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Reviewed: Highest Point Festival 2022

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The festivals that stand out and leave a lasting impression are often the ones which complement their setting in the most serene manner…Highest Point is one of those festivals.

Lancaster’s Williamson Park is a truly magical place, featuring charming woodland walks and the grandiose Ashton Memorial building. The 150-ft structure was built by Lord Ashton as a tribute to his late wife and when you see the sumptuous design up close it’s hard not to be mesmerised by the beauty of the Grade 1 listed folly.

Photo Credit: Robin Zahler

This year, at Highest Point, there were six areas. Each one was positioned to take full advantage of the serene surroundings. The Glaba stage was situated within touching distance of the Ashton Memorial and this proved to be a brilliant decision. The various artists were provided with the perfect companion for their musical performances as the Edwardian design of the building helped to evoke a vivid multi-sensory experience.

On the opposite side was the main stage which gave the tens of thousands attending the event an opportunity to sit down on the hill leading up to the Memorial. This proved to be a perfect vantage point to embrace the wonderful array of musical talent on offer over the four days whilst also admiring the mesmeric views of the surrounding Fylde coast.

The other areas dotted around the site also presented crowds with a chance to satisfy their desire for hedonistic escapism.

As for the music, there was a brilliantly curated roster of artists, with numerous styles such as House, Drum & Bass and Garage all catered for during the course of the festival.

DJ Phantasy at Highest Point
DJ Phantasy – Photo Credit: Robin Zahler

Voltage, who is one of the most talented DJs within Drum & Bass, opened his set in the most delightful manner. The entirety of the Sundial tent was sent into hysteria by his new collaboration alongside Shy FX.

The 360-degree stage gave Voltage a unique perspective and really helped to make him the focal point for the encircling ravers, who were salivating at the combinations he was blending together.

The festival is also renowned for promoting a family atmosphere with an entire day dedicated to activities for kids and parents alike. Throughout the course of the event, there were signs of how much people wanted to include their children.

SBSound was so keen he brought his baby son up onto the stage during the set. The infant appeared to be having the best time despite looking like he had been swallowed up by the pair of over-ear headphones he had on.

Example at Highest Point
Example Photo Credit: Robin Zahler

Example also continued the theme by shouting out “Get your kids up” during his performance on the Main Stage. The English-born artist, who currently resides in Australia, had every single person in jubilant spirits with his selection of original anthems as well as a mix of other genres.

He even brought out a special guest, Nono, to showcase her sumptuous voice as they performed their latest single ‘Deep’ together with quickly rising Drum & Bass star, Bou.

The Londoner’s charisma has been apparent right from the outset of his career and once again in Lancaster, he demonstrated just how good he is at connecting with a crowd.

The love which the fans showed to Example and the other artists was apparent throughout the entire festival and was rather apt given the aforementioned backstory behind the allure of the Ashton Memorial and what it symbolises.

Highest Point
Photo Credit: Robin Zahler

Another aspect of the festival which deserved a lot of praise was the rich diversity of music on offer. Queue…Girls Don’t Sync, a group of four friends, who have been gaining notoriety for their unique blend of Dancehall, Afrobeats and UK Garage.

The quartet were selected to play just before Tom Zanetti over at the Glaba Stage and they did a sublime job of preparing the crowd for the Yorkshireman. 

Looking out onto the picturesque sunset that came down over the Fylde coast whilst revelling in the delightful selections by the female quartet really did make for a standout moment.

Basement Jaxx at Highest Point
Basement Jaxx – Photo Credit: Robin Zahler

As the programme of music drew to a conclusion it was the job of Sub Focus to bring down the curtain at the Sundial stage.

This man has been giving out masterclass productions for years with every record he has made and he is also a formidable selector when placed in front of turntables.

Highest Point was treated to a spectacular showcase of both these talents with MC ID confessing it was “Probably the hottest ticket at the festival, to witness this bass music extravaganza”. Such was the stratospheric energy levels of Sub Focus’ set his ninety-minute slot seemed to fly by within an instant. With that, the music was brought to a close and Williamson Park was laid to rest for another year.

Thanks to everyone at Highest Point festival for having us…We will most definitely be returning!

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