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Sunset across the lake: Gottwood has nailed the boutique festival formula

The best small dance music festival in the UK? Probably...

  • Words: Alex Green | Image: Jake Davis for Here & Now
  • 16 June 2017

In 2015, we named Gottwood’s location on the Isle of Anglesey as one of the 10 most breathtaking in the world. This idyllic locale is of course one reason to attend the Welsh festival. Its sunrises and sunsets have become something of legend among regulars on the UK circuit, and the Gottwood Estate’s shimmering lake and ethereal forest have also contributed to this rank. But it's also the music that keeps punters coming back. This year boasted the festival’s strongest, most diverse line-up yet. Historically, the festival has suffered from issues with sound but this time, systems were tweaked to perfection.

A predicted washout was avoided, and a little mud only added to the atmosphere of the festival, equal parts raucous and jubilant. Days were spent lazing by the lake listening to ambient sets by names like Anchorsong and Ruf Dug, while nights were spent on jaunts through the forest, where lazers and smoke machines added to the already magical character of the Carreglwyd Estate. Distilling Gottwood down into 10 musical moments may well be an impossible task. These are the 10 that defined our weekend.

1 'Voodoo Ray (Grant Nelson Remix)' by A Guy Called Gerald

Levon Vincent, The Trigon

As newcomers explored the festival site, finding art installations in nooks and crannies and stages in the most unexpected of locations, returning punters headed straight for Levon Vincent on the Trigon, the festival’s largest stage. His set was full of dubby techno but this track burst through like a ray of sun. It was the weekend’s first moment of collective euphoria.

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