Creamfields South kicks off festival season with a stellar debut
Monday 6th June 2022 | Rosh
Breaking our winter festival blues and kicking off summer, we headed over to Chelmsford in Essex for a well deserved royal "knees-up" as Creamfields ventured down south for a 2-day Jubillie jamboree.
Pitching up at the old V Festival site in Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Creamfields South bore the hallmark of a great weekend and gave us the ideal excuse to kick off the summer festival season. The line-up over the two days was saturated with the top talent across different genres and made it impossible to stay in any one arena for too long. However, with the help of the nifty Creamfields app, we were able to navigate ourselves from each stage in time, thanks to the "15 mins to go" reminders that would pop up on your phone once you had selected the acts you wanted to catch beforehand.
Arriving at Hylands Park was pretty painless by car, well signposted and with stewards galore on hand to help out, you really couldn't go wrong getting to your designated car park. Inside we headed straight across to check out the Hospitality area. Less busy than the main festival, this area gave us some breathing space and access to calm and clean toilets and a bougie selection of food offerings without the queueing.
Feeling a vibration in my back pocket, I checked out the app and got a notification that I needed to get my arse over to the Paradise stage ASAP. A rather tasty B2B session was currently in progress between Richey Ahmed and PAWSA that made us dash across the site to catch the last hour of the duo's havoc. The two got everyone going with an energetic set for the early evening raving crew but also got us thinking that we must check out the rest of the festival before we get too carried away.
We headed over to the Nation stage and caught some of Marco Carola's set. Bordering on the Techno side of house, the tent wasn't that busy but with Marco giving it some "welly", the audience was fixated on his futuristic and edgy set. With the Nation Tent being so near the Main Stage, we couldn't help but see what all the arm shaking was all about in the distance. Even from where we were, you could see the silhouette of the DJ constantly waving his arms in the air. You could almost smell the cheese as you got nearer as David Guetta eagerly attempted to get the audience invigorated with his over the top performance. We endured ten minutes of the Guetta show before we swiftly U-turned to get to the Warehouse stage where Solid Grooves boss, Michael Bibi was due to cause some scenes. Comfortably rammed with people, the Warehouse stage was where it was at and had desperate revellers eager to squeeze in. Undoubtedly one of the festival favourites, Micheal Bibi was the man of the hour as he slipped in and out of some delectable tracks and special edits from his extensive catalogue of party bangers. Easy to see why he's in such high demand and one of the raver's favourites. His unstoppable rise over the last few years has earned him a hoard of followers who were out in force celebrating as Bibi fever took over the arena.
Eager to see what other genres were offering at Creamfields debut down south, we took the short walk across the grass to the Sub Aural stage where Hybrid Minds were slap bang in the middle of an acoustic onslaught. Drum and Bass was having it large over here with some of the best vibes throughout Creamfields South. Hybrid Minds spun through some guaranteed party-starters such as Camo and Krooked ft Mefjus Remix of High Contrasts, "Return of Forever" and Wilkinson's "Afterglow" which had the masses in good voice and sounding grateful to be welcoming in festival season.
The phone buzzed once again as the Creamfieldfs South app notified us that a geezer who goes by the name of Norman, was about to close off the Main Stage, and if we wanted to see some fireworks, this would be the place to head to, so off we went.
The Main stage was heaving by the time we arrived because the Fatboy was throwing down a barrage of funked-up house heaters with his trademark samples in there for good measure. His accompanying visuals were mesmerising and thought-provoking and kept the audience skanking happily on the wet grass thanks to the early evening rain. The wet weather didn't deter the Fat Boys diehards, ravers, as they embraced each tune he dropped, working up a beer driven frenzy.
With the rain now in full swing, as much as we love Old Norman, we dashed back to Sub Arual to round off our evening with a bit of SASASAS carnage. Playing at one of their 1st UK festivals since losing the legendary MC Skibadee, the trio played homage to their old cohort and delivered some of Skibba's best-known lyrics in his absence. With a packed tent throughout, they had the lighters up in the air as they bowed out and closed off the evening with "Changes", one of the last studio tunes Skibadee ever made.
Overall Creamfields was an exemplary way to break in festival season that consisted of great talent, pinpoint organisation and 20K of my daily step count. The security was probably one of the tightest I've seen at a festival as you were never a few hundred yards away from a steward or security who, at times, was a little intimidating when they roamed around in large wolfpacks. Standout deejays for us on the 1st day had to be Michael Bibi, closely followed by Hybrid Minds and their expertly curated track selection. Hopefully, we get to see this episode of Creamfields South stick around for next year as it's a welcoming entry for large scale dance music festivals for Essex and a much needed alternative festival for true electronic music lovers.
Creamfields North happens between the 25th - 28th of August 2022 in Daresbury, Chesire. More info and ticket link here.