Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 review: Bringing the house to Hatfield House

PUBLISHED: 10:20 14 August 2015 | UPDATED: 10:54 14 August 2015

Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Archant

Historic Hatfield House was transformed on Saturday, August 1, after the biggest celebration of house and techno came to town for the 2015 Eastern Electrics Festival. Shelby Loasby, head of print media at Trident Media UK, the Universtiy of Hertfordshire’s student media outlet, reviews the festival.

Gloria's Stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]Gloria's Stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

The deep house sounds from Ibiza and the underground vibes from London all came together to create an energetic, unstoppable and genre-defying atmosphere for the one-day festival.

Despite a slight delay at the beginning, the festival kicked off with a bang.

Crowds of people flooded through the entrance gates and ran straight over to the EE bars scattered around the arena, preparing themselves for the long day of raving ahead of them.

Opening the festival, and setting the tone on the Main Stage, was the founder and lead resident of FUSE, Enzo Siragusa.

Tropical Tea Party at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]Tropical Tea Party at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Meanwhile, over at The Switchyard was the first of tINI’s gang, Die Hollander.

If those big names weren’t enough, at 11.30am, the Star of the EE Pub welcomed DJ duo Two and Eight, whilst the VIP stage, Kubicle, hosted Johnny Winter.

The rest of the morning saw the other stages gathering crowds and competing against each other with some of the biggest mixes.

The Sankeys stage was heaving as soon as Manu Gonzalez took to the decks, but over in the Skreamism Big Top tent, talented Glaswegian Jasper James was playing to a sparse crowd.

As the day progressed, however, streams of revellers arrived at the festival, and the 13,000-strong crowd soon created an energetic atmosphere around the arena.

Taking a break from the line-up, Electric City offered a different kind of vibe.

The City was tucked away in the corner of the arena but wasn’t to be missed.

It was an adventure as soon as you walked through the entrance, and was host to the Tropical Tea Party, complete with tea-infused cocktails, jumbo tea cups for seating and the Sexy Kitchen Party DJs.

Cassy on the Main Stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]Cassy on the Main Stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

They played a sexy old skool playlist – a welcome break from the deep house and hardcore techno on the other eight EE stages.

The Electric City also housed The Funk Soul Disco and the Magic Door, two very different venues.

The Funk Soul Disco, set up by five students from Surrey University, was set amongst the trees with hanging vinyl records.

The Magic Door was a whole other adventure, starting with a glittery magic bean given to everyone on arrival.

The Switchyard at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]The Switchyard at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Revellers were then whisked away through a rainbow door, into a room full of glitter, fake tattoos, wigs and face paint.

As crazy as it sounds, it fitted the mood of the festival perfectly.

Back out in the arena, the festival was in full swing, with the line-up on each stage turning up the volume and talent.

The Main Stage had witnessed the likes of Nick Curly, Guti, the king of house tech Matthias Tanzmann, EE favourite Cassy, and the Netherlands’ Joris Voorm.

The Black Butter Records stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]The Black Butter Records stage at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Over at The Big Top, the roof was being blown off by the electrifying sounds of Midland, Floorplan, Boddika and one of the top DJs at the forefront of British house music, Richy Ahmed.

The Switchyard was also putting on a noteworthy show with performances from tINI’s Aussie protégé Bella Sarris, the ‘Ping of Kop’ Jichael Mackson, and the woman herself, tINI, who defied her name with some of her massive tunes.

Hiding in the forest was the Black Butter Records Stage.

Unfortunately many of the talents didn’t receive much attention at the beginning of the day as the lack of signposting around the festival made it very hard to find the different stages. Needless to say though, the music was on point from artists like Woz, Applebottom and remix moguls My Nu Leng.

Definitely not missing out on the action was Sankeys on the Club Stage.

The big white tortoiseshell tent was overflowing with people since the first DJ took to the stage.

Massive Ibiza and London names entertained the crowds, from Sante and Sidney Charles to Steve Lawler and headliner Miguel Campbell.

XOYO and Sink the Pink present Gloria’s stage – yes, quite the mouthful – was the small and mighty venue in the arena.

Skream at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]Skream at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Whack bang in the middle, amongst the caterers and Cubanisto stand, the stage wasn’t forgotten.

People walking by would get distracted by the awesome sounds of Citizenn, the 2 Bears, and the classically trained Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs.

The Star of the EE Pub stage also continued to be a massive hit, with artists like Waifs and Strays, Jon Carter and Matt Jam Lamont on the mixers.

It wasn’t long before the headliners of the day took over, but the buzz around the arena seemed to be directed at just one performer – DJ EZ.

Mike Skinner in the Star of EE Pub at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]Mike Skinner in the Star of EE Pub at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

The pure garage legend was the talk of the festival, especially considering no one knew which stage he was performing on. Here’s a clue, somewhere in the forest.

As the sun set behind the clouds, the entrance to the Black Butter Records Stage was impenetrable, as crowds of people swarmed over.

DJ EZ’s set was eventually cut short for safety reasons, but those who couldn’t make it to see him, however, still had a handful of huge acts to see around the festival.

The incredible Skream headlined the Skreamizm Big Top tent – hence the name; the one and only Jamie Jones took charge of the Main Stage, and the mastermind behind The Streets, Mike Skinner, rocked out in the Star of the EE Pub.

The crowd at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]The crowd at Eastern Electrics Festival 2015 at Hatfield House [Picture: William Ahmed]

Skinner took the sound of the festival in a different direction and blasted out remixes of The Streets, Kanye West and other chart-toppers.

The headliners closed the 11-hour day of hardcore house and techno in true form and left many revellers eager for more.

Luckily the raving didn’t stop there, as Eastern Electrics offered two after-parties in The Forum Hertfordshire, in Hatfield, and Egg in London – whilst it was a change of scenery, it wasn’t a change in entertainment.

Despite the late start, the lack of signposting and maps, and the obvious moans about festival prices on food and drinks, the day was a massive success for the genre.

If you don’t like house or dubstep however, this is definitely not the festival for you.

One festival-goer from Hatfield summed the day up perfectly. “I love this type of music. I’ve come two years in a row now and both times it’s blown me away.”

He added: “Everything is so close together too, unlike the big festivals, so you can easily stage jump.”

Whilst the reveller couldn’t afford a trip to Ibiza this year with friends, he said that Eastern Electrics was a great replacement.

“I can’t complain. I don’t just go for the lad’s holiday. Like I say, I love this music. I’m off to High Definition next month too for more!”

* Trident Media is the home of print, TV and the UK’s oldest campus radio station, Crush Radio, at Hertfordshire Students’ Union.

For more festival previews, reviews and interviews, head over to Tridentmedia.org, the Universtiy of Hertfordshire’s student media outlet.


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