Mix up a multitude of techno-hungry ravers, a plethora of incredible DJs and artists, a dash of gorgeous woodland surroundings and lashings of the most weird and wonderful experiences you’ll ever come across at a festival. What do you get? Lost Village, of course!
In only its second year, the dreamland of Moda Black’s Jaymo & Andy George took place deep in the Lincolnshire countryside, kicking off festival season in the most enchanting way possible. I’ve been to many a festival in my time, and nothing quite made me as excited as this. With the likes of Ben Klock, Fatboy Slim, Bicep and Eats Everything – to name just a few – it seemed we were in for a hell of a bank holiday weekend. And God, were we right.
As we arrive at Lost Village, we felt a sense of flair and passion for what we all love; a good old fashioned rave. Perfectly honed and crafted in such a magical way, we’re invited to this story book world, where our only worries are to grab a well-priced wine, have a dance and enjoy the experience. Friday’s line-up was bursting at the seams – we arrived early, seeing acts such as Huxley and PBR Streetgang intensely warming up the growing crowds at the smaller stages, whilst Doorly over at the main stage Burial Ground, blasting out tune after tune to a slow-burning crowd who grew bigger and bigger by the minute.
My heart fell to the ground when I realised Fatboy Slim and Ben Klock were on the same night – we all know that clashing panic. Luckily, Lost Village had timings to perfection – at half 9 we were able to see the iconic Fatboy Slim take to the decks – and yes, it was just as epic as you might imagine. You really do forget all the classics that he did – Right here, Right now was one of the most intense dances I have ever seen, with crowds literally bellowing out those four words at the top of their lungs, bursting into a dancing frenzy as it dropped. Crowd-pleaser Eat Sleep Rave Repeat literally saw everyone jump rhythmically in the air, creating a wave of raving fists in its path. It seemed everything – even Praise You, was a lot more electronic than we’d imagine, but everyone lapped it up either way. A brilliant vision and an amazing atmosphere, which left us enough time to run over to the master himself – Ben Klock.
Now, I’ve seen Ben Klock a fair few times, and he will never fail to amaze me. The fact Lost Village had this incredible act in such an enchanting setting was one of the most surreal experiences. The Abandoned Chapel (a quaint, church-like outdoor zone) was closed, so Klock was moved to the more intimate setting of the Forgotten Cabin – a techno haven, surrounding by trees, lamps and shed load of ravers. Klock is well-acquainted with commanding any crowd he comes across; his deep, dark and ruthless techno echoing into the woods with crowds begging for more. The music couldn’t go on much past 1am – after an unreal final set at The Lookout stage with Bicep – but the crowds back at the campsite didn’t let the party end until deep into the morning. A perfect close to an incredible first day.
Saturday brought an eclectic mix of acts to the forest; Artwork took over the Abandoned Chapel at 3pm, delivering a disco set with none-stop movement from the crowd – a nice change from the techno we’d be hearing everywhere else. The sun was beaming as Heidi took to the stage – you only have to experience one of her Jackathon events to know that she always delivers. It was wild, lively, and what can only be described as almost tropical, emphasising her place as one of the greatest female DJs we’ve had the pleasure of seeing.
The beauty of Lost Village isn’t just the music; it’s the experiences. One minute we’re in a comedy tent, the next we’re doing Yoga near a lake, the next we’re getting our face thwarted with glitter at the Illamasqua tent (a delightful addition). You wander through the woodland at 1am and meet people from all across the country, the festival empowering its ‘Good Vibes Only’ stance and bringing together people who are here purely to have the greatest time ever. There were characters at every corner, a haunting parade of old-fashioned, torch-grasping woodland dwellers marching through the forest, two life-size rats nibbling at people’s food and even a stunning contemporary dance of fairies by the Lake of Tranquility. Not to mention the food stalls from around the world, and quite frankly the greatest pulled pork burger I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. For a boutique festival, the experiences were larger than life.
As DC10 resident Jackmaster finished a happy yet hardcore set at the Burial Ground, we got to see the big man himself. Introduced as “One of the greatest DJs in the world”, Eats Everything played “absolute bangers” as the guy behind me screamed – and he was right. He knew how to get people on their feet, dancing, singing, blasting our crowd-pleasers and putting on insane build-up tunes that mad everyone lower to the ground and jump up at all once. Huge fireworks were blasting over at the lake, and it was a completely surreal time to be alive – just none-stop, perfect, fun times. This was something special.
As the hangovers started to kick in, Sunday’s vibe was a lot more relaxed; bands such as Vitamin and Formation provided a calm and enjoyable atmosphere at the Lookout to rival the thumping beats from Enzo Siragusa at the Forgotten Cabin, while ex-Coronation Street and Red Dwarf legend Craig Charles put on a soul-filled and funky set to a surprisingly massive crowd.
Roman Flugel played a calm, deep and dark techno set at the Cabin – naturally accompanied by a girl in the crowd climbing up to the top of a huge pole, sliding down to a crowd of screaming ravers. It was surreal and intense, but we wanted something a bit different – and we found it in the form of headliner Jack Garratt over at the main stage. For those who don’t know, Garratt is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, who plays live sets in the most incredible way. Everything was recorded then and there, his music completely enthralling the entire crowd who had left the techno behind to see him play. The talent this guy has is absolutely unbelievable, and such an incredible sight to see. It was a bit different, a bit dreamlike, and a bit unbelievable – and that definitely sums up Lost Village to a tee.
I can’t begin to put into words what Lost Village was like – it was an experience you have to see to believe. Magical, mystical and everything but normal, it’s an adventure like no other – next year, anyone?