High hopes for Hop Farm
by Chris Hunter
The Rolling Stones, Bruce
Springsteen and U2...?
With organisers remaining
tight-lipped we can speculate over fantasy line-ups to our hearts’
content, but one thing is sure - Kent’s biggest music festival will
A Hop Farm spokesman this
week confirmed an announcement on this year’s line up was
"imminent" but could add no more.
The news follows a tweet last
week on the show’s official Twitter account which read: "To all our
loyal loving farmers out there – Hop Farm Festival 2013 is 100%
happening! Who’s hopping down to Kent then?"
That message was later
removed – now attributed to an "over-keen intern" – but insiders
are nevertheless equally confident that the show will go
Punters have shown
confidence, with all Early Bird weekend tickets already sold out,
despite no acts being announced yet.
It’s some turnaround since
last year when speculation was rife that the last notes of Suede’s
Still Life – which brought the 2012 festival to a close – would be
the last ever heard at the now famous Paddock Wood
Shares in Music Festivals
Group, which is run by music impresario Vince Power, were suspended
last September, with a wet summer and an overcrowded festival
market reportedly to blame for the group’s dwindling stockmarket
Headlined by Bob Dylan, the
2012 festival was not a sell-out, despite the nation’s main outdoor
music event, Glastonbury, taking the summer off.
High ticket prices during the
economic downturn are also thought to have hit attendances, with a
three-day pass for the Hop Farm costing about £150, although last
year’s event, which included a festival debut by Sir Bruce Forsyth,
attracted up to 30,000 visitors each day.
But there’s every reason to remain positive about this
year’s festival. 2013 could be make or break for the show, and
Vince Power has an uncanny ability to coax the world’s biggest
superstars onto his stages.
Previous headliners including
Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Prince, which means there’s no
reason not to get excited about this year’s potential big
The Rolling Stones – having
hinted at a 2013 tour and already linked to Glastonbury – would
guarantee a sell-out crowd, but are funds available to bring the
Dartford boys back to their Kent homeland?
Bruce Springsteen, who will be
touring in Europe at the time of the festival, would complete a
neat a trilogy of American rock greats at the Hop Farm following
Bob Dylan in 2010 and 2012, and Neil Young in 2008.
The thought of Oasis on the headline stage is a
speculative step too far – but fellow Manchester legends The Stone
Roses are touring this year. Could they be coaxed down to
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