Playlists are similar to mix-tapes (you can read the helpful rules on how to do that from Nick Hornby's High Fidelity here), but differ in a few critical ways. Playlists need more songs because they're designed for a time, place and a purpose rather than simply self-expression. Basically, they need to please the listener rather than the creator.
The "Secret Garden Party Mix" as it has been known ever since, eventually became a victim of its own success. It got trotted out at every party for the rest of the year, so by the time 2009 rolled around we couldn't hear On A Ragga Tip without wanting to pour bleach in our ears. I had to (yes, had to, this is serious stuff, and I am a very important person) dredge my brain and create a new playlist. This time I had to take into account the harder-to-please boys, and with none of the overplayed cheap shots I had been using. Every year since it has got harder, as we get bored of songs and I take it upon myself to tear my hair out coming up with a refreshed list of crowd-pleasers. I have also gained a rival playlister in the group, which at first was a threat, but for the last two years has felt like a blessed relief. Now I can share the burden, and pool techniques as we continue to drill for our precious and expendable natural resource - the Tune.*
Overplayed? I'm almost sick of hearing it.... almost....
Quick Tips For Festival Playlisting:
- Contemporary pop (guilty) pleasures
- Mine a genre or decade for classics (anyone for acid house?)
- Tracks by artists at the festival (you can argue education if anyone moans)
- Songs that remind you of a night out with the same group
- Unreleased/underplayed tracks from a classic album everyone knows (the Blue Album, always)
- Tribute songs to artists who have recently passed away (raise a glass to Whitney and Donna this year)
- Good covers (or originals) of the songs you've already played to death
- Original songs that have been sampled in other, more famous songs
- If all else fails, go through the Now! back catalogue - now helpfully available on Spotify.
Have a great weekend everyone! I'll be back on Tuesday with stories to tell...