BPM Festival ★
The event of the month in September for me has to be the BPM Festival, which is widely regarded by many as the cream of the crop of festivals in the underground music scene, and respected promoter of Paradise & Circoloco Nick Yates has stated himself that it’s “one of the best festivals in the world”.
To keep costs down during what was going to be a hectic month of raving, and of course to extract the full experience from the festival – I decided I would be in Portugal for 24 hours only, thus not requiring a hotel and getting the most out of my flight as that was where I would be resting after what I rightfully predicted would be a hectic day of meeting new faces and dancing in numerous places!
The particular day I was attending was the Saturday, and as you can see from below the artwork/lineup speaks for itself in regards to why this festival really was considered by many as being one of the most respected in the scene:
I started the day dancing at the famous Elrow event at Blanco Beach, which is famous not only for its incredible mind boggling props but also for its consistent energy and strong party vibes. It was of course a necessity to capture a video of me in classic BGR style action to the almighty track ‘Midfield’ by Luigi Madonna and Roberto Capuano!
As always being a part of the Elrow event was as fun as every one I have attended previously and despite the conditions and environment doing everything in its power to hinder me with the boiling hot sun beating down on me and the sand fighting to draw my feet in – I powered on through and danced as hard I possibly could to keep my momentum going! These kind of conditions only made me more determined to prove just how dedicated I was to the music and expressing myself through dancing.
With so much going on and only one day to properly delve into as much of the festival and the incredible Portugese surroundings – I couldn’t stay in the same place all day so I swiftly made my way over to Nosoloágua for homegrown multi genre legend Skream’s set.
The views from Nosoloágua were nothing short of spectacular with the sea to the right of the stage and the cliffs in the distance, and most importantly despite the legend taking centre stage there was still more than sufficient room on the makeshift, natural dancefloor.
Later on into the night I had to make a decision where to attend so as to ensure I would end my brief stint in Portugal with a bang, and it was if I’m honest a no brainer with Congressos showcasing some of the most respected names in electronic dance music – from American titan Dubfire to Music On regulars Joey Daniel and the Neverdogs, we really were spoilt for choice.
BPM was as you can imagine if you didn’t go, or alternatively as you will agree if you were lucky enough to have gone – was beyond unreal. Although I was only there for one day of this 4 day spectacle, it has certainly done enough to persuade me to do the full four days next year.
But before flying overseas to the antics that occurred at my favourite event of the month, we need to rewind back to start of the month as I was getting properly stuck in at Motion for the ‘Shapes’ day event, which was hosted in a quality space that had been contrastingly transformed from a chill out area to a dance floor now titled “Lock Yard”.
I have been creating my own shapes (pardon the pun) at events hosted by Shapes since 2015, and as they only do one summer outdoor event each year I was adamant I was going to be getting myself down to this one! The event properly started to get going around 4/5pm, which compared to the parties I normally attend was a little later than I anticipated, but I still nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed myself as the combination of stone baked pizzas and house music set a really positive, comfortable vibe throughout the day!
Forbidden Forest Festival
Second weekend into the month, it was time for Forbidden Forest. It was my first time attending this event too, located just south of Derby. I have heard nothing but solid reviews about Forbidden Forest and it was really interesting looking at photographs and videos from previous events to see just how much this brand had grown after only a few events. They started out with a smaller space and stages on a much more reduced size, but it has quickly expanded and was now boasting headliners including Hot Creations regular and Paradise resident Patrick Topping, Viva Warriors main man Steve Lawler and many others too!
I spent most of the day dancing at Novum stage, which as you can see below even from early doors is where my attention was immediately drawn to as some of my favourite artists were laying down their underground sounds here:
It was great to get a dance with my good friend Jacky again too, as you may have seen a previous video from when our dance moves crossed paths at a daytime Defected party at Motion a few months back:
It was time to head up north again, this time to Leeds for Mint Festival. Last year they had the festival located within the city, in an industrial area with the floors being mostly concrete. This year they had changed the location to Stockeld Park, but even though I preferred the raw, industrial settings that reminded me of my beloved Digbeth in Birmingham – there was a significant amount more space available and I soon came to realise that this would benefit me as I could stretch my legs and arms and spring into action as soon as I was in there!
My favourite stage of the day was System, as I prefer the open air stages and just like so many other festivals I attend we were all treated to some incredible music as the stage featured Loco Dice, minimal techno specialist Ricardo Villalobos going b2b with Raresh, one of my favourites Seth Troxler going b2b with Craig Richards and not forgetting the Fuse party icons Archie Hamilton & Enzo Siragusa!
It was great to get a brief catch up with Seth before he started his set too, and the smile on my face was definitely due to see him again after we had a dance when Elrow took over the Olympic Park a few months back!
Abode In The Park Festival
The day after Mint the fun was definitely not going to come to an abrupt end as I was back down in London for Abode In The Park. Abode has become a major brand and an influential promoter over the few years it has existed and the rapid growth of it and its residents is nothing short of amazing. The brands residents GW Harrison, Jimmy Switch, Ellie Cocks, Will Taylor and various others all going on to achieve great things in a short space of time, but no doubt just like ABODE they have put in such hard work to get to where they are now!
ABODE has faced some harsh and devastating setbacks in the past year and a half as a fire devastated its home at Studio 338, but they have stayed focused and earned a lot of respect in Ibiza and generally throughout their scene with their successful weekly nights ‘Sundays at Sankeys’, which has witnessed ABODE hold some insane parties on the day that’s normally for resting ha-ha. So overall it really was a pleasure for the final pieces of the jigsaw to come together and to be a part of their sell out first festival!
Of course, as we always do whenever we see each other – me and my good friend Birdman got yet another quality video of each of us coming together to showcase our moves!
‘Do Not Sleep’ brand owner, and someone else who else also throws unforgettable nights at Sankeys Ibiza – Darius Syrossian, also joined in the new series of DJ dancing videos that I seem to be compiling!
During the last weekend of what was a hectic but fun filled September, I was at the amazing Social Festival which was situated at the Kent County Showground. I was excited to play just a small part in this as the festival were celebrating their fifth birthday and scene favourites The Martinez Brothers were making their debut as well!
It was also a crazy moment for me too as I was with a film crew, and although I’m sorry to say I can’t release any specific details of the film yet, this is an obviously strong hint to say there is one coming soon. That meant I was dancing for the camera that day and my flow was slightly more interrupted than normal, but don’t get me wrong I do love the filming projects, they’re always great fun and it’s something I’m very humbled to be a part of.
I had the best of both worlds as my involvement in such an exciting project spanned over a couple of hours, but then we were done filming by 6pm I was being fully let loose to do what I do best! My favourite stage this year was the Meadow, a large indoor arena that was presented by Resistance.
I also got a dancing video with the wondful Monika Kruse later in the evening too. She definitely looked and danced like she was enjoying herself, which made me happy as that’s the most important thing about any musical event I attend!
Editors: Callum Hughes, Bradley Gunn