Why the Social Made Our Summer

House | Wednesday 17th September 2014 | Cristina

The Social is a small, boutique music festival in Maidstone, Kent, started last year by techno DJ Nic Fanciulli and his family. Launched on the 28th September to close the summer with a bang, it returned last week on Saturday 13th. As one of the last festivals of the summer, the spotlight was truly on the Social to bring the party vibes to the South East of England. We can safely say it rose to the occasion, hitting all the right spots with its superstar lineup and idyllic setting.

Hosted in Mote Park, a quick train ride away from London, the event aims to propagate quality dance music from corners local, national and international. With a team garnered from Nic Fanciulli’s independent record label Saved Records, the festival drew acts ranging from Detroit legends Art Department to Portsmouth house upstart Shadow Child. The park was formerly the location for Radio One’s Big Weekend 2008 and if the Social is anything to go on, will soon be a firm name on the dance music map.

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We wandered around Mote Park’s 180 hectares, enjoying the market stalls and funfair rides, expertly curated to cater to attendees of every dietary requirement, exotic taste and drunken urge. Locally sourced food, along with acts, were an essential ingredient to the festival’s success. The boutique feel of the festival was compounded by the intimacy of the property, and the tents captured the right vibe with their sweaty, enclosed space and boutique interior designs.

We caught Ben Pearce’s afternoon set to warm ourselves up and were pleased to find the crowd already in full rave mode with a surprisingly low concentration of posers awkwardly standing around, for a one-day dance festival. Pearce dropped some classics as well as the disco numbers which have come to characterise his DJ sets. We headed on to Seth Troxler, whose set upped the game and pushed the pounding-beat-factor of the event to the next level with his critically acclaimed minimalist techno.

Gorgon City’s ‘Ready for Your Love’, in all its sugary pop glory, was another festival highlight, as the crowd gave in to its commercial yet irresistible chorus. Carl Cox, a headliner of the event, closed it in style with an innovative set full of corkers from upstart producers whose names will be made by DJs like Cox.

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Speaking to Kent Online, Carl Cox said of the festival:  “Nic is really passionate about bringing something special to Maidstone as it’s his hometown.” This was a sentiment which felt ubiquitous among the crowd as well as backstage, proving once again that the Social is an exciting new brand for the UK festival scene, in its novel and musician-led approach to organisation. Created by DJs, the festival’s no-nonsense music policy and local emphasis will ensure its place in the festival circuit for years to come.

Hit up the Social's website for more information.

Follow @The__Social on Twitter

Like The Social Festival on Facebook

Photos by Tony TK Smith.