Reviewed: Electric Woodlands Festival 2021
Welcoming us back into the world of festivals the one-day treat that is Electric Woodlands did not disappoint. With “11 hours of musical escapism” Bygrave Farm provided us with the space to freely dance and it felt so good!
Starting off with Sam-E and Rumour kicking off before lunchtime, you got a feel for the area, exploring the three different areas, taking in the bunting and lanterns hidden amongst the branches of the enchanting forest, with footpaths lined by trees and immersive stages in vast fields, leading you to the two stages, both standing proud and lit up. The Cru-Cast stage held a worldly aesthetic, floral decorations weeping down from the ceiling of the stage and bunting framing and joining the trees. The main stage where Mollie Collins was kicking things off, was the big boy of the festival, joined with its army of sound systems and light shows, it lived up to its electric name.
By 1 pm you could bounce between infamous DJ Hazard and Royal Hustle over on the Enchanted Forest stage – Foreverland‘s contribution to the party – and K Motionz B2B Turno Feat MC IC3, who stormed the Big Top Stage and really set a wicked energy for the day. The light show illuminated the stage, reining down colour beams onto the artists was a vision.
DJ Q B2B Jamie Duggan lead us to Flava D on The Clearing stage for some lunchtime tunes, and both sets were as lively as the other. You could taste the excitement of all the party-goers in the air and the energy was electric already. Harriet Jaxxon and Richy Ahmed‘s sets were both filled with high energy as you would expect from them and the excitement shared between both artists and audience could be clearly seen.
DnB Allstars wouldn’t be the DnB Allstars we know and love if we didn’t see the notorious Kings of the Rollers with Inja repping it on their stage, and we were in no way let down. Their signature sound blasted through the sound system, carrying the cries of the audience. With the décor and all the production, this set held an enigmatic tone for the rest of the day – and as more of the crowd entered, the festival had definitely begun!
Kanine featuring MC AD was as big and bad as you would hope, and moving from that into the intimate woodlands where Lewis Tala was delivering some extremely tasty treats for the forest creatures was an excellent display of the variety of music the festival was offering. At the same time, the sun started to get a bit lower and the space was filling up, Alcemist B2B Goddard took over from Kings of the Rollers and gave us a real good spout of drums and bass – as a personal fan of this young DJ It felt good to be able to see live performances artists we love again – long live the dance!
Zero lead us into the afternoon on The Clearing which was starting to irradiate with colours reflecting off the leaves above the stages, creating its own sky of seemingly psychedelic movements. As the colours of the uplighting started to get a bit brighter in the trees, the sky was getting closer to dusk which seemed to fit ideally with Darkzy and Window Kid’s exhilarating performance.
The one set I know I had been waiting all day to see and can no doubt speak for many as well is Chase & Status. With so many festivals cancelled I felt lucky to be out in the fields dancing and to see Chase & Status as well felt like a present. They sent out so many energetic and irresistible tunes, the whole set was one huge ball of dynamism. From big sounds to big flames it was the highlight of the evening and lured you into the night. Every tune sang through the speakers into our ears and it was fantastic to hear the familiar favourite and remixes, it was a big show on its own and the hour didn’t last long enough!
As it started getting darker, the forest was coming to life, with all the bunting reflecting the lights creating an ultraviolet tapestry within the trees. There was a different colour everywhere you looked, electric rainbows dancing alongside nature – it was an extraordinary vision. Alisha‘s sounds fitted this mystical and otherworldly vibe perfectly. Sammy Virji B2B Higgo played into the evening on The Big Top with Lazcru FT MC AD hosting another set over in The Clearing.
Bad Boy Chiller Crew switched it up for us on the main stage, and over in The Clearing Skepsis with MC AD doing a double shift on stage was at no lack of oomph! John Summit, another personal favourite on the other side of the spectrum of music was a perfect fit for the setting – with his summery festival made beats and charisma on stage he was genuinely so much fun to watch and dance to, perhaps getting up there with one of the best sets of the night!
Dimension (DJ set) wasn’t one to miss, playing all the signature drops and blends many had been craving over our dance deprived lockdown! Cajama was doing what they do best as they took over from Skepsis‘ set.
Closing the incredible event was Tsuki in The Clearing, who ended on such a high you could hear the cheers of the crowd from all around. Trying to soak in as much as we could, we bounced over to Detlef B2B Latmun who was treating us to a serving of some cosmic flavours. They both took us on a couple of space journeys through beats and bpms!
Lastly, but in no way or means least, the magical Hybrid Minds left us wanting more with such a euphoric set, I could feel smiles from a mile off and the vocal appreciation from the audience must have been overwhelming. It was magnificent to be a part of such a happy crowd! Leaving the woods felt a bit sad as festival season was coming to an end, but I was grateful to have had the experience and being able to dance away in woodlands and fields is all we could have asked for!
Thanks for the dance Electric Woodlands. Until next time…!
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