Welcome to the monthly rave review for June 2017. Featuring Junction 2, Morning Gloryville, Land of Light, Home, Shapes and Awakenings.
Junction 2 Festival ★
Before I attended the first year of Junction 2 in 2016, I was always undecided about which event throughout the year thus far was my favourite, and whenever the question was raised by those who were aware of the sheer amount of events I attended on a weekly basis – it was understandably a very difficult to answer. It becomes difficult for several reasons, ranging from line ups to sound systems, and surroundings to the atmospheres generated by the music thirsty crowds. However, my indecisiveness that I had always been faced with previously very quickly changed when I first stepped foot through the entrance into what felt like an almost parallel universe that had seemingly been spawned by the geniuses behind the wonders of Junction 2. The location is in itself unique; over shadowed by the M4 motorway in West London and has the mesmerising combination of Drumcode style techno present throughout. The event had immediately cemented itself as a firm favourite, and I genuinely fell in love with this special creation. That day back in 2016 truly marked history for me in my hectic raving calendar, and without meaning to sound cliche I really cannot put into words how perfect this day was for me, and the only way in which I feel you can truly appreciate this is by attending yourself.
So now skipping forward one year to what had been a highly anticipated second year ever since the conclusion of 2016’s huge success; the day had finally come. Normally due to a calendar pencilled full of exciting new ventures time travels fast, but with this it felt like an eternity to arrive, and now it was time to unleash the energy that had been building up and inject it in the heaven on earth known simply as Junction 2. The line up was beyond star studded and we were all beyond spoilt for choice as more than a fair few legendary examples in the techno scene lined up to deliver blinding sets – such as Italian wizard Joseph Capriati, killer duo Tale Of Us, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex & Ida Engberg.
As I danced through the entrance and down the hill with the towering pillars of the motorway all around me, accompanied of course with that specific Drumcode sound that I had grown to adore thumping over the hill, it truly made me feel both a different and special kind of way. Junction 2 had undoubtedly lived up to their name and justified the amount of hype that had surrounded the build up to this years event. I spent most of the day raving under the motorway stage, and this was both a pragmatic decision and personal preference due to the amazing atmosphere that was so naturally constructed through the environmental cocoon in which it was intertwined. Junction 2 is still my favourite event of all time so far. An interesting fact is that the geniuses that I made reference to earlier on are none other than LWE, who are also behind one of the most talked about venues of 2016 – the legendary Printworks.
Not only was I raving at Junction 2, I was also humbled to have the crew of BBC Three following me around for a video they had kindly asked me to be a part of. There aim was simple – to capture me just being myself whilst attending a rave. Here is what the BBC produced:
Sign up for Junction 2 2018 tickets here: http://www.junction2.london/2018/
Morning Gloryville Rooftop Beach Rave
I have raved at numerous Morning Gloryville breakfast raves now, including travelling to the heavily cultured Berlin with the team and also recently at the incredible We Are Fstvl too. This time Morning Gloryville somehow took it another step further, with not just a morning rave (hence the title of the brand), but a morning rave on a rooftop in Brixton which consisted of a beach. The atmosphere here as you can quite clearly see in the photo captured above was electrifying despite the early morning start, and this was no doubt helped by the anticipation leading up the event, the celebration of the birthday and finally the rooftop being soaked with sun even in the early AM.
As with every Morning Gloryville rave, the headliner is not announced and is required to wear a disguise until their set time commences. There were whispers and rumours flying around the packed out crowd but it was still a real mystery as to who it was hiding behind the tightly fitted mask, but with the famous words “we’ve come a long long way together” from the legendary track ‘Praise You’ echoing throughout the rooftop during the opening track, the crowd all seemed to immediately have an idea who it was straight away, and there logical assumption was confirmedly shortly after. The confirmation of the guessing game was built up in legendary fashion with the track ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’ being belted out and the mask being revealed on the drop, and behind the mask was scene icon and house hold name Fatboy Slim!
In my opinion and I’m sure all those who were lucky enough to attend the Morning Gloryville will agree – they definitely need to do more morning outdoor raves. There is nothing quite like a breakfast rave, but an outdoor breakfast rave for me kick starts your day to a whole other level.
Here’s a love stream I put up during the rave:
Land Of Light Festival
Further on in a busy month of raving and flying off the back of an amazing morning rave, I travelled down to the west Devon / Cornwall border for the Land Of Light festival. This was the festival’s second year running, and I knew that I was going to make up for my absence during last years event, as I unfortunately couldn’t attend previously due to conflicting dates with surprise surprise – other events.
Amusingly, I have to openly admit that I struggled at first to locate the festival as I couldn’t find it on my SatNav due to there being no specific address with it being in the heart and depths of the wild Devon countryside. However I got there in the end and the weather couldn’t have been more of a stark contrast to the scorching early morning temperatures experienced at Morning Gloryville, as it was instead unfortunately raining.
One thing I have learnt through attending many events is that despite the weather you should never allow this to restrict the level of fun you intended to have when you first started planning. Luckily the festival not only had 3 stages but they were also covered by tent ceilings, and overall the best of the three for me was the smallest one – which was funnily enough originally designed to be the chill area. However, the original intention of the area was soon reversed and became the core of the rave with its intimate settings in the space moulding a truly buzzing energy throughout the entire tent.
As you can tell so far this month there was a festival trend setting as we are of course deep into the calendar of festivals occurring here there and everywhere, and my good friends Terry and Louis who form the DJ duo called Geminus made the decision to set up their own festival titled ‘HOME’. The pair have been up and coming in the Bristol scene over the past year and I have watched them progress massively, as well as being involved with several social media projects with them – namely my ‘Monday Evening Rave Sessions On The Beach’ & ‘In The Warehouse’.
As anyone will know when it comes to festival planning – whether or not you have done it yourself or have been lucky enough to attend one, it requires an immense amount of planning and organisation down to every tiny detail. Credit where it’s due it was incredibly well organised as well as being pinpointed in a beautiful part of Somerset, and although it might not have reached maximum capacity as expected for a festival that was so well promoted and featured the likes of Sankeys resident and Do Not Sleep signee Tommy Vercetti – it still has huge potential. They are already moving forward from their first festival and are taking fresh ideas forward to begin the assembling of a second instalment next year.
I could only attend on the Friday evening of the two day event, but from what I experienced it was a pleasure to be a part of two close friends first significant venture into event management on a larger scale – and in particular I was fond of the quirky barnyard settings in which the festival was situated.
Here is my great friend Rose dancing alongside me at Home:
Shapes After-Work Rave
Heading on further into June I decided to commence my weekend by raving as early as possible, and gyrated my way into Motion in Bristol. Motion have now started doing Friday evening events, which is a polar opposite to the norm as they are renowned for hosting huge parties and bringing in influential figures such as Scottish heavyweights Jackmaster and Jasper James. They also recently attracted the established and highly popular Defected brand to the venue, with the likes of Roger Sanchez and Josh Butler being just two names on a strong line up that were setting strong vibes during what was a baking hot summers day. The events kick start at 5pm sharp and go on until 10pm, and although I am not really sure what made them choose that time – I figured maybe it’s because they recognise how stressful work can be over a 5 day period and people are eager to let their hair down as soon as their work commitments are finished for the week?
I think it is more aimed towards chilling out which I appreciate when you consider the time of the day that it is taking place, however it was still a great feeling to finish my work for the week and get involved in the evening’s antics. It started to pick up as the evening progressed as more like minded individuals who were keen to see what it was about flocked to the picturesque Bristol setting.
What also made it an interesting and somewhat different event was pirouetting down by the River Avon, as although it wasn’t your everyday rave location there was a real scene being set with the amalgamation of the sun setting and determined fisherman hard at work whilst we were dancing into the late evening.
And finally what better way to round off what had been an immense, fun filled and joyous month of raving than making my first trip over to Holland for the famous Awakenings festival. I have been planning to go to Awakenings festival for a while and to make this journey was something I had been eagerly awaiting for some time. After hearing and seeing positive feedback from people directly and indirectly it was a no brainer to slot this illustrious showcase of the best techno artists in the world into my calendar.
Awakenings chose an idyllic location in the core of the beautiful country backdrop of Spaarnwoude Houtrak. The sheer level of production that was being displayed at Awakenings certainly lived up to its expectation, and whether it be the colossal constructions put together outside or the more grittier underground vibe in the warehouses/hangars – there was something for everyone and if you wished to shift over to something different you could do so immediately.
With comparisons that can be drawn to Junction 2 that I attended a few weeks earlier , this line up also brought forward the very best males and female in the genre of techno – as you were spoilt for choice with legendary figures such as Cocoon brand owner Sven Väth, minimal techno specialist Ricardo Villalobos, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock and Chris Liebing being just a very select few names of endless stars featuring on the ridiculous line up!
My favourite stage on Saturday was the one you can see me getting stuck into below:
My favourite stage on Sunday was as you probably guessed from my regular appearances there and how much I enjoyed Junction 2 festival – none other than the Drumcode stage:
Awakenings was with no doubt one of the best festivals I have attended thus far, and although this is a bold statement as I have been to more than a fair share in the past few years – it was hard not to rate it amongst the best of the best taking all aspects into consideration. So don’t be surprised at all if you encounter me again next year, and I hope to see you there!
Authors: Bradley Gunn, Callum Hughes (editor)