Photos by Bill Ahmed | Web Manager
[Words by Shelby Loasby | Head of Print]
Eastern Electrics Festival took over Historic Hatfield House on Saturday 1st August with the biggest celebration of house and techno music this summer.
A plethora of some of the best DJs came together to create an unstoppable, energised and genre defying atmosphere. From the underground scenes of London to the big sellout nights of Ibiza, there was something for everyone.
Set just a twenty minute train journey from Kings Cross, the thud of heavy bass could be heard down the line from the quiet student town of Hatfield.
The day begins
Although the festival started late, due to some organisational difficulties, crowds of people poured into the arena raring to go. Most people ran immediately over to the EE bars and started getting boozed for the long day of raving ahead.
One reveller, however, was ready for the action and danced straight over to the Main Stage for the first act of the day, Enzo Siragusa. Wearing tight running leggins, trainers and a headband, the reveller was a true raver, and was spotted dancing at every stage throughout the day.
As it was still relatively early, people were still arriving in drips and drabs and some stages were playing to sparse crowds. This, however, wasn’t the case for Sankey’s stage in the tortoise shell tent. Since Manu Gonzalez took to the decks at midday, the tent had been heaving with people.
The other seven stages around the arena soon started blasting out some of the biggest hits of the genre and saw the likes of Glaswegian Jasper James on the Skreamizm in the Big Top stage and Die Hollander in the impressive Switchyard venue.
Meanwhile over on the small but mighty stage, XOYO and Sink The Pink Present Gloria’s, Joshu James set the tone for the day with a killer set. Although the stage was sandwiched between caterers and the Cubanisto stand, there always seemed to be a large crowd gathering around it.
Another little but energetic stage was the Star of the EE Pub stage which started the day with DJ duo Two and Eight, followed by Ryan O’ Gorman and Jordan Mina. Most people only found the stage as it was in the same tent as one of the main bars. This didn’t stop the artists from rocking out.
Whilst these stages were initially hard to spot, they did well to bring in the revellers. That, however, is more than what can be said about the Black Butter Records stage hidden in the forest. The lack of signposting, set lists and festival maps, made it difficult to differentiate between stages and to know who was performing when and where.
For the Black Butter Records stage, this meant that a few of the acts at the beginning of the day were missed. Once people started figuring out what to do and where to go they eventually found the little stage and were able to listen to the talents of DJs like; Wayward, Woz, Mele and the inspiring Applebottom.
The Electric City
Tucked away in another corner of the festival was the awesome adventure of Electric City. The entrance was decorated with old vinyl records and funny little Essex inspired signs, and led to an area with a totally different atmosphere to the rest of the festival.
The Electric City was made up of; The Funk Soul Disco, set up by five students from Surrey University; The Tropical Tea Party, with tea-infused cocktails and the Sexy Kitchen Party DJs; The Magic Door, where people could swap glittery magic beans for face paint, glitter and fake tattoos; and a glitter parlour and photobooth. It was the ultimate fantasy world, and the mellow vibes were a welcome change from the constant thuds from the stages.
The Electric City was also the place where the Pineapple Illuminati started. Yes this sounds crazy, but everywhere we turned we saw people holding golden pineapples. Some revellers would dance around with them, others would chow down on the spikey flesh. The Pineapple Illuminati was just one of the long list of crazy things we saw around the festival. Another article about the things we spotted will be out soon so watch this space!
Back to the music!
After relaxing in the Electric City, we headed back out into the arena for the rest of the starstruck lineup.
The Main stage had seen Nick Curly, GUTI(live), Matthias Tanzmann and EE favourite, Cassy. Meanwhile over at The Switchyard, tINI’s aussie protege Bella Sarris had rocked out on the decks, preparing the crowd for ‘Ping of Kop’ Jichael Mackson.
The big tent stages, the Big Top and Sankey’s, had both seen some talent of their own. The Big Top hosted acts from Midland and Floorplan to Boddika and one of the biggest UK DJ’s at the moment, Richy Ahmed. Simultaneously, Sankey’s presented Sante, Sidney Charles and the amazing Steve Lawler.
Apart from the stages and Electric City, festival goers could grab a bite to eat at one of the many catering vans, sneak a free shot from cubanisto, have their hair and face glitterfied, or enjoy the massive fair-ground rides. There was certainly a lot going on!
It was just a shame that the ‘many more seating areas’ promised by EE organisers were still not enough for the 13,000 strong crowd, so most of the people looking for a little rest would end up laying in the middle of the arena on the grass. This didn’t stop people from enjoying the long day however.
The anticipated headliners
As the sun set behind the horizon, the buzz for the headliners of the day began. Whilst there was a mixed opinion about who to see, one artist was on the tip of everyone’s tongues – DJ EZ. The garage legend had a huge following at the festival and the queue to watch him was impenetrable. Unfortunately for DJ EZ, he was placed on the slightly smaller and annoyingly hidden stage, Black Butter Records, and he eventually had to cut his set short due to safety reasons.
This didn’t stop revellers from enjoying the evening’s entertainment though. There were still huge acts on the other seven stages all putting on outstanding sets. The flagship headliner on the Main Stage was a forced to be reckoned with – Jamie Jones. Meanwhile his competitors on the other stages included; the incredible Skream in the Big Top; the woman herself, tINI, in the Swtichyard, whose massive tunes didn’t reflect her name; Miguel Campbell in the hot and sweaty Sankey’s tent; the classically trained Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and the amazing Lil Louis on Gloria’s stage; and finally, the mastermind behind The Streets, Mike Skinner in The Star of the EE Pub Stage.
The end of the festival
Whilst the festival came to an end, the partying didn’t stop there. Revellers could go on for a change of scenery – but not a change in entertainment – with the two afterparties; One at The Forum Hertfordshire, with Richy Ahmed, Miguel Campbell and more, and the other at Egg, London, with other massive underground DJ names.
Despite some organisational issues, the one-day festival was a huge success with the mass of attendees. It was definitely a festival for all the techno and house lovers out there, especially as there wasn’t much variety to the music. This being said, if you go to a festival like Eastern Electrics, you know exactly what to expect.
One festival goer from Hatfield, George Hentall, had a great time. “It was so good, but this girl spilt drink on my Nike Airs so I had to switch to Jordans like Katie Price.” (Thanks for the lyrics George!)
Another reveller also loved the festival, ““I love this type of music. I’ve come two years in a row now and both times it’s blown me away.” He added, “Everything is so close together too, unlike the big festivals, so you can easily stage jump.”
Were you at Eastern Electrics this year? Let us know what you thought at @TridentMediaUK