StubHub asked me for a review of the BST event in Hyde Park on Sunday 21st June. So I’m repeating it here.
On arrival, I settled down to an early picnic lunch outside in the park, with the unexpected bonus of Kylie’s soundcheck for an accompaniment. I got in nice and early and began by checking out the atmosphere and facilities offered by the BST Summer Garden and took in the view from the Terrace Grandstand.
I then went for a walk around the arena, enjoyed a delicious ice cream in the sunshine and encountered the StubHub team, who gave me a free pair of sunglasses (thank you!) and did my #festivalselfie (I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some O2 tickets, ).
Having done a full circuit of the arena, I got back to the great oak stage in time to catch Years & Years, and found my dancing feet for the first time that day toward the end of their set, also getting a first glimpse of Kylie at the side of the stage and clearly enjoying herself. Mika came on next and though I must admit to not having been a fan particularly, he put on an energetic set filled with positive energy and got me dancing again.
Chic with Nile Rodgers took the day to a new level. The funk guitar master showcased his song writing prowess with a string of hits written for Diana Ross and David Bowie among others, as well as all the Chic standards. The set finale included a stage invasion by a host of guests including The Edge and Sam Smith. I danced throughout.
Then came Grace Jones. Statuesque, cloaked, gold masked, awesome. She quickly became topless, wearing only a sheer corset and body paint and progressed imperiously through her back catalogue, finishing with her hula hoop assisted ‘Slave to the Rhythm’. In between periods of mesmerisation, I danced.
Kylie appeared wearing a crown and an apparently ermine trimmed cape and worked her way through her greatest hits. Giant disco balls descended. I danced, even though by the start of her set I doubted I could stay on my by now aching feet and legs much longer. From Kylie’s statement that “I’ve already sung and danced far too much today, I just couldn’t help myself” I gathered that she must be feeling as whacked as I was, and if she could still perform, so could I.
My ticket was for the Terrace Grandstand, though I spent little time there and was in the Premium standing area in front of the stage for all the performances. It was a worthwhile investment though, as it gave access to much more pleasant toilet facilities (though even these were showing the strain by the end) and, had it rained, I’d have had somewhere dry to watch from. My only quibbles would be that it wasn’t clear in advance that the Terrace was divided down the middle, with the better viewing side being reserved for celebrity guests (I peered over a few times, but recognised nobody, and Kylie mentioned toward the end, that her parents were in there) and I noticed that those who held Garden tickets had nice snazzy woven wristbands, while those of us with Terrace tickets (which were significantly more expensive than the Garden ones) had to make do with scratchy green plastic ones that needed cutting off afterwards.
All in all a fantastic day though and one that will stay with me a long time.