Not going to lie, we were a little apprehensive to kick-off festival season with all that has been going on in the last 18 or so months, but that soon dispersed as we set off down the M11 and arrived at the picturesque settings of Chippenham Park in deepest Cambridgeshire. Our navigation signalled we had arrived, but we couldn't see a soul in sight. Thankfully we saw a small sign but for a second had a moment that we had got the dates wrong or missed out on a cancellation announcement. But all was well as the sign signalled us to follow a beaten up track to the festival site entrance.
Entry was hassle-free and it was clear to see that they didn't have much staff on site, but never the less their friendly team were doing a great job at making sure everyone got to where they needed to go with minimum hassle. Once inside, we quickly scouted out the whole site in about 20 minutes and was quietly glad that it wasn't as busy as we would have expected. The setting is beautiful as it borders a scenic lake which many used to just chill out in the open and congregate with their mates. Due to this, the tents were a little empty as you would have expected, but that soon changed once the rain had given them a hounding and they had to take shelter.
We wandered over to the Wonderland Arena as we could hear Sam Supplier bellowing out in the microphone and decided to check out what he was throwing down. Wonderland wasn't exactly that, and to our bemusement, there was a discarded washing machine in the corner which actually served as a good rest spot for some of the ravers who took turns to rest their weary legs. Mr Supplier smashed it, and as usual, his high energy and infectious vibes seeped down to the crowd below who all seemed thankful to be able to dance together with a decent enough sound system.
If you have been to Hi Fields before, you know they lean heavily towards the UKG sound with a bit of House and DnB mixed in, so with that being said, we scuttled over to the Garage Nation tent to check out one of UKG's many veterans. Sir Martin Larner who was with his long time hype man, Kofi B were in the midst of causing a garage carnage for all those in attendance. They had the smallish size crowd inside the tent who were absolutely going for it jamming to Garage anthems galore which had the mob in good spirits and even better voices. Even with a slightly younger crowd in attendance, they certainly knew their music and shuffled away without a care in the world.
As the rain got a little heavier, we noticed that people had to start to take refuge in the tents and it all seemed to be getting a lot busier. We wandered back over to the Garage Nation tent to catch a little bit of Luck and Neat. A little damp from the ensuing rain, we decided not to stay too long as we noticed a large horde making their way over to the Warning Big Top for some top-notch DnB action. One thing I've noticed is that DnB has been getting a lot more popular with today's ravers and there definitely seems to be a whole resurgence of the scene in general. As we got to the Warning Big Top we were excited to see that the tent was packed and the vibes were high. Mollie Collins and Chrissy Criss were throwing down some absolute anthems that had the crowd riding flying, dropping sonic treasures like "Omni Trio - High Contrast remix" that tore the High Top to pieces. This led the way nicely for the main man Wilkinson who was ready to take over the proceedings. If you haven't heard a Wilkinson set, it's littered with high octane tunes and special edits of his own tracks that always guarantees a dancefloor mosh pit. Today was no different and again, clear to see that people had so much pent up raving energy they just wanted to unleash so the Drum and Bass contribution at The Warning Big Top was definitely the best form of therapy for many.
All in all, this was a good way for us to break into festival season, not too busy and not too quiet with enough room to manoeuvre about without having to dodge peoples armpits and rucksacks. It all felt relatively safe as you could even exercise some degree of social distancing if you wanted to without being too far from any of the action. Nevertheless, it's great to be back in a field with loud music and happy people, the line up was on point and if we did have any regrets it would have been that we didn't get a chance to check out any of the headline acts over at The Woods, as am sure the Solardo boys would have annihilated the place like they always do. But for today, and for us, Drum And Bass was the clear winner as its clear resurgence continues.