This year's South West Four or SW4 as its more commonly known as celebrated its tenth year anniversary and had a spectacular lineup to match.
Closing out Sunday night on the main stage was headliner Example. His presence on stage with his live band brought a continued wave of euphoric energy over the grounds of Clapham Common as he kicked off his set with 'Kickstarts'. Bouncing around the stage like an energiser bunny and fresh off a main stage performance at Glastonbury, the sold out 30,000 crowd filled the main arena to wave their hands in the air to tracks 'Won't Go Quietly', 'Stay Awake', 'Watch the Sun Come Up', and his new single 'All the Wrong Places'. Complete with a massive laser display and pyrotechnics showering the Clapham Common grounds, Example sent out this years SW4 in style!
The UKF hosted main arena also had massive sets from SW4 favourites Knife Party, Dutch DJ Nicky Romero, Drum and Bass master Andy C, American Trap sensation Baauer and special guest, the one and only Steve Aoki.
Having recently started a trend of spraying champagne and throwing cakes into the crowd, we were waiting in anticipation for Steve Aoki to hit the stage to see what crazy antics he would bring to the London. Kicking off with his new track, it didn't take long for Aoki to balance himself up on the DJ booth to present to the crowd what looked like an M&S chocolate cake. Pointing a finger out across the crowd, he takes aim and tosses the cake high into the sky, as the crowd disperse to avoid being literally cake faced, the cake splats onto the ground spraying up onto those unfortunately enough to "get a piece". Steve Aoki then topped his set off by running out to the barriers with a bottle of champagne to spray those that were front and centre to complete an entertaining performance.
Earlier on in the day in the Together Arena the iconic Soul II Soul drew an packed out crowd to see Jazzy B and the rest of the troupe. Jazzy B got on the mic to say "Its great to be on this side of the river" as the north Londoner's treated the crowd to tracks like 'Keep on Movin', 'Back to Life', 'Get a Life' and more which kept the fans grooving throughout their hour long set.
The Bedrock arena had special guest and legendary German DJ and producer Sven Vath get the mid afternoon crowd bopping their heads with a typical Vath set full of techno house goodies that you can't help but shake your ass to! Vath is still one of few DJ's that performs with Vinyl and its a pleasure to see this against all the digital DJ's these days.
Also up in the Bedrock arena is flight shy Eric Prydz whose also another SW4 fan favourite. Featured regularly over the years, Prydz never disappoints. His electro infused big room house sound has served him well over the years and this years set at SW4 was one of the best ones yet.
Closing out the Bedrock tent and performing in a Skull like custom made DJ booth is Alex Ridha, who is more famously known as Boyz Noise, a german electronic music producer who brings his lively and innovative live show to SW4. His innovative mix of different genres of music with electronic music makes it easy to understand why he is in huge demand and why his live sets are praised around the world! His energy transcends over the packed tent to ensure that everyone is treated to a special show.
With John Digweed, Pete Tong, Erick Morillo, Dillon Francis, RL Grime, Friction, Crazy P, The 2 Bears and more performing on Sunday it was yet another example that its best not to mess with a formula of bringing one of the biggest dance music lineups to London every Bank Holiday weekend. SW4 have stuck to their roots of doing what they know best, throwing a massive weekender party in a park and have had 10 years of success by doing so. If you haven't ever been to SW4, we recommend you prepare for next year as each year just seems to exceed the previous, see you on the Common in 2014!
Coming off the back of recent headline performances at Timewarp, We Are FSTVL, Ushuaia Ibiza Opening and the IMS Grand Finale, Sven Väth makes his hugely anticipated return to Clapham Common for South West Four’s 10th Anniversary. Such storming sets continue to seal Sven’s legacy as one of the greatest DJs to ever walk the planet. This summer his Cocoon vision will embark on its fourteenth season at Amnesia Ibiza, with guests including Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice and Luciano playing across seventeen roadblock events. Sven is a truly iconic figure within the scene and on Sunday 25th August he will be sharing his godly gifts with the more than worthy South West Four crowd. This will be something very special.
Another internationally renowned DJ making their return to SW4 for the 10th Anniversary is Mr VIVa Warrior himself, Steve Lawler. Held in the highest regard by both his peers and his global spread of fans, Steve has held residencies at many of the world’s greatest clubs including Space Ibiza and The End London. He has also released music on highbrow labels such as Cocoon, Souvenir and Drumcode, as well as his own brain child VIVa MUSic. It’s through this imprint, that he has earned a reputation for breaking new talent. With new names to follow in 2013, as well as another 15 weekly parties from June at Sankeys Ibiza, the summer is set to be another stormer for Steve. With this his fourth South West Four performance, we are thrilled to welcome his pounding tribal beats back for another outrageous session of amazing music.
SAT ARTISTS ANNOUNCED: Eddie Halliwell, Paul van Dyk, Paul Oakenfold, Aly & Fila, Andy Moor B2B Lange, W&W, Super8 & Tab, Orjan Nilsen, Simon Patterson, Lee Osborne, Gorgon City, Mark Knight, Solomun, Dennis Ferrer, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Cajmere, Tocadisco, Tensnake, Tristan Ingram, Afrojack, Carl Cox & Loco Dice B2B, Marco Carola, Adam Beyer, Guti [Live], Hector, Carl Craig, Laidback Luke, Gareth Emery, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Sander Van Doorn, Armin Van Buuren (UK Festival Exclusive Performance)…
SUN ARTISTS ANNOUNCED: Sven Vath, Steve Lawler, James Zabiela, Scuba, Blond:ish, Blackhall & Bookless, Jesse James & Johnny Bloomfield, Steve Aoki, Erick Morillo, Soul II Soul, Benji B & Deviation Strings, Crazy P [Live], Friction & Friends, Rustie, Bondax, RL Grime, Kove, Knife Party, Groove Armada, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Pete Tong, The 2 Bears, Dusky, Eric Prydz, Boys Noize [Live], Laurent Garnier, John Digweed, Tim Green [Debut Live Show], Example, Andy C, Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, Todd Edwards & EZ B2B, Dismantle & Roska B2B, Nicky Romero, Baauer…
For almost two decades Erick Morillo has been one of the most in demand DJs and producers on the planet. The Columbian-come-American’s career began in the early 90’s and since then he has gone on to play every principal city on the map, including major residencies in Ibiza for the past fifteen years. In 1997 he launched his own label ‘Subliminal Records’ and has since been able to propel the imprint to international prominence. In 2012 the status that Morillo holds in his homeland was exemplified further when a street was named after him in Union City. We’ve been lucky for Erick to play SW4 several times, in fact he was our first ever headliner back in 2004. We are delighted to have this living legend back for our 10th Anniversary…It just wouldn’t be the same without him.
"If anyone knows how hard it is to maintain a brand, party and event, it’s me. So congratulations to SW4 on their Tenth Anniversary! I always love coming to London to play SW4 in the summertime. The heavens opened on us last year, but it was still an amazing party and vibe. Let's pray for some summer loving this year!" Erick Morillo
Following in the footsteps of other seminal bands to play South West Four over the years such as Public Enemy and Salt N Pepa, our 10th Anniversary welcomes true London musical royalty. Celebrating their 25th Anniversary in their home city at SW4, we are delighted to showcase Soul II Soul featuring the magnificent Caron Wheeler. Reviewing their list of accolades, it’s easy to see why Jazzie B’s band is such an inspired choice. Having won two Grammy Awards and sold millions of records worldwide, Jazzie also has been given keys to an incredible seven cities in the US, including LA and New York. In America there’s even a Soul II Soul day, whilst back in Blighty Jazzie has been awarded an OBE for his services to music. Having formed in 1988, they burst on to the scene soon after with their massive hit singles ‘Keep on Movin’ and ‘Back to Life’, with the latter being featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. This year we celebrate 25 years of Soul II Soul at our 10th Anniversary, making our already stellar line up even more mouth watering.
“Looking forward to playing south of the river to a quality crowd! A happy face, a thumpin' bass, for a loving race :-)” Jazzie B (Soul II Soul)
Benji B & Deviation Strings is up there amongst the most interesting collaborations of the past decade. Led by multi-instrumentalist and composer Grant Windsor, the sixteen piece orchestra will take to the South West Four main stage to perform specially arranged scores accompanied by Benji B on the decks. This live performance is taking electronic music to the next level as the orchestra and Benji beautifully blend together tracks, as the instruments add another dramatic dimension to create a sound of epic proportions. The Radio1 DJs’ own Deviation nights have grown to become one of the most important and well-respected brands in British nightlife, with a simple manifesto of “good sound, good music, good people and no compromise”. Quite simply this is an incredible SW4 spectacle not to be missed.
UK disco darlingsCrazy P have been making some of the most important and relevant beats for the best part of fifteen years. With one of the best live shows in dance music, their roots are planted firmly in the late 90’s club scene. Their performance is a blistering exhibition of raw energy, infecting the crowd with their disco stylings. Often imitated but never duplicated, their extensive catalogue harks back memories of a more groovy, funk-laden era and 2013 sees a new album on the horizon. Make sure you catch their full live show at South West Four this year, as we party in true style. Time to get into boogie mode.
SW4 favourite Friction is a DJ and producer that holds extremely high esteem in the drum & bass world. Described by Pete Tong as “one of the big dogs”, he holds court in the D&B Hall of Fame thanks to his inauguration at the 2011 Drum & Bass Arena Awards. He has released music on the genre’s most respected labels including Hospital and Metalheadz and in 2004 founded Shogun Audio which pushed his name into the limelight. Since then he has gone on to become the new face of Radio 1’s flagship drum & bass show, a slot that was previously occupied by none other than Fabio & Grooverider. Having destroyed the RAM Records Arena at SW4 2012, Friction takes to the main stage this year alongside three very special guests; P Money, Scrufizzer and Linguistics.
Russell Whyte’s jittery, caffeine injected, upbeat style of music is without doubt the sound of the underground right now. Rustie’s in your face, anything goes, yet sometimes brash approach of mixing hip-hop and pop, with dubstep and trap is what’s making Rustie so in demand. In 2010 he signed to Warp Records, who released his now classic debut album ‘Glass Swords’ in 2011. In 2013 his thunderous new offering ‘Slasherr’ is causing a storm worldwide through Glasgow based label Numbers. Take note SW4, because this young Scot has only just got started.
Lancaster’s finest Bondax descend onto the Clapham Common threshold this year for their first ever South West Four appearance. Expect soulful, smooth bass and glorious sounding synths combined with R&B flavours, to make an irresistible cocktail that melts in your ears. Each listen to one of their tracks reveals a new aura of sophistication, whilst their latest offering ‘Gold’ puts Bondax on the very top of the new British talent coming through the ranks in 2013.
Los Angeles born RL Grime is in his own words “reshaping electronic production”. His melodically influenced flavour is connecting the roots of southern hip hop with the new age of electronic dance music. His alter-ego Clockwork has gained him the respect of several big name DJs, whilst his RL Grime project is shaping up to be no different. His track ‘Trap On Acid’ gained support from Diplo and A-Trak, as well as Flosstradamus and Baauer, who will both join him at South West Four this year. RL Grime’strap ideals are dictating our understanding of what its means to be a 21st century producer, as he holds status as one of the hottest properties on the planet.
Sussex born Kove has been causing a stir in the bass world over the past twelve months. Ram Records head honcho and SW4 resident Andy C picked up his track ‘Iodine’ in 2012 which quickly became a staple in the sets of many of the scene’s biggest names. Since then, Kove has recently signed exclusively with Chase & Status’ MTA Records and is increasingly in demand as a DJ throughout Europe. Making his debut appearance at SW4, this hotly tipped youngster will go on great things, we are certain of that.
ALSO ADDED TO SW4 SATURDAY!
The stage is set for Gorgon City to take over the world. Off the back of their first EP ‘Real’ they have already gained the support of Diplo, Annie Mac and Rinse FM. The title track featuring the soulful Yasmin has even been getting daytime play on Radio1, whilst ‘Thor’ is an equally devastating affair. Individually, Foamo and RackNRuin who make up Gorgon City are both well respected producers and DJs in their own right and their distinct stylings can be heard throughout their own studio efforts. Inspired by a vast selection of music genres, growing up in north London has clearly influenced the pair with their sound an amalgamation of house, garage and deep bass. Their first EP was released by the irrepressible Black Butter Records, home of the chart topping Rudimental and with new music in the pipeline, the future is certainly bright for Gorgon City.
Released to fans on Friday 22nd February, it can now be revealed that all general admission tickets to this exclusive 1-day party were snapped up in less than 10 minutes, by revellers from over 30 countries worldwide! The only way you’ll now be able to attend one of the most exclusive parties of the summer is by purchasing the tailor-made travel and accommodation packages from www.travel2ultra.com.
It can now also be revealed that the second star to headline the exclusive beach party will be platinum-selling luminary and house music legend Erick Morillo! Taking to the poolside stage on the 3rd and final day – and joining previously confirmed Dim Mak label boss Steve Aoki no less – this exquisite addition of talent will no doubt make for one of the hottest parties of the summer season.
What’s more, the line-up for the first 2 days of Ultra Europe at the Poljud Stadium in Split has also been updated with 8 new world-class acts; Fedde Le Grand, Nicky Romero, Porter Robinson and Bingo Players will be joining the already confirmed likes of Avicii, Afrojack, Hardwell and Sander Van Doorn on the almighty Main Stage, while Art Department, Umek, Marco Carola and Reboot will be showcasing the very best underground soundscapes as they join Carl Cox at his iconic Carl Cox & Friends arena over 2 colossal days. The 16 performers confirmed so far make up less than half of the acts scheduled to play at this year’s inaugural Ultra Europe festival, so stay tuned to the Ultra Europe Facebook page for the latest updates.
General Admission tickets for the first two days of the festival on 12th and 13th July at the Poljud Stadium in Split are still available for the low price of €60, and for the VIP Package tickets start at €100; head to www.ultraeurope.com to purchase now
SW4 2012 ARENA HOSTS… SATURDAY: SUBLIMINAL THE GALLERY PRESENTS EVOLUTION · BEDROCK SUNDAY: TOGETHER ALL GONE PETE TONG · RAM20
On the Saturday house legend Erick Morillo returns to SW4 this summer for his first London appearance in over seventeen months and his ONLY UK Festival performance this year. With his set one of the ‘must see’ performances in London this summer, it makes perfect sense for ‘Subliminal’, his Pacha Ibiza night and trend setting label to take full control of its own tent. On parade will be the same beautiful people and extravagant clubbing experience one has come to expect from Subliminal, with Erick starring alongside An21 & Max Vangelli, Funkagenda, Sneaky Soundsystem, Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, Tim Mason and very special guest Roger Sanchez.
Paul van Dyk and London institution ‘The Gallery’ join forces at SW4 2012 to present the biggest trance lineup in London this year. Featuring an array of talent who PvD personally feels has an affiliation with his new ‘Evolution’ album concept, Paul will be joined by Markus Schulz, Gareth Emery, Aly & Fila, John O’ Callaghan, Richard Durand, Claudia Cazacu and Gary Proud. Combined with an extraordinary live show, which merges the soundtrack, imposing stage and hypnotic visuals, expect excellence in the art of sound!
John Digweed’s Bedrock returns to SW4 this summer to host an arena bursting at the seams with the best in underground house and techno DJs. In honour of the namesake label, John has been an irrepressible force in London this year. Setting things up perfectly for SW4, his monthly XOYO residency has rekindled that classic Thursday night slot, with capacity crowds filling one of London’s most forward thinking venues. Bedrock has always translated well to the great outdoors and this summer will be no different with John featuring beside Joris Voorn, Âme, Guy Gerber, Robert Babicz, Laura Jones, jozif and the Mixcloud DJ competition winner.
Lethargic after Saturday’s excursion? The booming DJ Magazine arena hosted by Together is bound to revitalise the senses. The Together tent at SW4 2011 was arguably the most energetic, whilst last November’s Together Winter Music Festival at Alexandra Palace confirmed the night as a dominant force. This summer Together packs its bags to host a sixteen date Tuesday night summer residency at the legendary Amnesia Ibiza but returns to Blighty for SW4. This time round Together brings with them the inimitable flair of 2 Many DJs (DJ set), Eric Prydz, Simian Mobile Disco (DJ set), Erol Alkan, Green Velvet, Brodinski & Gesaffelstein and Jeremy Olander.
This summer the world’s undisputed ambassador for electronic dance music returns to South West Four, this time hosting his very own arena. That’s right, SW4 goes ‘All Gone Pete Tong’! The clubbing credentials of All Gone have already been well proven, with a blowout season at Pacha Ibiza last summer, followed by a Bestival showcase and sell-out London warehouse party. In 2012 another Pacha residency has been confirmed, whilst the SW4 arena represents the biggest All Gone party to date. Pete hosts proceedings and is joined by Sasha, Seth Troxler, Maya Jane Coles, Dyed Soundorom, Eats Everything, Jaymo & Andy George and Connected’s Jesse James & Johnny Bloomfield.
Last but not least the biting sounds of Andy C and ‘RAM Records’, revered amongst drum and bass connoisseurs. This year is the seminal label’s 20th Anniversary with the celebrations launching on Clapham Common. Through its association with London nightspots The End, Fabric and Matter, RAM is responsible for some of the greatest clubbing moments the capital has ever experienced.Andy C headlines, bringing with him his audio / visual ‘Alive’ arc, with further drum and bass coming courtesy of Friction, Delta Heavy and Loadstar. Flux Pavilion, Jack Beats, Borgore and Doctor P also bring the bass, making this arena a real SW4 treat.
That’s the arena hosts done and dusted, sure to be gleaming in the sparking South London sun. But these tense tarpaulins are nothing without artists, so let’s take this opportunity to tease out some more. Sit comfortably and enjoy…
ADDED TO SW4 DAY ONE: SAT 25TH AUGUST AN21 & MAX VANGELLI SUNNERY JAMES AND RYAN MARCIANO · TIM MASON VERY SPECIAL GUESTS: LET THE MUSIC PLAY [EXCLUSIVE]
An21 & Max Vangelli begin the latest Saturday additions, after their Ministry of Sound outings have become some of the most talked about on the superclub’s roster. Theatrical breakdowns and jacking grooves have built a reputation that sold out their MOS gig on New Years Eve several weeks in advance. This should come as no surprise, what with the duo being protégés of none other than Swedish House Mafia. Signed to Steve Angello’s trailblazing ‘Size’ label, twelve months of world domination culminated in November’s sensational Essential Mix. Touted as one of the best of 2011, it was crowned by the An21 & Max Vangelli remix of ‘Save The World.’ Previously named in DJ Mag’s ‘Top 5 To Watch,’ it’s peak time house all the way.
“Let The Music Play”; the motto of SW4 over its illustrious nine year history. But for this summer, it bears even more significance! On the Saturday we welcome the top secret project for their world exclusive performance. Encompassing red hot energy and euphoria, their tracks ‘Stars’ and ‘Waves’ have received major radio support in recent weeks. Keep your eyes peeled for more info.
Dynamic duo Sunnery James and Ryan Marciano, blur the boundaries of house music in accomplished fashion. Perhaps best known for their rousing re-work of Tiesto’s immortal ‘Lethal Industry,’ only the most skilled could enhance a true classic – re-building it into a deep, funky stormer. As Axwell so eloquently puts it, “if there were a Dutch version of Swedish House Mafia, it would be Sunnery and Ryan.” As if any more endorsement was needed, Morillo has snapped up S&R for an exclusive Subliminal residency at Pacha Ibiza this summer. Demonstrated by the groundbreaking ‘Amazone Project Vol. 3,’ it’s dirty Dutch house at its best.
Tim Mason is a self professed purveyor of pure house music.‘The Moment’ is one of the anthems of 2012 thus far, having been adopted by Tiesto and Steve Angello. A climatic build that explodes into a devastating hook, this debut track has the accolade of being signed to Angello’s ‘Size.’ With such a global platform to shine, this is most definitely Mason’s moment. New track ‘Amina OMG’ is of the same quality, summing up perfectly his big room house. Both these are sure to send SW4 wild, so check them out and envisage as the sun sets. Just beautiful…
ADDED TO SW4 DAY TWO: SAT 26TH AUGUST BRODINSKI & GESAFFELSTEIN · DELTA HEAVY · LOADSTAR JAYMO & ANDY GEORGE · JEREMY OLANDER JESSE JAMES & JOHNNY BLOOMFIELD
Brodinski& Gesaffelstein, a French pairing that stands apart from their conventional countrymen associates. Brodinski is whirring techno, bass heavy house through to melodic minimal, whilst Gesaffelstein utilises wide ranging excerpts from broody techno and engaging electro. The result is an atmospheric musical soundscape that has to be witnessed live, their contrasting sounds playing off one another in mesmeric fashion. The joint ‘Bromance EP’ and tour has been captivating dance floors with the inimitable underground sound, unique to SW4 this summer. Brodinski and Gesaffelstein back-to-back, a bromance made in heaven!
Delta Heavy are the standard bearers for RAM Records’ new roster of talent. Flying high and proud, with rocking remixes for those at the top of their game; Example, Avicii and Chase & Status amongst their pulsating production portfolio. Their endeavours paid off with ‘Best Producer’ and ‘Best Newcomer DJ’ at the prominent Drum & Bass Arena awards. New EP ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ will definitely take you down a deep and dark D&B tunnel. Aggressive waves of churning bass and blistering beats, exactly the kind of heavy stuff we can expect from the guys at SW4.
Another of the RAM recruits, Loadstar have an inextricable ‘Link To The Past.’ This track described by DJ Magazine as “a huge alien mammoth”, it scooped ‘Best Single’ at the 2010 D&B Arena awards. With such production nous, it’s no wonder acts of such calibre are queuing up to work the Loadstar boys. For example SW4’s headliners Chase & Status and the chart topping Example! Their production efforts on the latter, earning a sought after gold record for ‘Changed The Way You Kissed Me.’Guaranteed stars of SW4 2012.
Since starting their fledgling night ‘Moda’ back in 2008, Jaymo & Andy George have always championed the party. Now they hold shindigs all around the world, showcasing their policy of having no music policy whatsoever! A daring strategy, which paid dividends when the Radio 1 Essential Mix rolled into their home town of Lincoln. A riveting Moda musical montage, which included mainly of their own vibrant productions and cheeky remixes, resulted in mass hysteria. This led to a current Radio 1 ‘In New DJs We Trust’ show, plus residencies at We Love Space and Fabric. Plus the recent launch of ‘Moda Black’, an outlet for their darker output.
Up next, another protégé nurtured from the Swedish stable. Under the wing of Eric Prydz, Jeremy Olander was the guest of honour at his recent Ministry of Sound album launch. Such was the success of his main room outing, Olander’s outlandish approach threatened to overshadow even Prydz himself! An upbeat progressive and heavy melodic sound, which has graced the prestigious Warehouse Project, Gatecrasher and Cocoon clubs in recent months. We can’t wait for ‘Animal Garden’ to be dropped, a rhythmic bassline that blossoms into a cacophony of twilight synth splashes. Irresistible bait, for Clapham’s dancefloor animals.
Completing the hat trick of pairings for this final day, London’s newest kids on the block. Jesse James and Johnny Bloomfield are residents at Connected, one of London’s most esteemed underground house nights. These guys aren’t here just to make up the numbers, but mean serious business with their new track just released. Entitled ‘Chucks Groove’ and sampling Public Enemy, Jesse and Johnny’s deep tribal taster will ensure they make many good friends on the Common.
There you have it. Eight infatuating arenas and a host of smoking line-up additions – that can’t have failed to enhance that undying SW4 hunger. Still to come the final pieces of the South West Four jigsaw. More meaty line-up announcements including our Sunday live headliner, which at the moment is G14 classified. Well not really, but you get the idea…
Saturday 28th August had finally arrived and it was the first day of the SOLD OUT South West Four weekender. Extended to a two day festival this year we were delighted to see the sun shining after a week of rain.
We made our way to the infamous Clapham Common, home to SW4 for many a year. As we picked up our passes and walked in, we manage to catch the end of Alex Metric finishing up his live set on the main stage.
We make our way to the front of the main stage to see Radio 1 DJ Pete Tong. A regular at SW4 he was to kick things off in typical Tongy fashion, busting out massive track after track and showcasing why he is still one of the most in-demand DJ’s in the world. Dropping the massive Swedish House Mafia “One” brings the crowds running into the main stage area in their hundreds, by far one of the biggest tunes of the year.
Over to the other side of the park to catch Gareth Emery in the TimeOut Gallery Arena who is playing a nice selection of uplifting trance to an already very busy tent. The Gallery Arena has been one of the most popular tents at SW4 and with a lineup including Judge Jules, Sander Van Doorn and Paul Oakenfold it was bound to be packed like a sardine can!
We quickly head over to the DJ Mag Bedrock Arena to see Mutant Clan (Timo Maas and Santos) who are busy on their setup of 8 CDJ’s and 2 mixers. They seem to work seamlessly together to blend track after track.
Moving onto the Toolroom Knights arena, we catch Dirty South who has had another productive year in the studio releasing the popular “Phazing” which is doing the damage around clubland. Sticking to his electro / uplifting house style he rocks the crowd in one of the tents that I quite enjoyed throughout the day. We also catch Funkagenda in the Toolroom Knights arena and he rocks the crowd with a massive set.
As the sun continues to shine on through the afternoon, the crowd was building up to its maximum 20,000 capacity. We see smiles all around us as we walk through the crowd back to the main stage to catch Laidback Luke, one of the busiest DJ’s / Producers in the business. Pumping out track after track we were very excited to see him for our first time. His style is a mix of uplifting / progressive house and electro. His blend of tracks at SW4 gathers a massive crowd in the main stage area.
Erick Morillo as energetic as always teases the crowd with a great intro track and then busts into his unique style of Latin / Miami style house music. It’s been a while since I last saw Erick on a big stage and he always plays with a high amount of energy, constantly dancing and grooving behind the decks. By the end of his set, there is a mass of friends and colleagues gathered on the stage partying with Mr Morillo.
As we mill about the press area we catch a glimpse of Paul Oakenfold and Tall Paul having a chat before Oakey heads off to the Gallery Arena, quite the site to see the two legends together.
Sasha takes to the decks as the crowds begin to darken as a few rain drops being to fall. With his progressive style Sasha starts off slow and slowly builds the journey up to a style that only Sasha is capable of. A couple tracks in and the rain beings to come down, however this doesn’t affect the crowd, they are more up for it than ever! A few umbrella’s go up and jackets go on, some of the crowd try and pack into the tents but the majority enjoy the rainfall which lasts only 20 or 30 minutes.
We head back to the Bedrock Arena to catch John Digweed who to my surprise is playing a rocking set to a fully packed out tent. Playing a more uplifting set than I expected I quite enjoyed seeing Digweed back here again.
With a muddy ground and nite falling, headliner on the Main Stage Armin takes to the decks to massive applause, most of the crowd have been waiting for him and they have their dancing shoes ready. Armin gets right into the stride and the hands are up in the air from the very first beat. The world’s number one DJ never disappoints and his set is typically Armin, a journey through some of the biggest trance tunes of the moment and a selection of Armin classics.
We leave before the end of Armin’s set to avoid the mass exodus, having enjoyed quite an awesome day at SW4. With most of the day quite pleasant before the rain, a great lineup and crowd to suit, SW4 once again shows why it is one of the most popular dance music based festivals in the UK.
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