Its fair to say dance music has changed alot in the past 5 years. The UKs clubbing scene has always been viewed as one of the best in the world, but its brightest stars were until recently not expected to reach to the top of the charts on a regular basis, nor get paid six figure sums for each set. This recent growth has lead to a much bugger precense at summer festivals – both with a bigger billing at eastablished events, and with other that revolve around the genre.
EDC UK definitely fits into the second category. Hosted at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, this was the 4th interation of the UK branch of EDC (the main event takes place every year in Las Vegas in June). With over 50,000 dance music fans packed into the bowl and the surrounding ground, this is undoubtedly the largest one-day dance music festival in the UK (and one of the biggest single-day events outright). Having been one of them, its not hard to see why.
The lineup at this year’s event offered both quality at veritay, with something to satisfy almost all dance music fans. The mainstage included performances from some of the heavyweights of the genre, inlcuding the likes of Eric Prydz and Martin Garrix. While many centred their set around the newest and most popular songs, some DJs took the opportunity to stray from the well troden path – Oliver Heldens played both ABBA’s Voulez Vous and the infamous ‘Will Griggs on Fire’ chang. while Axwell /\ Ingrosso played a number of songs from Swedish House Mafia’s back catalog (a nod to the Bowl being the locaiton of the trio’s last ever UK show).
The 3 other stages all provided something different. The packed tent’s each concentrated on a different sub-genre, yet all having a fantastic atmosphere. Many took the opportunity to explore beyond the bowl and listen to some of the best British DJs (DJ EZ stood out with a que 5-people deep to get into the tent to watch his performance), as well as a number of acts rarely seen in the UK.
One are where all of EDC’s events stand out over the competition is production. The stage was a site to be hold, with a large water fountain that was synced to the music running from start to finish. Combined with the regular wireworks and confeti throughout the day, the setup elevated the music to a spectacle beyond the average set. Beyond the music, EDC’s signature dancers also added a spalsh of colour and character to the surrounding grounds accross the afternoon.
Although the event will be considered a success and was enjoyed by almost all at the bowl, it was overshadowed by the sad news of a fatality of an antendee. 23 year-old Liam McEwan sadly passed away after police were called to the venue just over 2 hours after the end of the final set. No further updates on the situation are avilable at this time. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult period.
While at the event, I was fortunate enough to get some time to talk to JAUZ backstage. LA-based DJ and producer was both interesting and honest, going into depth on his experience both making music and playing it all-over the world
You can find JAUZ lastest song – a collaboration with Tiesto mentioned in the interview – here