So, once again the sun shone on Chaos for 2015. And contrary to the name, everything ran to plan and a smooth weekend was had by all.
In fact in the words of long standing Chaos Photographer Andrew Le Poidevin,
“It only just struck me this year… after ten previous Festivals… that the Greenman ‘Chaos’ Bike & Music Festival couldn’t be worse-named! It definately doesn’t do what it says on the tin.
The reality is that all the ingredients are there to make Chaos a great Bikers Festival. There’s no shortage of bikes, beer, bands, camping and good fun. The one thing that is missing is any form of ‘Chaos’ or trouble.
When you consider how much beer is drunk (including by myself) this Festival couldn’t be more relaxed and friendly. This is a Festival that everyone should take a look at… it’s also a bargain for a weekend ticket 🙂 “
Kind words indeed from a man who has been at Chaos since the beginning. Chaos 11 was, if its possible, the most chilled out Chaos yet.
Chaos 11 was different to previous Chaos, in that there was a layout change to accommodate not having access to one of the main fields. However despite the worry that comes with making such drastic changes, by all accounts the new layout is even better! Slightly smaller in overall scale than Chaos 10, but improved for it. There was intimacy in restriction. Whereas previously if a lot of people went to one area, others felt deserted, now everywhere is close and you can always see whats going on. That’s not to say you couldn’t find your own little patch of bliss to watch the beautiful sunsets or sunrise, but you could always find some smiling faces around enjoying the experience with you.
If anything, The Peace Tent was the greatest benefactor of the changes in layout. Now the Peace Tent directly overlooks the Hanois Lighthouse, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The sunshine meant the Peace Tent became an indoor/outdoor space, with an entire wall removed and a garden area with seating opening up the whole experience.
That’s not to say that the Mainstage suffered. On the contrary top acts were complemented by an amazing clear sound and a world class lighting show. Local heroes such as Rob Hunter and Steve Lynch, who hadn’t played the Chaos mainstage for a few years while plying their trade further afield, were amazed at what we produce here now. From the professional sound engineers flown in, the lighting crew, the stage techs and the entire experience, is one of a far larger budget production. This belies the fact that 99% of the people involved are working on an entirely voluntary basis. Top touring bands are always amazed once they come as what we have to offer them in Guernsey. This experience is carried over to the audience. A full size stage with such a sound and light experience takes you right away from being in a field in Guernsey and feels more like a gig you would usually have to catch flights to see. A quick glance to an ice cold can of Guernsey’s favourite larger in your hand reminds you that instead of paying hundreds of pounds in flights and accommodation, then being ripped off at the bars for overpriced watery larger, you had in fact come through the gate for £20 including camping, and that lovely full sized can of proper larger was less than £3.
I will leave the reviews of the musical line up as they have already been well covered elsewhere but I will say that for a lineup in which EVERY BAND except 1 had Channel Islanders in the band, it was an amazing line-up. From blues through rock to metal and industrial with some folk, and the Recks in a genre all of their own, the Channel Islands are truly blessed with talent.
As always the reason for the party is twofold, so as well as all that music, there was a bike show. Local businesses have really stepped up to the plate and got behind this bike show now, with over £500 in cash prizes accompanying the Trophies, all categories were closely contested. Some very happy owners pretty much had their weekend paid for and proceeded to donate their prizemoney back over the bar.
Again the sunshine brought out the best of the tattoos in the islands, and with prizes of framed original artwork and free tattoo time donated by a top local artist to accompany the Chaos Trophies, a lot of ink was on display for the competition.
Huge thanks must go out to the many local companies that supplied goods and services to Chaos, often at vastly discounted rates to help the event happen. Of course thanks must go to all the musician who played the event, and to the huge number of people who give up their time and equipment for free to make this weekend great. Most of all, thanks must go to the people who came to Chaos, spent a little cash, had a little fun, and made memories that will last forever. Whether it be a mate from Australia who turned up unannounced and asked ‘Where can a bloke get a beer round here!” or the crazy Germans who had heard about Chaos through a mutual friend and rode accords Europe to see it, to the mad Dutch who drove all that way to party and entertain us, all of our friends from UK, and of course those from Jersey, Sark, Alderney, Herm and Guernsey who have supported us from the beginning. Thank You.
After paying all the bills, Chaos has even found a little left over to continue to support local Charities. Donations are being made this year on behalf of Chaos Events LBG to La Société Guernesiaise for helping preserve such a beautiful Island , St Johns Ambulance Guernsey for looking after us, and also to the Guernsey Paragliding Club to help fundraising to allow two local wheelchair bound lads to experience the thrill of paragliding. We hope these donations will help these worth charities, and inspire others to also give generously.
So, whats next. Plans are already afoot for Chaos XII, so there will be more of everything.
But in the meantime, Greenman Bike Nights will be held on Wednesday Evenings 7-9 Pm at the White Rock Café on August 8th and September 9th raising yet more money for local Charities. August beneficiary is GSPCA. Whether you ride a bike, love bikes, or just want to support this fun fundraising, everyone is welcome. There is no charge, just a couple of buckets rattled for your change after you het a coffee or bacon roll from the café.
Chaos Events also have more gigs in the pipeline to keep your appetites wetted until next year. More details to come soon.
Untill then, Bike, Beer, Bands and No BS.