My most recent visit to Margate was my favourite yet. Not only did I finally see Metronomy (in my home town no less), everywhere I looked was a touch of magic – the whole town thriving with creativity and really shining as a community. For the first time in ages, I felt so much joy to simply be back home and that is all thanks to By The Sea.
The festival returned to Dreamland for its third year, bigger than ever, something that seemed unimaginable based on last year’s turnout show. All bands were remarkable; my love for older bands was reignited and I also found some new favourites.
What really sold it for me on a personal level, was the extension of the festival out of Dreamland and into the town itself. From the performances at Olby’s Soul Cafe and Margate Museum, to the DJ sets at Cliffs cafe and record store, the whole town was alive with By The Sea. You might not have realised it just walking down the street, but that’s what made it so special. It was like uncovering hidden gems that in turn made me feel more at home in Margate than I’ve ever felt since I moved away. It truly was a wonderful weekend, and I am forever wanting to return to it. Alas it is in the past and all I can do now is look forward to more trips home, more coffees at Cliffs and certainly more involvement in the music community.
I could talk for days (and I have done already) about how much this weekend touched me, all too much to be written down, and mostly summed up with sighs and manic hand gestures, so I’ll leave it here. For more about my views on the festival, read my review for Vulture Hound here: http://vulturehound.co.uk/2017/10/by-the-sea-2017-festival-review/
I am also attempting to make a zine about the weekend, mostly for my own personal entertainment, but perhaps I’ll pop some elements of it on here when it finally comes together!