REVIEW: Chester Rocks 2011 – Saturday

Chester Rocks the new two day music festival at the world famous Chester Racecourse promised great things with a variety of acts performing over two days. There were entertainers, a fairground and other tents around the race course to entertain all. Saira Kewley reviews

Split over two days the Saturday was very pop orientated while Sunday was a rockier affair with older acts such as Iggy Pop and the Australian Pink Floyd on the bill. There were people with deck chairs and others just sitting on the grass having a great time. It didn’t matter how far away from the stage you were you still had a great view. There was a massive screen on the stage so everything was visible for the audience.

McFly dominated the day with fans camping outside the night before to make sure they were at the front for their idols. When Tom, Harry and Dougie did take to the stage the screams from the girls could have been heard across the city and they didn’t disappoint those hardcore supporters.

The Sugababes, all in little black dresses  performed a set of well known songs that the crowd loved and the girls were clearly having a great time, especially Heidi who treated the show as a homecoming gig. The nation’s new pop princess Eliza Doolittle totally owned the stage, she was walking around and getting the crowd hyped up throughout her set. Saturday headliner Taio Cruz lived up to his billing as one of the best UK R&B acts of the moment setting the racecourse alight with singles ‘Dynamite’ and ‘Break Your Heart’ the pick.

There was also another stage in the Pavilion, sponsored by Dawsons, where a selection of unsigned acts got their chance to perform. While most had an Indie Rock feel, artists like local girl Laura Critchley (Elsie) and Chester’s girl band Indigo City kept the pop fans happy. The highlight of the day though was The Kevin Critchley Outfit whose Celtic influenced folk rocked those who stayed at the Alternative stage. The room was a decent size and for the first few acts was totally packed out. But as the day progressed and the bigger names came on to the main stage numbers unfortunately dropped away.

There were a lot of children in attendance for the ‘Pop’ day and they were well catered for with stalls and the funfair. For the bigger kids a bungee ball that kept flying up and down with the bravest people in the crowd, which the artists on stage kept commenting on. We had a go on a ride that spins you round and round and we had to “scream if we wanted to go faster!” which my daughter really enjoyed, even though I thought it may have been a bit too big for her.

Cracking weather, a safe family environment and great pop acts. A perfect family day out

Photos: Andrew Roberts


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