A pictorial review of Rockness 2012 by Thomas Bisset This year’s Rockness was completely unlike the grey, wet, cold and generally miserable weather conditions Mother Nature inflicted on the thousands of revellers who descended on Dores the weekend past. In a slight change from the usual proceedings, we’re going to let our photographers do the talking by giving their images centre-stage. This is Rockness 2012. Admiral Fallow didn’t so much as kick-start the action on the main stage as ease people into their weekend. Despite this, they drew a good crowd; especially impressive since most were still unpacking their tents. Despite the drizzly conditions, nearly everyone was in high spirits. Syd Tha Kid of The Internet was far from camera shy in her performance early on the bill in the Goldenvoice tent; in stark contrast to her bandmate in the infamous hip-hop collective Odd Future, who has had charges brought against him after allegedly slapping a female photographer in an American festival. Perhaps this guilt-by-association was the reason most photographers missed a fantastic set. Festival organisers made a smart choice in putting Ed Sheeran on the smaller Golden Voice tent rather than main stage – his act is more intimate, and wouldn’t have worked nearly as well in an open arena. Timing it so he didn’t clash with Mumford And Sons, a worry for many people when the acts were announced, was also a bonus. A loud and warm response to Mumford & Son’s first track of the evening. The Rapture take the electronic music Fatboy Slim took to Loch Ness in 2006 and mix it with the rock people expect when they hear the name of this festival. An ideal combination for the Saturday afternoon. The Olympic Torch continued its journey through the UK with a stop at the festival on Saturday with a handover to festival director Jim King. The process went without hitch, despite the efforts of one man in a bicycle helmet and a tutu trying to invade the stage Pianist, comedian and Rock-and-Roll-Nerd Tim Minchin was a welcome change of pace and proved to be one of the most popular acts of the Saturday, neatly bridging the gap between Scottish comedian Daniel Sloss and Northern Ireland’s electronic act Japanese Popstars. Lucy Rose performing in the Clash Arena. In an odd booking, she also played on the Red Bull stage later on in the day, which had generally been the reserve of DJ’s. Broken Hands in the Howards End tent brought along some electric for the many who didn’t fancy the overly electronic Saturday evening billing. Deadmau5’s trademark mask was a popular accessory this year. Those wondering why a stage-hand was carelessly leaving a flight-case in front of Deadmau5‘s elaborate stage setup soon found out why as he emerged, stretched and waved enthusiastically. The crowd lapped it up. KOBI could be considered the highest billed local band, appearing on the Clash tent rather than in Howards End. The incredibly early billing on Sunday morning didn’t deter as many people as initially feared. Death In Vegas drew a good crowd into the Goldenvoice Arena in what must have been one of the loudest sets of Rockness. Probably the most animated characters of Rockness 2012 was Friendly Fires’ Ed Macfarlane, with few even coming close to owning the main stage (and the TV camera run / photo pit) as he did. Metronomy brought a more chilled-out sound to the Sunday night, refreshing to all those who had overdone it on the previous two evenings. The people who came in to the Golden Voice tent to see Knife Party seemed far more interested in partying than most of the other festival goers, with beach balls and inflatable bananas being hurled around rather than the usual beer cans. The partying continues at the Arcadia UFO. Biffy Clyro brought Sunday evening – and indeed Rockness itself – to a close with an outstanding set. The plentiful pyrotechnics helped a little. More photos reside here.