Dance music (what the kids these days are calling ‘EDM’) has long been my thing. I have been going to clubs and seeing top DJs for years. But there was one string that was missing from my rave bow. A string that many have called ‘the world’s greatest collection of DJs’. This string is Creamfields. And boy, what a banging, epic string it is.
We arrived at the festival site in the wilds of Daresbury and were lucky enough to base ourselves in the comfort of the luxury campsite. Toilets, tick. Showers, tick. All was well. Then we came to the tent erection. My friend had one job – procure a working tent. Now, my friend is one of those ridiculously intelligent people who have absolutely ZERO common sense. So it did not come as any surprise to me when we opened up the tent bag and he had managed to bring a tent with no tent pegs and instructions translated from French that made no sense. Whatsoever. Fortunately the camp shop helped us out and I deciphered the broken English and we were on our way.
Friday night was a warm up event for the next two days and apart from a bunch of silent discos, there were only a couple of arenas operating. The highlight here was DnB DJ Sub Focus. The immense sound system and light show was a taste of awesome things to come.
After a well-earned lay-in and a wholesome breakfast bar, the music kicked in at 2pm. It took a good hour or so to plan the timetable for the day. 10 arenas and stages with over 110 hours of tunes between them make for some hard decisions. After bumbling around for a couple of hours, the real stuff kicked in with my favourite arena act of the weekend, ‘Sick Individuals’, who rivalled any of the big name bill toppers. Laying down some awesome pop reworkings, they had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands.
We then headed to the main stage for a bit of Martin Garrix who, at the age of only 18, attracted a massive crowd in his first year at Creamfields. The video screens and huge stage dwarfed the young Dutch DJ but he definitely rose to the occasion.
A plethora of big name DJs followed through Saturday evening with Deadmau5 and Avicci both putting on incredible shows – lasers and smoke machines like nothing I have ever seen, creating quite the extravaganza.
As we entered the early hours of Sunday the bass just kept on going with sets from Eric Prydz, Armin Van Buuren, Pete Tong and Annie Mac. As we hit 4am, after 14 hours of massive tunes, the crowd wandered back to their tents, their ears ringing with the sound of big, dirty, stinking bass.
Bizarrely, given the significantly later finishing time the previous night, Sunday started earlier than Saturday. But this did not deter the tune hungry crowd.
We first headed to the ‘Mistajam Presents Speakerbox’ tent with the man himself dropping snippet after snippet of old school garage which the crowd lapped up. After some general mooching, we went for Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk, followed by my favourite stage set (and highlight of the weekend), Fatboy Slim. His extensive back catalogue, boundless enthusiasm, incredible visuals and turntable skills made for an electric set that the crowd went crazy for. When he opened with his hit ‘Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat’ (which, incidentally was played by pretty much every DJ throughout the weekend), the cheer was immense.
Rounding off the weekend was Calvin Harris who didn’t disappoint with his tune selection. The incredible sound system, light show, smoke machines and fireworks were a fitting finale to the weekend’s music.
Bleary eyed with a slightly sore head, I trudged out of the campsite on Monday morning which, by this time, resembled a cross between a zombie apocalypse and a Roland Emmerich disaster movie.
Mother nature had taken her toll and the virtually relentless rain (apart from a four hour period on Sunday which resulted in some surprise sunburn) had turned camp Creamfields a tad muddy. A long stream of festival goers filed in to the car parks, the weekends dance exertions clear to see. Few words were spoken, but we all knew….. Creamfields 2014 was the most epic dance extravaganza any of us had experienced.
Has this got you in the mood for some Creamfields yourself? Get tickets for 2015 here!