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Page last updated at 09:49 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 10:49 UK
Dizzee has a 'rock star' moment

by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Underage Festival
7,500 teenagers attended the event

Dizzee Rascal has admitted to having his first "rock star" moment at the Underage music festival at the weekend.

It's only year two for the event, held at London's Victoria Park, which caters solely for 14 to 19-year-olds.

Dizzee, punk band Gallows and Brazilian dance act Bonde Du Role topped the bill.

The alcohol-free festival is the brainchild of 16-year-old Sam Kilcoyne, whose band SCUM also appeared on the bill.
Underage Festival
I felt like a pop star for real. A rock star
Dizzee Rascal

Teenage tastemaker Kilcoyne 'runs' Underage in the sense that he personally selects the artists on the bill and if he doesn't reckon a band is up to scratch, then they are simply crossed off the list.

Though he denies the festival has an agenda to break young bands, it is clear that putting in a strong performance at Underage will give a band a profile boost in front of the type of audience that record labels have consistently looked to for the next 'big thing'.

And in keeping with the festival's 'young' credentials, Kilcoyne has suggested that he will probably hand over the reigns to someone younger in a couple of years time.

Lasting a relatively short eight hours, the 7,500 teenagers at the event were treated to bands like The Rascals, The Maccabees and Glasvegas.

Some teenagers had travelled from as far afield as Scotland.

Dizzee, fresh from his turn at 1Xtra Loves Summer in Ibiza, wowed the largely white middle-class indie kids in the crowd.

Backstage he told Newsbeat: "It was amazing. It was nice to be in my area where I grew up, on the stage in front of loads screaming fans.

"There were mosh pits, screaming girls, I felt like a pop star for real. A rock star."

Fifteen-year-old Lee from Hyth in Kent said: "It's been a really amazing day, I'm glad I spent the money in it."

Care Bears on Fire

The festival's young age was not restricted to fans who'd paid to get in, as most of the bands playing were young enough to attend the event as punters.

Bombay Bicycle Club, Pull In Emergency and X Teens are all still in their teens.

One of the youngest bands on the bill were New York kid-core band Care Bears on Fire. Singer Sophie K is just 13, band mates Izzy and Lulu are just 12.

Despite the cutesy name and chipmunk voices, the band play rough pop punk and cite their influences as Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Strokes and The Donnas.
Underage Festival
Capacity for the event was raised from 5,000 to 7,500

What is bizarre is that, had they not been playing, they would have been too young to get in.

Sophie said: "One time we were playing at this 21-plus club show and we walked in and they were like, 'Are there midgets playing this show tonight?'"

Izzy agreed: "That's why we've been looking forward to this because everybody is so into it. In our experience in New York there aren't as many kids who are into what we are into."

After the eight o'clock curfew, parents loitered outside of the gates as the crowds streamed out of the park, still in broad daylight.

Fourteen-year-old Londoner Jeanie said: "It's been really great because everyone is the same age and they all have the same tastes.

"At the front of stage it was a bit crazy, people were pushing and stepping on you and stuff."

Foals, who were staying on at the site to play the following day's Field music festival in front of 50,000 older fans agreed the Underage crowd is one of the most responsive.

He said: "The energy is really unrelenting and it's fun to feed off that. Last year we played here, we got one of our first really great receptions in this kind of festival environment so we wanted to come back and do it."



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