Honestly one of the best slightly 'smaller' festivals I've ever been to, and I'm not just saying that. The whole premise of it is individual: They create a fake town. Like an actual town. With walls and a Bank and a Town Centre and about 30 little 'buildings' with stages inside them.
When we got there, the queue was pretty massive, I'm not going to lie. And I think the only thing that could possibly drag this festival down a couple of notches is the HILL. This is the very steep, very high hill that one must either stumble down or hike painfully up at least two or three times a day in order to see all the acts they want to. I mean, exercise-wise I probably lost about five pounds that weekend, but it is the last thing you want to be doing with loads of heavy camping gear or on a hangover.
Annoyingly, this hill connects the two main 'districts', which are Uptown and Downtown, which obviously are at the top and bottom of this hill. Uptown is where the Town Centre, Ballrooms, Lion's Den and Bank are located - and the music ranges from Electroswing (my favourite) to Ska, Hip-Hop and Dub. Downtown (where we camped) had the Boombox, Arcadia and El Barrio Loco, home to house, angry, loud electro and gypsy/balkan.
We camped near the back of the the Boombox, which was hilarious. They'd built a giant Boombox which the DJ sits inside of, and we'd be having breakfast to a weird mixture of jungle, chart, 90s classics and dubstep at about 12pm every afternoon.
We were also pretty near to Arcadia, which if you're not a festival-goer is basically a giant mechanical spider-monster-thing with laser-eyes, moving claws and the loudest, pounding, electronic, bass-y music you've ever heard. It migrates the country, showing up at most festivals in some form, and even when you're completely sober it's a little bit overwhelming. It's loads of fun, and she (yes, she) looks a little something like this:
We can only assume her owners/servants have to sacrifice goats to her, and guard as she lies in wait during the daytime.
Getting onto bands, I couldn't possibly name half of the ones we saw, because there were so many. To mention a couple, a highlight definitely came from German band Rotfront, with awesome Gypsy/Balkan-style songs including Berlin-Barcelona and Sovietoblaster (which we sang for the rest of the weekend).
Another band who I definitely recommend are Kitten and The Hip - I'd listened to them a bit before the festival and as they were one of the only British Electro Swing bands I'd ever heard of, I was pretty excited. Their most catchy songs are definitely Don't You Worry and Shut Up and Dance - they do have some songs which are more geared towards electroswing, and others which are more ska/reggae. They drew quite a big crowd from intially about 3 other people, so was pretty impressed. Plus Kitten is literally the most beautiful woman alive, very jealous:
Aaaaand last but definitely not least were my Highlight of the Festival, The Parov Stelar Band. I'd never heard of them before, but as soon as they started I was pretty much hooked. A lot of the music is instrumental, but when you want a dance, and some good old-fashioned Electroswing, they tick all the boxes. They performed in the town centre, during the last slot on the Sunday night, and I had so much fun! Even tried a few swing moves, don't worry, it's not something I plan on doing very often. Parov Stelar is a DJ/Brass Musician, and though being very talented on his own, he brings a whole band along with him, including sax, trumpets and an amazing female singer. All in all, definitely worth a watch if you can catch them!
Other highlights from the weekend included my friend's disgusting/hilarious baby-head, panda hats, general silliness and also the uniting of said creepy 6ft5 baby with Elmo:
Photos borrowed (stolen) from my good friend Rachel who is the master photographer and all should bow down to her.*
Anyway, thats a wrap for now!
*this should always be combined with bowing down to K