Home   Kent   News   Article

Big Weekend - the party's started

The day began early for some Big Weekenders - one Madonna fan arrived at 1am - to get a first place in the queue.

Their patience was rewarded with an impromptu set from Scouting for Girls who played an acoustic version of "She's so Lovely" to the waiting crowd.

They said they felt a bit daunted when thousands of people started stampeding towards them as soon as the gates opened to Mote Park, Maidstone.

Radio 1 DJs Chris Moyles, Vernon Kay and a heavily-pregnant Edith Bowman also chatted to the crowd.

Edith said: "This is the environment the baby is going to be around most of it's life so I thought it was a good idea to introduce it to the places it's going to grow up in."

Her partner, lead singer Tom Smith from the Editors, is playing Sunday.

At midday, the gates opened and the rush began to bag the best spots.

On the main stage, Usher got things started to a cheering crowd (former Maidstone Mayor Mike FitzGerald was spotted wandering around trying to find a spot).

Things went pretty well until the end when Usher did a shout out for Manchester.

Bemused faces all round.

On the INMWT stage The Ting Tings played an energetic set.

Maidstone band It Hugs Back opened the Introducing Stage.

Vernon Kay, who broadcast his morning show live from Mote Park, said he reckoned it was the best line-up Radio 1 had ever had and was impressed with the venue.

He said: "It's brilliant, what a great venue. I like the fact that it's actually a park and there are swings and slides and a children's roundabout."

Those lucky enough to be in the guest area early on were treated to a performance by The Hoosiers. They played the main stage at 2.45pm.

Lead singer Irwin described Maidstone as "England's best kept secret".

He said: "It's very hot. I didn't know that Maidstone was tropical."

The heat was getting to some. By 3pm, nine people had fainted in the heat.

Organisers warned those coming later on Saturday and Sunday to bring water and sunscreen. There are standpipes in the arena for people to top up their water bottles.

There's also plenty of drink stalls and ice cream vans for people to buy something to cool down.

And if you're looking for something else to spend your money on, there's stalls selling hats, sandals, wellingtons and even leg warmers.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More