Beach Break Live: The UK’s Largest Student Festival Previewed

Around 10,000 people are flocking to South Wales this weekend for Beach Break Live, for the largest student festival in the UK starting on Thursday.
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Around 10,000 people are flocking to South Wales this weekend for Beach Break Live, for the largest student festival in the UK starting on Thursday.

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Beach Break Live: The UK’s Largest Student Festival Previewed

‘Lazy’, ‘bingers’, ‘tax freeloaders’; just a few stereotypes of students in Britain. What better way to take advantage of this than do nothing but listen to live music, drinking and spending your student loan.

This weekend in South Wales is a celebration of everything student, as thousands of scholars from University’s across the country gather in Pembrey Forest for four days of sun (doubtful), seaside (cold) and sex (well maybe for some). Oh, and a lot of music, which is what everyone is supposed to ge going for.

Therein lies the conundrum. Beach Break Live (BBL) has quite an impressive line-up considering the festival is in its relative infancy – this being the sixth successive event – with acts such as Dizzee Rascal, Chase and Status and Friendly Fires set to light up the arena’s main stage.

What BBL does differently to most other festivals, and uses as it’s USP is that it is student-only. By selling to University and Higher Education pupils, the weekend manages to converge 10,000 like-minded people into one field who are all looking to have a good time, but are not expecting the musical experience you may attain at Glastonbury, V-Fest, Leeds/Reading or many others.

Beach Break is not an amazing music festival. In truth it doesn’t need to be, because it’s got much more to offer than just tunes. Stationed right by the sea, camp-goers can hit the waves to wake up after a heavy night on the booze, or just chill on the beach and enjoy some Volleyball or watch a bit of wakeboarding.

Heading into the arena there is an array of food stalls – the select few best are relatively cheap and you won’t be seeing the produce you buy again the next morning – or even forget your stomach and walk on through to the funfair which offers a number of rides sure to keep you occupied. Never a good idea after too many though…

When you fancy a spot of music, amongst the more generic acts are interesting artists who other festivals would be proud to have gracing their arenas. Nero on Saturday looks set to be a highlight, High Contrast (on Sunday) never fail to disappoint and Ben Howard (Sunday) makes a welcome change from the heavy dance influence.

New this year is the ‘tub with a view’, a strategically placed hot-tub that allows keen dippers to enjoy a breath-taking view of coastal Wales while relaxing from the hustle and bustle of the inner festival. There’s a massive 80’s Ghetto Blaster to be found on the site that looks worth checking out and on the beach a ship-wrecked boat with an acoustic vibe will also intrigue visitors.

BBL may let itself down in places – there’s a limit on the alcohol you can take into the campsite (very frustrating indeed) – but at little over £100 you aren’t forking out for a high-end festival. And you won’t be getting that either, as this student weekend is more about relaxing after your exams than getting fired up for the greatest acts on show.

But what Beach Break does deliver is an event-packed, buzzing and exciting festival tailored for students, most of whom aren’t all that fussed about the music but want to un-wind after a difficult year’s studying - *cough* - and take in the experience that’s highlighted by the evening entertainment.

My favourite thing about BBL from last year was Merlin’s Forest, the trancey-dancey-drum-n-bass tent that opens up after midnight when the main acts are finished and takes you into the early hours of the evening with big beats from some top DJ’s.

By Monday morning the site resembles an apocoalyptic scene as students all trudge away from the Welsh border – but most will be glad they took the plunge and experienced Beach Break for themselves. On the surface the festival may not seem up to challenge of competiting with a busy season that includes some big hitters, but with its USP of student friendly and growth year-on-year BBL looks set to get better and better.

For more information visit the site http://www.beachbreaklive.com/

Follow James on Twitter @jdickenson1990