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Where: Butlins, Bognor Regis
When: January 18 - 20
Music: Party music of all shapes
While half the nation is filling out gym membership forms and pursuing the gruelling January detox resolutions, there are no such health qualms troubling the masses at Butlins’ flagship Bognor Regis resort. 2,500 revellers have gathered to survive on a diet of the world’s best DJs, the Papa Johns pizza buffet and enough intoxicated afterparty chalet action to convince even Skream to take up an 18-month contract with LA Fitness.
While the treacherous road conditions prevent Mixmag from arriving on time for Disclosure’s always on-form live show on the Friday, we’re on time for Bicep. The duo provide two hours of wall-to-wall house bangers trading on their signature early 90s sound to make sure the bubbling energy in the packed Junk Department arena reaches boiling point. Dusky follow with their tough but euphoric take on 4/4, plying the crowd with quality tunes.
With the hedonistic party vibes at a high, Skream’s transition from dubstep originator to the world’s best wedding DJ is perfect. Trading in his wobble and 2-step for a set of early 90s new jack swing and garage classics, Skream keeps enthusiasm levels at maximum.
After finishing Friday with Brodinski and Gesaffelstein’s frantic techy electro followed by a lengthy chalet crack on, Saturday begins a little hazy. We’re thankful for DJ EZ, who starts with Daniel Bedingfield and doesn’t let up from there. Artful Dodger, Zed Bias and DJ Pied Piper are all pulled out during a set that has enough energy to be diagnosed with ADHD. Although Maceo Plex’s set verges on the uninspiring, Heidi smacks it before Jackmaster pulls out gloriously uplifting piano house to end Saturday perfectly.
However, despite the hangovers, the most electrifying sessions are on the Centre Stage on Sunday. Eats Everything slams his trademark brand of bass-heavy house before the swashbuckling prince, Julio Bashmore, follows with lush tunes that stir the bug-eyed massive into hysteria before Maya Jane Coles flips deep, steppy rollers into chunky techno. Then Frankie Knuckles takes it home amid an explosion of glittering confetti. Save us a chalet for 2013!