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We Are FSTVL – Sunday 

The festival had a much more relaxed atmosphere than the day before, which may have something to do with there seemed to be only a third of the amount people. Perhaps this was down to those who had bought weekend tickets too hastily selling their ticket due to Saturday’s rain or the day had simply struggled to sell. The line up was quite tech heavy, which made it the perfect day for those that way inclined, but a turn off who those that aren’t. Sven Vath and Ricardo Villalobos and their superfluous sexy dancers returned again this year to host the Cocoon stage and Space Ibiza’s night Kehakuma showcased DJs such as Nina Kraviz and the Organ Grinder.  It’s a real shame that it the crowds seemed a bit thin on the ground, as the place looked absolutely fantastic in the sunshine, with the weather giving the place a real Ibiza day party vibe.

Nowhere was the contrast between the two days more evident than in the VIP Village. Whereas on Saturday the place was bulging at the seams, at times the only people in the Fortay tent were the DJs themselves and even the CircoLoco tent struggled to get full. In a way it was an improvement, as there was no risk of being elbowed in the face or having your drink spilled, but it did seem to lack atmosphere. The bar staff were twiddling their thumbs for most of the day and whereas on the Saturday where they were frantically busy and reflective of that in their service they seemed genuinely grateful to serve customers, as they finally had something to do. I would have certainly been a bit annoyed if I had bought a VIP Sunday ticket, as the slightly nicer toilets wouldn’t have been worth the extra money.

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I have never seen so many beautiful people in one place. Nearly all the girls had perfect hair, immaculate make up, expertly applied tans and fabulous outfits. I hated them and myself by the end of the day. The boys were equally attractive specimens, looking like the sexy ASOS models they probably were. As much as they were a treat to the eye, they seemed much more of a serious bunch. I am always mildly suspicious of how much fun the pristine can be having, though perhaps not everyone needs to look like they require medical intervention to show they are having a good time. But I sort of missed the sweaty, shirtless shufflers from the Saturday. At least you can tell they were having the time of their lives.

The main stage, renamed the Eat Sleep Rave Repeat stage in homage to its closing act, Fatboy Slim, played host to some of the acts with more crossover appeal such as Duke Dumont and Annie Mac. It was a treat to see Solomun bopping away behind the decks, before he jetted back over to Ibiza to play at Pacha, as it was his only UK date for the summer. After Solomun, Amine Edge & Dance played their second set of the weekend, with 1212 (Licky Licky) going down well (pun intended) with certain members of the crowd. It is quite something to hear a chorus of girls shouting ‘so he lick my pussy hole’ in unison.

The highlight of the day was Luciano’s three-hour set in the Luciano and Friends tent. Until 8pm, the tent was fairly empty, but as soon those signature Latin-infused beats started, the crowds started to pour in. It seemed to border on a religious experience for many, with devoted disciples stretching their hands up towards their idol. A busload of what I presumed to be Spanish fans were hugging each other during parts of the set and one stood with the Chilean flag raised above his head. What can I say? The man certainly knows how to work a crowd. The only downside being that the bass was so powerful, I felt like my eardrums were going to explode.

The festival is definitely worth the trip if you live in London and the surrounding counties. It is Essex’s answer to Creamfields without the criminal contingent and fairground rides, managing to attract some of the biggest names in the industry, in what is only its second year.  

Words: Annie WarrenPhotos: Paul Underhill 

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Grahame Farmer

Grahame Farmer’s love affair with electronic music goes back to the mid-90s when he first began to venture into the UK’s beloved rave culture, finding himself interlaced with some of the country’s most seminal club spaces. A trip to dance music’s anointed holy ground of Ibiza in 1997 then cemented his sense of purpose and laid the foundations for what was to come over the next few decades of his marriage to the music industry.

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