Triptych, R.I.P.

Ratatat, photographed by myself

There are perhaps more serious things to lament than the death of a mere music festival, but then Triptych is/was no mere music festival. This weekend it bows out with a typically diverse barrage of gigs across Scotland, and I at least plan to attend the Clinic show, with Errors and RememberRemember in support, at Cabaret Voltaire on Sunday night.

The thing about Triptych which distinguished it from other festivals was that even if you didn’t know the names on the bill, you’d probably trust the organisers enough to go off and look them up, and learn a whole host of new artists every year. Last year I discovered one of my favourite electro bands, Ratatat (pictured), thanks to the open-minded programmers.

[By the way, if you’re reading this thinking, eh? Triptych? what’s the frick’s he on about – and shame on you – then read a handy pocket-sized history of the festival which I wrote for The Skinny.]

The demise of this truly intrepid event ties in with a general murmuring that the popularity of festivals has peaked and is now headed for a trough, what with Glastonbury failing to sell out in ten nanoseconds, etc etc.

Tennent’s have announced, as a rather damp conciliatory PR exercise, that a replacement festival called The Tennent’s Mutual is to be launched next year. The lager company says that “it will offer music fans the chance to shape Scotland’s live music landscape”. I can’t help but react with scepticism. Can we really rely on the general public to create an event that was as eye-opening, esoteric and exciting as Triptych? I wouldn’t even trust myself to curate a line-up as well as they did for eight years.

See: www.triptychfestival.com

Stay tuned for an interview with Errors on this here blog…

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