Sunday, 7 September 2014

Creamfields 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my fifth consecutive Creamfields, over the August bank holiday weekend. Creamfields is a huge dance music festival, on an estate in Daresbury, not too far from Liverpool. This was my fourth year managing the Headphone Disco on the Friday night at the festival, this year overseeing the distribution of 15,000 headsets over three arenas, with a large crew of hardworking headphone distributors. 

Every year the weather seems to take a turn for the worst about a week before, and this year was no different! Thankfully the terrible weather forecast got quite a lot better as the festival approached and we were only rained on a little bit this year. Two years ago the festival was badly flooded, which I wrote about here. Since then, the organisers have invested a lot of time and money into helping prepare the site for bad weather, including extensive drainage systems.

After a busy afternoon of sound checks after arriving on Thursday, there was a beautiful sunset over the site, which seemed like a good sign for a great weekend of weather, work and fun ahead! 

Sunset over the Daresbury Estate

The World's Biggest Headphone Disco ran very smoothly once again, with my team of 75 ensuring everything went off without any issues. Despite still being the World's Biggest Headphone Disco, this year was smaller than last year's phenomenal show, with 25,000 headsets, which you can read about here.

This year, acts including Riva Starr, MJ Cole and Danny Avila entertained the crowds in the silent disco tents, with a great selection of house DJs entertaining festival-goers in the rather more chilled out Cream Hospitality VIP area. You can view an official Creamfields video about the 2014 silent disco arenas below.

The World's Biggest Headphone Disco at Creamfields

My girlfriend Emily and I were due to work again at a VIP after party on the Sunday night, handing out headphones to guests when the DJs switched from amplified after the noise curfew at 11pm. We spent most of Saturday and Sunday enjoying the excellent line up of dance music across the site. and were lucky enough to meet a few incredible artists too. These included Dubstep pioneer Skream, who I had met previously at Dakota Nightclub in Cheltenham, where I used to work. We also saw two thirds of Swedish House Mafia backstage and I was pretty excited to get a photo with Axwell! 

It was also great to catch up with MC Dread, who I haven't seen for a long time, who is currently working exclusively alongside Redlight. He used to live in Cheltenham and was a regular at Bassix and That Thing club nights at Dakota. He's a great guy and it's awesome to see him doing so well. 

Bumped into Skream backstage

Axwell before he performed on the Departures stage

Since discovering them a couple of years ago, Emily and I have become pretty big fans of Above & Beyond. I met them last year after their set and bettered that this year, when we were invited to enjoy their set from the side of the stage, along with some of their guests. Above & Beyond released an absolutely incredible Acoustic album earlier this year, which I've played to death. I wrote a short blog post about this album here. It was such a privilege to hear samples of this album from the side of the stage, whilst they performed to an estimated 8,000 fans!

Emily and I watching Above & Beyond from the side of stage

After a long drive back and unloading of the van, Creamfields was over for another year, other than the small matter of taking the batteries out of 15,000 pairs of headphones! I'm already looking forward to Creamfields next year - always one of my favourite festivals of the season. 

King of headphones!

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