugs is a fifth for many and Brisfest seemed to be well-stocked, with several acts from the stage on Sunday not shy about encouraging their audience to smoke weed, especially the DJ from De La Soul and Dynamite MC performing with Roni Size.
Bizarrely, while not advocating the virtues of illegal substances, the De La Soul DJ also congratulated anyone who drinks grapefruit juice. Unless that’s a reference to something else that went over my head.
One of the only downsides of festivals is acts clashing, and so it was yesterday that De La Soul took to the main stage only a few minutes before Roni Size took to the Weapon of Choice stage.
My own choice was to see the Bristol drum and bass pioneer perform to a home crowd. It was stirring stuff, as Size treated his audience to a set comprising old dance favourites alongside more surprising tracks such as Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes and Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana.
Hawkwind had earlier come on the main stage as the rain once again started to fall, but the crowds and the flaming lampposts were still persisting. Their act hasn’t changed for years, and it was like going back in time with two dancers straight from Pan’s People, excessive use of echo and psychedelic visuals.
Nearby, China Shop Bull were splitting the Bristop in two and then encouraging each half to come together and hug. Singing about drinking whisky for breakfast, they were lots of fun, like a cross between Madness and the Beastie Boys.
Sunday saw the arrival of the Factory Studios stage, compered by a very well-spoken man in red trousers. The Other Tribe impressed with a red Indian theme, before on my way from De La Soul to Roni Size I saw a glimpse of Dr Meaker doing what they do best, mixing brass with bass in their own inimitable style.
The rain may have stopped a repeat of the astonishing Lords of Lightning on Sunday (a handwritten sign where they due to perform said, “Electricity + Rain = Death”), but it didn’t stop the revellers at Brisfest 2012 at Ashton Court.