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Leicester Cubed

Sunshine, Stereo MCs and Super Mario - who could ask for more?

Last weekend saw the grounds of De Montfort Hall in Leicester turned into a miniature Glastonbury (minus the steel fence, mud and tents), with a host of top acts on tap, from Beth Orton and David Byrne to Lamb and the Stereo MCs. Amongst the crowd that turned out for this glorious Summer Sundae was yours truly, looking forward to a nice quiet weekend away from the computer for once. Little did I know that Nintendo were lying in wait for me there... As part of their summer advertising blitz, Nintendo and the PR bods at Cake have crafted a GameBoy Advance totem pole which will be touring music festivals, and bizarrely enough the Summer Sundae (almost literally on my own back doorstep) was their first stop. Featuring the faces of famous characters such as Mario, Bowser and Fox McCloud along with a big Nintendo logo, the pole certainly stands out amongst the crowd. Ringing its base are several GBA's, running a mixture of Advance Wars, F-Zero, Super Mario and Mario Kart. Cake's man on the ground Richard admitted that the pole had "turned into a bit of a creche atmosphere" as parents dropped off their children there, but given the relaxed family-friendly nature of the festival that's perhaps unsurprising, and they're expecting a different result at their next appearance. Also on site were half a dozen GameCube demo units in the foyer of the Hall itself and a giant Cube next to the pole in the gardens outside, with Pikmin, NBA Courtside and Super Smash Brothers Melee all on free play. Meanwhile, roaming the festival crowds were a couple of blokes in Nintendo suits with GBAs strapped to their belts. These had apparently proven to be a little less successful, as most of us were too busy watching the great acts on the main outdoors stage to stop for a quick blast on Mario Kart, but we did see some punters being roped in. Overall though the festival invasion was going well for Nintendo, with a steady stream of people visiting the totem pole and Cubes throughout the weekend. And in a fortuitous piece of positioning, the pole overlooked the main stage, giving the Cake team a perfect view of the action. So what was the highlight of the first day? There was never any contest really - the Stereo MCs had blitzed the show, although Richard also picked out I Am Kloot for special praise from amongst the supporting line-up. Those of you not fortunate enough to have been in Leicester last weekend can catch Nintendo's roadshow appearing at other music festivals and outdoors events over the summer, including this weekend's Live On Brighton Beach and the possibility of a visit to the Newquay Surf Festival at the end of the month.

Leicester's answer to Glastonbury
Nintendo's little gaming area overlooking the main stage


- Nintendo plans summer GBA blitz (on