Of course there's a reason why the BBC are much better at sprawlingly long televisual events - they're three to four minutes long and Bill Hicks wanted everyone involved in making them to kill themselves. Nobody else has really tried a live linkup with festivals because there's no way of keeping the music flowing when you've got to cut away every so often. E4's V Festival coverage started yesterday and proved why it was thought such a bad idea. (Actually we're not sure ITV2 didn't do Reading terribly a few years ago, but the point stands.)
Or maybe it's just the production values. Quite a few times songs were cut into by pointless links or adverts without warning, making it look like they had no idea that this music was supposed to be continuous. At one stage Dave Berry, who half-shouted everything in a most unbecoming way and you couldn't get away from it as he was the only host for all six hours (for some reason, C4's highlights show had a strong Deeley/Kay V/Bowman line-up and then stuck it out at nearly midnight) linked to Jet, waited a good ten seconds and then realised they were going back to the Streets set they'd just cut away from as Mike Skinner was introducing Has It Come To This?, which seemed apt. Indeed, picking bits almost a random from live sets meant we saw loads of Streets but not Dry Your Eyes, quite a bit of Doves but none of their big hits, the Chemical Brothers but not the bit where the Magic Numbers came on and, worst of all, the Kaiser Chiefs set cutting off just as I Predict A Riot got started, going straight into Born To Be A Dancer, so they could show it a couple of hours later in full, after it had been billed as live coverage. On the positive side they showed ten minutes of Sonic Youth and every band from the main two stages (even if this did mean two Stands tracks), but you get the feeling that the most artificial of all the UK festivals has got the digital coverage it deserves.