What used to be in my top 3 festivals in London but is now technically not based in London is the legendary We Are FSTVL. This is been for many years a staple in the festival calendar due to its extravagant lineups of the very best selectors around. Even though this is not in "LANDAN", it doesn't take away from the fact it is truly an awesome onslaught on all of your senses.
Upon arrival at East Dagenham Station, we were effectively directed by stewards which made everything simple especially after demolishing a bottle of Gin and Lemonade between the 3 of us. The queues which are normally a nightmare seemed very well planned out and manned by enough staff so it remained fluid and it didn't feel like we were stood in the same spot for long before going through the gates.
Once we passed the security you suddenly feel an overwhelming sense of freedom as we were welcomed with the low thuds of bass running through our chests. Eager to quench our thirst we thought we'd check out the VIP area, which to my surprise had its own stage and an easily accessible bar without queues and lounging areas. So we grabbed our drinks and set off on an adventure through a sea of colourful outfits, glitter and smiles. We hit the Glitterbox arena first which turned out to be one of my highlights of the day. I thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors feel of it which harnessed the good energy and music that had everybody not stop moving, good vibes, good energy and feel-good music. I enjoy vocals with my house music and this stage had exactly that going on.
We met some interesting characters, all with the right intentions (to go out and enjoy themselves) which was nice. When we needed to grab some more drinks from the bar the standard bar was surprisingly fast-moving due to the fact the drinks were pre-poured which made what was normally a chore that much more enjoyable.
We hot-footed it across the site to catch a slice of Sub Focus as he executed a masterful show of mixing and track selection with his right-hand hype man. This man's technical abilities never seem to falter, as he carefully crafts his sets to extract the maximum amount of vibes and energy from the crowd. Thankfully the ground was firm due to settled weather aiding us to step, dance and shuffle as well as navigating between arenas in the hope of catching snippets of our favourite deejays and artists.
The one picky comment I could make if I really had to was that the Bassjam tent had poor quality of sound throughout. We were stood halfway into the tent and it really just didn't provide that festival feel which is a shame because the music was good!
Our night was ended at the Paradise stage with the "Bossman" Jamie Jones setting the place alight and us bumping into every face we had said hello to throughout the day as we scrambled in to get a good position! Mr Jones laid out a quickfire set consisting of long build-ups and bumping basslines which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed judging by the vast amount of noise they made.
As always the lineup for We R FSTVL is a who's who across multiple electronic genres, featuring the most consequential deejays from the last decade, this had to easily be one of the best festivals the UK has to offer. A fantastic lineup of world-class DJs, the organisation and logistics were faultless, fantastic location, entry and exit were smooth, no fights or bad vibes, no long queues - the entire experience was incredible. Gutted we have to wait another year, just wish we could go every month!
Sign up for pre-sale 2022 tickets here