On a beautiful Bank holiday weekend 60000, festival-goers descended on Damys Hall Aerodrome to see in the festival season. Now in its sixth edition, We Are FSTVL has become a firm fixture of the Essex, and London at a push, festival calendar.
Saturday was a celebration of all things bass. Kicking off proceedings as the sun shone down on the We Are Bass stage, P Money laid down fiery bars over a medley of classic of drum and bass tracks. Surrounded on all sides by colourful shipping containers, the stage had an enclosed intimate feel. A nice contrast to the other larger sprawling stages. Next up was Sub Focus, a man who’s always on the festival circuit. Playing a high energy set, which included a trap style interlude, breaking up the hypnotic atmosphere created by his jagged and often minimal drum and bass. Playing a few old school jaunts such as Wilkinson’s ‘Afterglow’ and a few new school tunes.
The main stage for the festival was Terminal 1. An aircraft hangar, whose long steel corridor ideal made it ideal as the festival’s centre stage. Complete with giant towering screens and a light show to match. Presiding over, Terminal 1 on the Saturday were headliners DJ EZ and Andy C. DJ EZ demonstrated all his technical abilities, with a pounding Garage set. Taking the brave move of teasing with garage classics but rarely playing them. Few DJ’s can tease Get through this and get away with not play it, though somehow DJ EZ can, maybe it’s the giant grin he has on his face every time he plays.
Rounding off the evening was local and drum and bass hero Andy C. Sporting his trademark baseball cap he’s rarely seen on stage without. He launched into a dirty set, showcasing drum and bass’s new bassier sound. Though always keeping room for school classics like, Tarantula.
Despite some rain overnight, the sun and crowd returned for Sunday with neither of their spirits dampened. Leading the charge at the Techno Warehouse, Bicep played a meleodic and light set beautifully capturing the sound of there first album. The light melodies their tracks are known for may not sound like they would translate well to the big stage. Though with some careful mixing they had the crowd chanting along in no time. Kolsch was next playing an eclectic set, showcasing dark and heavy beats such from ANNA, as well higher pitched synth tracks that have become a more forgotten part of the techno in recent times.
As darkness came the stage really came to life. With Eric Prydz taking the stage with the giant screens behind the DJ lighting up and lights strobed across the crowd. Eric Prydz departed from his House roots to play a heavier but still uplifting techno set, which kept the crowd moving till the final beat rang out across the tent.
As the music wound down, and everyone left for the campsite or to frantically catch the last Sunday trains back into London from Upminster. We Are FSTVL concludes another successful year. With the line up getting bigger and bigger each year we can only wait to see what 2019 has in store.