On August 2nd 2013 five members of the UK Daily Beat Team, including myself, headed 20 minutes north of London for the UK's biggest underground house and techno festival. This year marked the first time Eastern Electrics had spanned over more than a one day period. After being upgraded since its previous year, Eastern Electrics now took place over three days and two nights, situated in Knebworth Park. This beautiful location was an incredible choice of location, with it being so close to London, but yet providing the huge green open spaces that every festival desires.
Eastern Electrics as a festival, was spread over a perfectly sized area, providing enough space to fit some incredible stages, but keeping the festival at a size that was easy to manage and that allowed the crowd to switch between each stage easily. The stages themselves were a mix of incredible structures and effects providing something for everyone. Personally I found myself switching mostly between the Switchyard Stage, The Eastern Electrics Arena and the IglooVision Dome. For those of you who weren't there, i'll give you a little description of these stages. The Switchyard Stage, which hosted names such as Shadow Child, Claude von Stroke, Eats Everything, and many more, was an incredible arena made from shipping containers. The DJ's themselves blasted out there sounds to the crowd from the side of a lorry, creating an amazing atmosphere. The shipping crates were decorated with different forms of art and blow up sculptures allowing a sense of wildness and mystery to fall over the stage. During the day the crowd would be blasted with confetti, entertained by different strange characters parading around on stilts, and given a large range of items to dance with (from blow up bananas to toy trumpets.) This stage was a true party and constantly attracted a large crowd!
The Eastern Electrics stage was the main stage for the festival, situated in a huge tent, able to fit the capacity of the entire festival if need be. This stage saw some huge names such as a live set from Hot Natured, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, MK and many more. The lighting and sound that accompanied this stage was indescribable. Pictures are unable to capture the shit that went down in this tent, but i'll just give you a slight insight.
The final stage i'll give you a little description off was the IglooVision Dome. Never in my life have I ever quite seen or experienced anything similar to this stage. Upon entering the igloo like structure you were greeted instantly with some thumping bass pumping through your body accompanied by 360 degree visuals covering both the walls and ceiling of the stage. This stage opened at ten in the evening and remained open until six in the morning, providing a complete emersion of music for a solid 8 hours! Unfortunately for you guys I was unable to capture an image of this stage and there doesn't seem to be one online. I guess this is one of those situations where you had to be there to truly understand the madness of this stage!
I'd like to share two other magical moments for me at Eastern Electrics. Firstly the chance to witness a Boiler Room set in the Electric City was something that I never thought I would experience. The energy throbbing from this room was immense. Secondly a big should out to Santé for joining in with the crowd, having a little dance with me on stage, and wearing my mask whilst he played, for a good 5 mins. You've got to love a DJ that interacts with the crowd and Santé definitely followed through on that account!
Separate from the music side to the festival, there was constant entertainment taking place. Roller Discos, fairground rides, pubs, pamper tents, and many other activities created one of the most friendly and fun festival environments i've seen to date. This festival was one of the few festivals i've been too where I was constantly entertained and constantly in the best frame of mind. You only have to have a small glance at Twitter to realize that I am not alone in my constant raving of goodness about Eastern Electrics! To all of you Americans who go by that famous catch phrase that your beloved New York City never sleeps, I think that this may be the festival that also truly defines that phrase. At no point during my stay at Eastern Electrics did I once hear a period without that distant rumble of bass and screams of excitement!
Every single person that accompanied me on my journey through Eastern Electrics 2013 had only good comments to state about the festival, with no criticisms whatsoever. With this being the first year the festival has switched to a three day period, I can only suggest that this incredible production of an event will only grow and flourish into something that is truly special and unique. With Eastern Electrics 2013 throwing out one of the most insane underground house and techno line-ups i've ever seen, I can only shiver at the aspect of what is to come next year. I will definitely be returning next summer and I hope that a lot of you will make the journey to Knebworth Park with me. This is not something to be missed! Bring on Eastern Electrics 2014!
Photo Credit: Marc Sethi
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