It’s a good idea to go through your essentials check list before you get to a festival, because if on arrival you discover you’re missing two tent poles and a bag of pegs, you’re bound to feel a bit of a tit. And when this follows a five-but-should’ve-been-two hour car journey and you’re standing in the pouring rain, things get a bit tense. But as we began to make tent art to rival Tracey Emin’s, (complete with tetanus riddled poles and scavenged string), the help and comical suggestions of fellow festivallers started to ease my mood.
It wasn’t long before I’d been engulfed by the obligatory smell of unloaded festival bellies and backbreaking beats, and we entered the arena. We sidled up to the Glade Stage just in time to catch Krafty Kuts belt out their oldskool bass lines and timely breakbeat. After a superb set we move on to check out some of the other acts the festival had to offer, and after a few hours of oblivion we settle back in the ‘main’ stage to see the legend that is Trentemøller. Though his minimal electronica hits the spot, he turns out not to be the highlight of the festival as expected.
On Saturday we have an easy morning to balance out the carnage of the night before, before sampling the delights of the dancefloors. Our attempt to bypass the Glade tent to see Tripswitch is thwarted by the enticing beats of Joseph Capriati, whose meaty hooks are enough to win my vote for best Glade performer this year. After Capriati’s set spits us out we wander through the landscape of staggering drunkards to the Origin stage, stopping by a couple of the smaller stages on the way for a bounce or two. When we finally make it to the outdoor arena, the scene is somewhat reminiscent of an apocalyptic cityscape, with babygro-clad survivors clawing their way to an entranced Prometheus.
Day three is much the same, though the beats seem to be an odd hybrid of heavy techno and mellow ambient, with Eskmo and Luke Vibert heading the talent. To battle the bad trips we find an adoptive home in the Alice In Wonderland themed tent, complete with hot tub and basslines that ripple through your body like whiplash. To enter, you had to satisfy the door keepers with a dance or ditty, before crawling on your knees through a warren to the tent. Now I don’t get on my knees for just any man, but when one has gone to the trouble of dressing up as a white rabbit then struggling through a tiny hole lined with k’d out bodies, I don’t mind too much.
I’m glad this year’s Glade saw a more intimate crowd; there was no obligatory scrap over the last beer or half an hour nose pinching in the queue for the toilet. A collective love of general fuckedness and music gathered everyone together, and it is possibly the only festival I’ve been to that was purely alive for the music. The sideline activities all had strong links to the music they were supporting, transient friends were everywhere, there were no posers and you could find two beers for a fiver – if you knew where to look. If I had the energy to move after the weekend’s debauchery, I’d definitely be making a thumbs up.
For more information visit the festival’s official website here.
- Gina Louise
All images are credited to Maria Reaney, you can find her work here.