You don't get much bigger or better festivals than Creamfields, and the weather this year made it one to remember. The picturesque fields of Dewsbury in Cheshire is home to the mighty Creamfields Gatherhering, a festival which has, in the last decade, become one of the key players in bringing dance music to the big stage with world-class production. Arriving on-site and navigating our way inside definitely got my step count off to a flying start, but thankfully security was friendly, efficient and organised and got us in with minimum fuss and time. For those who haven't been, the site is gigantic and every year these fields become an illustrious EDM playground hosting the worlds best deejays and artists over 3 crazy days. This year was no exception. Events of this size and nature tend to be largely attended by the those who live in the surrounding areas, so it was no surprise to have the Manchester “Air Max squad” shuffling away in accord with their Liverpool “Air Huarache” crew counterparts.
It was fortunate that the weather was warm and dry as we joined the hordes of ravers ready and eager to get involved and immersed in the vibes that lay in store for the day ahead. With the many stewards that were on hand to direct us around the site as quickly as possible, our Friday kicked off with a massive set from one of the UK's most beloved Deejays, Norman Cook, aka Mr Fatboy Slim. He orchestrated the crowd like a true showman and one that who is eager to please – vivaciously singing along to his own hits and hyping up the crowd with his quick teases and mixes. If he’s mixing is live, it sure is remarkably impressive.
Realising that the site had not changed much from last year’s original arrangement we swiftly navigated to the Warehouse where Paradise was showcasing many of their "A-team". The encompassing bumping kick drums, glowing synths with an occasional disco sample mesmerised the followers, who were busy shuffling away against the original and thoughtful production that Cream had laid on in the Warehouse. The place was rammed with everyone busy "avin it" to a special B2B set consisting of Richy Ahmed and Darius Syrossian.
After the quick dose of Ibiza vibes, we left the Paradise gang in the capable hands of Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping and Green Velvet to pump up the BMP's over at Andy C's Drum and Bass onslaught. Shy FX was just finishing up, tearing through some re-rubbed Jungle bangers and dropping his 25th-anniversary remix of his cult jungle smasher "Original Nutter" to a thunderous response. Looking around you could almost feel the atmosphere as the original Jungle heads were out in force. With our own BPM's now racing along frantically along with the music, we decided to take a walk around to ultimately end up at the Steel Yard to catch Eric Prydz much-anticipated Void showcase. Something which has now become a bit of a tradition for the regular Creamfields die hards. With the arenas were fairly close together, but far enough not to bleed any of the acoustics in-between themselves, the layout meant It was easy for us to manoeuvre around the place.
After a few drinks and a hearty (and expensive) pizza, we managed to get a decent nights sleep, something which is highly unusual for any festival camping experience but helped our Saturday get off to an energetic start. With a more lazy approach to the day, we mingled with the ravers and chatted to those who had travelled all over to make it here today. Everyone was thankful for the decent weather and not having to slide around in copious amounts of mud, something which had a direct and positive outlook on their whole festival experience. Our day was crammed full of amazing sets from Bicep, Peggy Gou and Dennis Sulta over at the BBC Radio 1 stage. One of the undeniable highlights had to be the mammoth "RTN II JUNGLE" deejay set from the almighty Chase & Status. They tore the Sub_Aural stage a new hole, one which couldn't be repaired! Over at the Steel Yard, Carl Cox had delivered a hard four to the floor set tingled with his productions. His signature style and well-crafted set reminded us why his been at the top of game for over 20 years. We decided to stay put and conserve some energy after the big man had finished and catch Nicole Moudaber closing things off at the Steelyard. The Italian powerhouse delivered an inspiring performance which kept the Steelyard in a perfect minimalistic state until closing. The night blended seamlessly into Sunday Morning after an array of campsite parties which carried on after all of the stages had closed and something we came to regret by Sunday lunchtime.
After a quick refuel and a well-needed shower, we hit the grass for our last day of electronica mayhem and retreat to the darkish confinements of the Warehouse to ease our fragile bodies in. Alan Fitzgerald’s bumpy party performance was in full swing and the perfect antidote to get ourselves back into the groove. Feeling a little rejuvenated, we ventured across the site and headed to the Steelyard for Cristoph's Sunday service. His superb song selections backed with his flawless mixing, restored the balance amongst the Sunday survivors and created an invigorating and mystical embodiment for those present.
We decided to get some air and increase our step count, saying our goodbyes to the Warehouse that had played a massive part of our 2019 Creamfields experience. The Generator was hosting on of UK's most prolific producers, Paul Woolford. The ambience down at the Generator was vigorous, with many of the faithful in their element and dancing in joyous unison. His eccentric performance caused the crowd to embrace in his bleepy recital, which created continued and modulated movement amongst the following, who would sporadically chant in elation to his minimalistic acid-infused sounds. After Paul Woolford's masterclass, we decided to have our last dance at The Warehouse, where Marco Carola was busy bringing his techno brilliance to an unsuspecting audience. Again Creamfields brought in some of the biggest stars across the techno continuum, and the minimal master's addition to the line-up was a brilliant move for this mammoth festivals offering. At times though, you wondered if his mastery was somewhat lost on the fairly urban congregation, but Mr Carola kept them enthralled until we departed.
Overall, our Creamfields experience this year is exactly what we wanted it to be. We decided to avoid the big headline deejays and pay our homage to the underground stars that light up our beloved scene so much. You can count on the Creamfields crew to lay on such a diverse line-up and have every electronic music angle covered so we knew from the very beginning how we wanted this to pan out. Over the last decade, Creamfields has grown to become its very own carefree EDM character. Each arena has gained its own unique identity while hosting some of the biggest names across the dance music sphere. Our best stage for production and line-up selection had to be The Steelyard, even though the production across all the other stages were impressive and uniquely captivating, The Steelyard creates a magical atmosphere in the right space with unparalleled levels of production. The Eric Prydz Void showcase is testament to this and provided the ultimate sensory overload for the whole weekend, a showcase which has to be experienced to be believed. The intricate thought and planning which had gone into the bespoke production which spanned across all the main stages added the wow factor to this year’s episode and successfully cementing Creamfields as one of the best UK festivals around.
With that said, they have just announced they will be returning on the 7th of December to Liverpool's Central Docks with Steelyard hosting Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike's ‘Garden of Madness’. We can’t wait for the carnage and breath-taking production being brought to the 15,000 capacity structure so roll December and let’s see what wintery wonders these guys have up their sleeve. Tickets are available here.