For fans of dance music there were two amazing festivals over the bank holiday weekend.
It started with the brand new Electronic Dance Festival in Victoria Park in east London. David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Audio Bullys, Zombie Nation, Leftfield, Goldfrapp and Professor Green were on the bill across the two day festival.
After a week of torrential rain the London Electronic Dance Festival was so lucky that the weather settled down and stayed – mostly – dry for the thousands of people who turned up.
This was a brave experiment created by three giants of live music – Cream, Goldvoice and Loudsound – who joined forces to introduce a brand new outdoor electronic dance festival in London.
The dance fraternity certainly showed their support and the response of the crowd – particularly to an excellent set by Calvin Harris – will hopefully ensure this festival becomes a regular event on the London scene.
The second festival was the mighty South West Four Weekender which took place on Clapham Common on Saturday and Sunday.
Artists on the line up included Armin van Buuren, Erick Morillo, Sasha, Pete Tong, Paul Oakenfold, Sander van Doorn, Marco V, Judge Jules and Gareth Emery on the Saturday. On the Sunday, Fatboy Slim, Salt – n – Pepa, Armand van Helden, Zane Lowe, Carl Cox and Layo & Bushwacka!
I went on the Saturday as the world-famous Gallery were hosting an arena with a stunning line up which included Italian dj and producer Giuseppe Ottaviani.
Although I have long been a fan of Ottaviani I have never seen him live so I was hugely exciting about the prospect of a trance session surrounded by other passionate trance fans.
I arrived in time to see a packed arena much enjoying the sound of Radio 1’s Judge Jules who entertained with his usual gusto.
If you are familiar with Giuseppe Ottaviani’s excellent debut artist album – Go! – you will know he is a hugely talented musician and craftsman and as he launched his live set with chords from the keyboard I knew we were in for something special.
He delivered a beautifully paced set incorporating tracks from the album including Angel and No More Alone with a real musician’s feel for the music.
At first – to my surprise – the crowd were slow in responding to this euphoric and uplifting brand of trance.
But as Ottaviani played several ‘anthems-in-the-making’ including his remix of Paul van Dyk’s We Are One they began to appreciate a truly fine performance from a considerable talent.
For me, Ottaviani played the set in The Gallery arena. I can’t wait to hear him again.
The South West Four Weekender was sold out across both days and the London Electronic Dance Festival was certainly very busy when I went on Friday night.
There is obviously a huge audience and appetite for dance music in London and it is fantastic that the promoters of both events take a risk with the weather and dare to put on these festivals.
I hope they will both be regular fixtures in the diary from now on – although, any chance we could have them on different weekends in future?