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Friday 25 June 2010

Glastonbury, the BBC & TV coverage.

Well, it's that time of year again.
The Glastonbury Festival has just kicked off at Worthy Farm down in Somerset & it finally feels as if the Summer is really here at last. So much so that it's not even raining!
As usual, the Glastonbury Festival is being covered extensively by many media outlets. But, especially by the BBC. I'm just sitting here wondering what that coverage will be like this year. The BBC probably has more ways of trying to cover the festival than anyone else. But, it's how they use them that interests me the most.
Like the vast majority of people, my way of accessing & hearing the music is usually via a TV screen. Yes, i could listen to the radion, or use the Internet. But, i always seem to go back to the good old TV. After all what i really want to see are great bands playing music & the best way of trying to get a little bit of the whole atmosphere of a festival is visually. Radio just doesn't, in this case anyway, do quite the same job here.
This all sounds great & quite often it is. But, i usually end up getting very, very frustrated watching the TV coverage of Glastonbury & more often than not, i end up shoutng at the screen.
Why is this? Well, as i said, what i want is to watch great bands, playing some great music. But, what i so often get instead, are the presenters talking about themsleves & what they've been up to, who they've seen & who they've met. Rather than seeing the actual music being played.
So often, whilst a presenter is talking, you can hear your favourite band playing in the background. Either that, or you get a completely un-needed acoustic performance, played out in the BBCs own studio. Instead of a "proper" performance from one of the many stages at the festival.
Now, i'll admit that it's not just the BBC who are guilty of this. Recently ITV "covered" the Isle Of Wight Festival & made exactly the same mistakes. Although i didn't see very much of their coverage & you can probably guess why i didn't watch more. It was the same old problem. Presenters talking amongst & about themselves, whilst the music played on in the background.
For a music lover like me, this is so very frustrating. As with many big festivals, some of the biggest bands in the world are playing there & yet you get to hear so very little of it.
I know that there are restrictions, often placed by the bands themselves, on how much they will allow the BBC etc to show of their live performances. But, with 45 stages, at Glastonbury anyway, & hundreds of great bands playing. Surely there is no excuse for not concentraing on the music, instead of anything else?
I do realise that it is not possible to capture every single performance, by every single artist. But....
The BBC are making a very big thing about the amount of coverage they are giving to this years Glastonbury Festival. In fact, so much so, that they have been accused of effectively advertising the festival.
So, surely they have no excuse whatsoever for not producing the goods?
I'm hoping that this year will see a different attitude to the TV coverage & that we will see more of the actual music & less of all the other "stuff". And by "the actual  music", i don't mean that i only want to hear a band play their "hit" song & nothing else. We don't all have the attention span of a goldfish you know.
Anyway, rant over & here's hoping that i'm proved wrong & that i will have to eat my words, come Monday morning.
I'll not be holding my breath though.

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