Essex isn’t the typical location which global-touring DJs and electronic music figureheads Carl Cox, Seth Troxler and Steve Angello are used to playing. Though arguably more familiar with Vegas, Ibiza and European crowds, Upminster-based We Are FSTVL attracts the biggest names in house, techno and on Sunday, EDM.
Now in its third year, We Are FSTVL brings in 30,000 music lovers over its weekend. Think of it as the electronic music equivalent of V Festival. Cleverly targeted at the Essex party-going population, for an extra £40, a VIP ticket allows access to the VIP area – a regular festival feature offering that little bit more; there’s a separate VIP stage (Mark Knight’s Toolroom Records and MK’s Area10 host it respectively), hot tubs, hair salon, glitter and face paint stations and remarkably cleaner toilets, as well as higher viewing platforms back on the main site.
As one of the year’s first proper festivals, Saturday unsurprisingly sold-out in advance, while last remaining Sunday tickets were available on the door. Despite a windy start with grey clouds looming above, the weather stayed dry and summery; rare for a UK festival in late May.
Whilst the generously-sized main stage hosted the likes of Gorgon City and Solomun under sunny skies, Summer Festival Guide found itself at the Used & Abused stage for a great deal of the weekend. Creatively, the industrial design of an aircraft hanger made it seem as though we’d been teleported to an underground club in Europe; fitting for the dark and deep techno acts it showcased. A gargantuan three-hour set from Loco Dice made it near impossible to leave, while Drumcode Records founder Adam Beyer later delivered a set of intense, unrelenting techno. Most notable, its impeccable sound quality, remaining consistent throughout the weekend.
Elsewhere on Saturday’s bill, house sets from Simon Dunmore and Oliver Dollar on the Defected Records stage, and Redlight and Waze & Odyssey in the What Hannah Wants tent, ensured both were permanently filled. Meanwhile, globally-renowned DJ’s Seth Troxler and Carl Cox closed out the opening night on the main stage, respectively, each proving memorable highlights.
Seth’s acidic, techno-heavy set, complete with hypnotic swirling red and black visuals, saw the sun go down, before house music legend Carl Cox took the helm. Opening strongly with Deetron’s piano-house builder ‘Photon’, a sea of mobile phones lit up the night sky. The first person to majorly interact with the crowd, Cox encourages, “Carl Cox is in the house. Who’s ready?” as laser lights scour the audience and confetti explodes from cannons.
The only downside with We Are FSTVL though, is the non-camping policy, meaning that thousands of people need to be transported from the site back to wherever they may be staying. According to social media comments, people were reportedly left for hours on the roadside as shuttle buses and taxis struggled to cope with the number of attendees, though by Sunday this was far less of an issue.
As Sunday morning falls, so does the rain; but luckily only on SFG’s commute to the site. Once on-site, the ground is mostly dry as the sun steadily rears its head. The day’s first highlight comes from Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke who, rare that he comes to the UK, delivers a crowd-pleasing set on the Paradise stage, dropping his own ‘Make A Cake’, ‘Barrump’ and Jesse Rose-collaboration ‘Bare Mountain’, proving Dirtybird as one of the finest electronic labels around; their forward-thinking, unique sound a clear hit with the Essex punters. Later, another Dirtybird affiliate, J Phlip, goes back-to-back with Huxley over in the VIP village, each dropping bass-heavy productions to a growing crowd.
Back at SFG’s favourite stage, the aircraft hanger, now hosted by Cocoon, Ten Walls and Sven Vath each deliver building techno sets; Sven’s hard-hitting sound complimented by female dancers spread across the stage.
At the complete other end of the electronic music spectrum, the main stage welcomes Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard before Oliver Heldens takes over, delivering an unexpectedly stand-out set. Mixing his own ‘deep house’ tracks ‘Gecko’, ‘This’ and ‘You Know’ with tracks from EDM’s biggest names the young producer’s clearly having a great time as he bopps around and shuffles in front of the DJ decks. It’s like watching a child in a sweet shop. “Let me see your hands Essex”, he shouts excitedly, before closing with an EDM remix of Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do. Unpretentious and heaps of fun, Heldens’ set is a great warm-up for the bombastic sounds of Knife Party.
Older fan –favourites ‘Bonfire’ and ‘Internet Friends’ mix well with a newer track which we are told is “for the UK family”; it sounds somewhat influenced by Major Laser. 15 minutes late, Steve Angello’s set begins with dramatic orchestral sounds and visuals as the former Swedish House Mafia member reveals that he’s travelled all the way from Sweden. Appearing like a silhouette throughout the show because of the strobe lights, he works the crowd with Robin S’ ‘Show Me Love’ and later, new single ‘Children of the Wild’ impresses.
Over in the Paradise tent, the sound parallels as Jamie Jones lays down chunky tech-house rollers by the dozen, whilst Mele’ closes out the Hospitality stage, leaving Shadow Child and DJ S.K.T to continue the party for VIP ticket-holders only in the Area 10 tent.
As We Are FSTVL comes to a close nearing 1am, luckily there’s a London-located after-party being taking the festivities through until 6am Monday!
We Are FSTVL continues to thrive as one of the UK’s best medium-sized festivals, offering a diverse range of electronic music over a usually sunny weekend. Here’s to 2016!
Today we commence ‘Phase Two,’ an opportunity to extend the SW4 kaleidoscope yet further, as we welcome another thirteen artists from across the electronic music spectrum…
ANNOUNCED FOR SW4 SATURDAY…
SOLOMUN VS ÂME · SASHA · CARL CRAIG FEAT. ‘MAD’ MIKE BANKS [LIVE]
PLUS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER…
HENRIK SCHWARZ [LIVE] · PAN-POT · PLEASUREKRAFT · TUBE & BERGER FEAT. PAJI [LIVE]
THE GALLERY 20TH ANNIVERSARY STAGE WITH ALY & FILA, ANDREW RAYEL, MARLO
Two powerhouses go head to head at South West Four this summer as we bring you Solomun vs Âme. This world exclusive set from the label heads of two of dance music’s most loved imprints, Diynamic and Innervisions, represents a performance these shores has never seen before and may never see again. Both Solomun and Âme are no strangers to SW4 having both debuted in 2013 and 2012 respectively. Since then they have gone onto shine bright as two of the leading names in underground house music. 2014 witnessed Solomun continue his trailblazing ‘+1’ residency at Pacha Ibiza and mix the first Global Underground City series compilation in four years, which he devoted to his home city Hamburg. Âme has enjoyed similar success over the past twelve months, culminating in the house juggernaut hitting the #3 spot in the Resident Advisor Top 100 DJs poll of 2014. Collectively we can expect a sublime and emotionally rousing set that will bring together two great minds for a performance none of us will ever forget…
Over the years Sasha has contributed hugely to our history, from headlining the inaugural instalment of the festival in 2004 and then again in 2009, to debuting his own ‘Last Day on Earth’ stage last summer. In 2015 he returns to our main stage for the first time in five years, where he will play directly before Faithless’ huge homecoming live performance. So far this year Sasha has thrilled his fans with the release of his first solo single in four years titled ‘Vapourspace’, which follows in the path of his widely-played remix of London Grammar and collaborations with James Teej and Joel Mull. With the man on a purple patch at present, make sure you come witness the master control his playground as Sasha returns to South West Four.
Two Detroit legends go head to head this summer at South West Four on Saturday 29th August as we present Carl Craig featuring ‘Mad’ Mike Banks Live in a full UK festival exclusive. Having been responsible for one of the standout performances at ADE 2014, the coming together of these two musical innovators makes this one of the most anticipated sets of the entire weekend. Carl is of course no stranger to Clapham Common having brought his ‘Innerzone Orchestra’ to South West London in 2009, followed by a very special DJ set in 2013. With a discography which includes many of techno’s finest moments, Carl has spent the past three decades staying true to the sound he has helped define and his sets are a reflection of the rich musical heritage of the Motor City. He will be joined by Underground Resistance founder ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, who will invoke the jazz-infused techno spirit of his Detroit collective by playing live on keys. One for the heads.
As musicians go, there are few in the world as accomplished as our next act. A true pioneer, we are excited to announce that Berlin-based Henrik Schwarz will make his South West Four debut with an exclusive live performance. As a producer, his ability to bridge the gap between classical and modern-day electronic sounds is unrivalled, whilst as a composer his eclectic approach to composition and sound design is also in a league of its own. On top of a diary bursting with dates in every continent, 2015 also welcomes the release of his latest album ‘Instruments’, which will be showcased live on Clapham Common. Having fought off fierce competition for his brilliance, Henrik is another Innervisions favourite that we can’t wait to welcome this summer.
In just a few short years, the brilliant multi-dimensional duo Pan-Pot have created a dominating presence in the underground scene. As an act we’ve always had on our hit list, we are excited to welcome the Mobilee Records artists to Clapham Common for the first time this summer. 2014 witnessed the pair play the main room at Time Warp’s 20th Anniversary, command leading slots at Awakenings and Mysteryland and deliver stellar performances at Watergate, Elrow, Hyte and Music On. At SW4 Saturday the pair will remind us of their outstanding talents, making them one of the most exciting acts of the day.
Also making their maiden voyage on the good ship SW4 this year are underground giants Pleasurekraft. Originating from Stockholm and Washington respectively, Kalle and Kaveh are two of a kind. Founders of the outstanding Kraftek imprint, the techno-driven duo are regularly found leading the charge at many of the world’s greatest parties. Highlights of 2014 included summer dates at Space’s Elrow, ANTS at Ushuaia as well as at Defected’s and Suara’s Ibiza showcases. With production at the forefront of their agenda, this year has already seen them team up with Tiger Stripes to remix Cajmere’s ‘Satisfy’, whilst their edit of Green Velvet’s ‘Genedefekt’, alongside Carlo Lio, is also set for imminent release. On course to be one of the Saturday’s must-see SW4 debuts, it is one we strongly advise you do not miss.
After the recent sell out success of their Deeper Sessions event at Brixton’s superb auditorium Electric, we can announce that Tube & Berger’s next trip to the Capital will be at South West Four. Playing the festival on Saturday 29th August in their exclusive London summer play, the German-duo will be joined by Kittball label-mate Paji, who plays live. The past twelve months have seen the house and disco favourites continue to add to their arsenal of peak-time weapons with further releases on Defected, Get Physical and their own imprint, all receiving critical acclaim.
THE GALLERY 20TH ANNIVERSARY STAGE WITH
ALY & FILA, ANDREW RAYEL, MARLO + MORE TBA
Ever since its inception back in 1995, The Gallery has become nothing short of a Great British institution. Having started its journey at Farringdon’s infamous Turnmills, 2008 witnessed the UK’s longest running Friday night club event move south of the river to Elephant & Castle’s world famous Ministry of Sound. 2015 marks The Gallery’s twentieth birthday, a milestone seldom reached in clubland. A series of events have been curated to celebrate this achievement which will culminate in spectacular fashion at South West Four on Saturday 29th August, as The Gallery hosts its own arena. Having spearheaded the UK trance movement for two decades, this carefully programmed stage will feature ten of the very best and freshest names in the scene, three of which can be revealed now…
Hailed as The Kings of Egypt, Aly & Fila have become internationally recognised as leaders of the contemporary trance sound. Unrivalled at fusing vintage synths with poignant vocals and tough basslines, their commitment to the genre’s more traditional roots has garnered a dedicated army of global followers. That has been illustrated in the Capital, where they hold court at the Ministry as one of The Gallery’s all-time favourite guests. Last August Fadi delivered a spectacular set to a sun-kissed Clapham Common, whilst 2015 marks Aly & Fila’s return for an even bigger performance.
Tagged as a modern-day Mozart and a leading talent in today’s trance scene, South West Four is delighted to welcome back Armada’s Andrew Rayel. Since finding a solid home on the A State of Trance and Armind Recordings imprints, Rayel’s worldwide demand has grown ten-fold. His last UK performance was at a roadblocked Gallery in December, so we knew we had to get him back to SW4 for a summer display of his much-lauded sounds. With support flocking in from all his peers including Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond and W&W amongst others, Andrew is well on his way to adding himself to the trance hall of fame. SW4 please rise…
Signed to Armin van Buuren’s Armada Music, we are pleased to welcome one of trance’s hottest rising stars to SW4 for a rare UK performance. Having made an outstanding impression at The Gallery in early 2014, we can’t wait to welcome MaRLo back to London. Voted Australia’s #1 DJ thanks to a string of popular euphoric productions that have ridden high in the Beatport Top 10, Dutch-born, Australian-raised MaRLo joins the SW4 bill on the best form of his career. With standout deliveries at ASOT 700, EDC Mexico and Ultra already under his belt for 2015, we simply know he won’t disappoint.
As Hideout enters its fourth year, the week long event created by Sound Channel has established itself as the forerunner of electronic music festivals. Last month they announced a new registration system for tickets, and today some of the huge number that signed up are in with a chance of gaining entry to the revered event that last year sold out in the record time of eight weeks. Dance music’s grandest talents and sharpest stars play both during the day at beachside pool parties and intimate boat sailings as well as through the night on the infamous Croatian Zrce beach strip.
Spanning over sixty artists, four venues (with major improvements for this year), extended boat and pool events and offering guaranteed sun exposure on a beachside-setting, Hideout is the obvious choice for dance music devotees in search of the ultimate festival experience.
Disclosure (DJ Set) / Rudimental (DJ Set)
Loco Dice / Solomun / Sasha
Ame / Andy C / Apollonia / Bicep / Bondax (DJ Set) / Breach / Cassy / Davide Squillace / Dusky / George Fitzgerald / Guti (Live) / Heidi / Jackmaster / John Talabot / Joy Orbison / MK / Redlight / Scuba / Skream / Tale of Us / tINI / Wilkinson
Artwork / Ben Pearce / Boddika / B-Traits / Camo & Krooked / Daniel Avery / David Rodigan MBE / DJ EZ / Ejeca / Fred V & Grafix / Friction / Gerd Janson / Gorgon City / Huxley / Hype / Justin Martin / Laura Jones / Mano Le Tough / Oneman/ Ryan Elliot / Shy FX / Subb An / Ten Walls (Live) / Waze & Odyssey
Funkineven / Kowton / Last Magpie / Matt Long / Mike Jones / North Base / PBR Streetgang / People Get Real / Ralph Lawson / Route 94 / Simon Baker / The Sonic Emporium / Trevino / Waifs & Strays
Kicking off with new additions to Saturday’s bill, we can reveal that joining the lineup on 24th August will be SW4 favourite Mark Knight and more! Mark Knight, his world renowned label Toolroom Records also celebrates a decade of existence this summer with the main focus of the imprints euphoric festivities to be experienced at South West Four. Toolroom last hosted an arena at SW4 back in 2010, when their stage proved one of the most popular of the weekend. This year it takes another bounding leap forwards as it promises to be a hotspot of the festival once again. A fine selection of esteemed artists, Toolroom Records 10th Anniversary at SW4 2013 hosts some of the greatest names in house music, side by side with the planet’s freshest talent. Let’s do this…
ANNOUNCED FOR SW4 SATURDAY!
TOOLROOM RECORDS 10TH ANNIVERSARY ARENA
DENNIS FERRER · FRITZ KALKBRENNER
CAJMERE · TOCADISCO
SPECIAL GUEST: TENSNAKE
Mark Knight makes a welcome return to South West Four in 2013. This will be his fourth performance in the past five years in fact, with the Toolroom Records governor and Grammy nominated producer one of the first names on our 10th Anniversary hit list. In 2010 Mark hosted a Toolroom Knights arena at SW4, whilst in 2009 and 2012 he drew massive crowds to the main stage. In 2013 Mark returns to celebrate Toolroom Records’ 10th Anniversary with a showcase featuring some of the finest names in house music. As a DJ Mark constantly sets the pace and is recognised worldwide for his long standing residencies at cherished haunts such as Space Ibiza and Ministry of Sound. A key fixture at the festival in recent years we are delighted to welcome Mark and Toolroom back to South West Four.
Always ranking high on any DJ list that matters, Solomun is one of the most in-demand DJs of recent times. Named 2012 ‘DJ of the year’ by Mixmag, the Hamburg based producer has been making huge waves with his unique and modern blend of house and techno. The Diynamic imprint which he founded has allowed Solomun to spread his name yet further, which is set to be elevated to a whole new level this summer via his ‘Solomun +1’ residency at Pacha Ibiza. Making his SW4 debut this year, Solomun is simply a must see.
Dennis Ferrer is house music’s most innovative producer. It’s safe to say that the New York icon and founder of Objektivity Records has seen a number of musical trends come and go, some even in full circles, yet he has managed to stay close to his roots for the whole period. Aside from finding commercial success through his genre-defining track ‘Hey Hey’, the Grammy nominated DJ and producer manages to find time to nurture a host of underground talent through his own Objektivity imprint. Having headlined Defected’s sell out show last New Years Eve at Electric Brixton, Dennis returns to the Big Smoke to make his long awaited SW4 bow. See you at the front.
German producer Fritz Kalkbrenner grew up on a strict diet of hip-hop and soul and subsequently missed the techno craze that swept the nation after the fall of the Berlin wall. It wasn’t until the mid 90’s that he was fully introduced to techno by his brother Paul and is now finding success as a pioneer of the Tech- Soul sound he is famed for producing. Fritz released his debut album ‘Here Today Gone Tomorrow’ in 2010, a silky sophisticated techno album with plenty of soul elements and has since blossomed out of the shadow of his older sibling. Late 2012 saw the release of his sophomore effort ‘Sick Travellin’, which has taken him down a more house driven avenue. This will be another SW4 debut that is guaranteed to take the Common by storm.
Hailing from Chicago, a city that has a rich history as the birthplace of house music, Cajmere followed in his father’s footsteps by DJing and producing his own tracks. He soon found himself leaving his Chemical Engineering degree behind and focusing solely on music and instantly found fame through the now classic ‘Coffee Pot’. 2012 was the 20th anniversary of his Cajual Records label and through the label off-shoot ‘Relief’ he also released music from his flamboyant and often darker infused alter ego Green Velvet. With this performance being Curtis Jones’ first ever on our hallowed turf as Cajmere, we can’t wait to hear the chants of “It’s time for the percolator!”
Hailing from deepest, darkest Cologne, Roman Boer has been making deep and tech house for the best part of fifteen years. Better known by his stage name Tocadisco, the German maestro has remixed over one hundred artists including Laidback Luke, Steve Aoki, Moby and Tiga to name a few. You would have unquestionably heard Tocadisco’s music featured on TV ads, whilst his radio show is broadcast to over fifty countries. His own imprint TOCA45, showcases the freshest sounding club tracks available today and with this appearance being his only London festival show this year, make sure you get to his tent with plenty of time to spare.
Finally joining us as very special guest in the Toolroom Records stage is Marco Niemerski, widely celebrated as Tensnake. Hailing from Hamburg and raised on a diet of 80‘s boogie and disco, Tensnake is a name that has been permanently etched on our minds after the gargantuan success of ‘Coma Cat’. The infectious melody and honey-like loveliness of this joyful single helped shape our summer of 2010. Never one to bask in the glory of a single triumph, Tensnake went on to release the equally catchy ‘Something About You’ and more recently ‘Mainline’, which managed to bring light to the darkest of dance floors. With an album finished and scheduled for release later this year, we welcome Tensnake’s to the terrain of Clapham Common for the first time, as he brings the sunshine to South West Four.
ADDED TO SW4 DAY ONE: SAT 24TH AUGUST
MARCO CAROLA · SOLOMUN · SANDER VAN DOORN
Having been on our hit list for many years, South West Four is delighted to welcome one of planet Earth’s greatest DJs, the magnificent Marco Carola, for our colossal 10th Anniversary festivities. The much loved Italian’s epic journeys through deep techno have caused widespread mayhem over the years, particularly his lengthy sets on the Amnesia Ibiza terrace as part for his Cocoon and Music On residencies. The latter proved to be the talk of the White Isle last summer, with Italy’s finest export since going onto headline festivals across the world such as Timewarp and Awakenings. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome him to London… SW4 style!
Always ranking high on any DJ list that matters, Solomun is one of the most in-demand DJs of recent times. Named 2012 ‘DJ of the year’ by Mixmag, the Hamburg based producer has been making huge waves with his unique and modern blend of techno and house. The Diynamic imprint which he founded has allowed Solomun to spread his name yet further, which is set to be elevated to a whole new level this summer via amajor Ibizan residency soon to be announced. Making his SW4 debut this year, Solomun is simply a must see.
Sander Van Doorn is a force to be reckoned with. Synonymous with trance, electro and techno, Sander’s rise to superstardom over the past ten years is testament to his raw talent and dedication. Through classics such as ‘Grasshopper’, ‘Punk’d’ and ‘Riff’, recent hits like ‘Nothing Inside’ and massive collaborations and remixes of The Killers, Lady Gaga, Artic Monkeys, Robbie Williams and Depeche Mode, Sander has developed his own sound which shrugs off the confines of genre typecasting. With a tour schedule that sees him play to more than a million fans each year, we look forward to welcoming Sander to ourhallowed turf, as he leaves his mark on our 10th Anniversary.
ADDED TO SW4 DAY TWO: SAT 25TH AUGUST
BOYS NOIZE [LIVE] · NICKY ROMERO · BAAUER
Returning for the first time since hosting a Boys Noize Records Arena in 2010, SW4 is extremely excited to welcome back the inimitable Boys Noize for our 10th Anniversary. Bringing to Clapham Common his hotly anticipated ‘Skull’ live show in a full UK festival exclusive, Boys Noize will display the kind of talents that resulted in Rolling Stone Magazine voting him amongst the top 10 ‘DJs who rule the Earth’ in 2012. Famed for pushing electronic music to the very limit, his latest album ‘Out of the Black’ has gained acclaim from critics and peers alike, whilst his new project alongside Skrillex called ‘Dog Blood’ has been setting the world on fire. His live show is going to be an unforgettable experience… you have been warned!
Another artist making his SW4 debut this year is Nicky Romero, who entered the 2012 DJ Magazine Top 100 Poll at number 17 – the highest new entry. Recently, he launched his own ‘Protocol’ brand – involving arecord label, club night and radio show which has gathered huge momentum in a short space of time, reaching over twenty million listeners worldwide each week. Not bad for a 23 year old. Last year Nicky worked with Calvin Harris, Rihanna and Avicii; it’s worrying to think what 2013 will hold. One thing is for sure; Nicky Romero is set to conquer the planet. His next stop? SW4!
Brooklyn’s prodigal son Baauer has been causing quite a stir of late. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard Harlem Shake or been caught up in the madness that ensues in each video. The man behind the Shake certainly has more feathers to his bow, having remixed the likes of Nero, The Prodigy and fellow trap-heads Flosstradamus, as well as claiming the #1 spot in the iTunes America Chart. In 2012 he signed with the LuckyMe family, whilst his latest offering ‘Higher’ with famed hip-hop producer Just Blaze, looks set to repeat the success of ‘Harlem Shake’. Watch out world; Baauer has landed.