Was this the UK festival of the summer? The third edition of Jaymo and Andy George’s passion project was the clearest indication yet of how the MODA pair’s unique vision, informed by their years of festival experience both as punters and as DJs, translates into an event that stands above the saturation of generic dance festivals to create something truly memorable.
Set on a perfectly formed forest / meadow / lakeside site in the Lincolnshire countryside, it started with the ultimate bang on Thursday night, as Amazon Music and Mixmag teamed up to bring a ‘secret’ Soulwax / 2ManyDJs party to the festival, rewarding the early birds with an incandescent live and DJ performance from the Dewaele Brothers. And somehow, it just got better from there. There was comedy, with the likes of Russell Kane and Seann Walsh, fresh from the Edinburgh festival. There was the Institute Of Curious Minds, where panels crammed with experts engaged a passionate crowd on topics ranging from ‘How To Love Your Body’ to the future of club culture. There was the immersive production, which eschewed the usual generic blue and red big tops for custom built stages and enchated forest that ranged from fairyland to Wicker Man as actors and characters wandered around sowing the seeds of unreality wherever they went. And of course there was the music: Moderat’s last UK show for the forseeable, De La Soul’s timeless hip hop, and a raft of peerless DJ talent that ranged from a who’s who of Mixmag cover stars past and future - from Mall Grab to Nina Kraviz to Bicep to Jackmaster – to the incredible vibes of legends like Craig Charles and Bill Brewster. Add the incredible attention to detail that ran like golden thread through everything from the food to the cocktails to the transport and the case for J&A’s baby being among the best of the fests is impossible to deny