Reviewed: 51st State Festival 2019
Returning to the notorious grounds of Trent Park in North London for its 5 year anniversary, 51st State Festival made their yearly comeback for their biggest party to date, following their sold out 4th edition. They returned with an unrivalled and unique line-up, pulling together the most aspirational names in house music in particular, as well as Disco, Garage, Soul and more. This year featured stages hosted by Groove Odyssey, Backto95, Channel One Sound System, FOUND and We Love Soul. It truly was an authentic celebration of real house music.
We arrived at Trent Park around 3pm and headed straight over to the Groove Odyssey mainstage to catch the end of Soul Clap. With the duo blaring their old school disco tunes, it set the tone for the big names yet to come on this stage. Keen to explore the roots of house music we were eager to catch Dennis Ferrer then Louie Vega and David Morales (Kings Of House NYC) who were still to follow, before the big man himself Kerri Chandler, set to close the Groove Odyssey mainstage.
Looking across the programme, the line-up was incredible across 7 stages which featured some of the best DJs who have been dominating the scene over the last few years and even decades. Torn between who to see next we were drawn in by Dennis Ferrer who was giving the crowd what they wanted early in the day, blaring some fantastic classic beats as the sun went down. The crowd were filled with energy however, a momentary speaker malfunction prompted a pause, but this was resurrected quickly with Ferrer seamlessly bringing back the vibe, not phased at all by this blip. Blending classic house, techno and funk classics, the grooves were flowing, and the night had only just begun.
We decided it was time to branch out and explore more of the arena, which included catching the end of Kevin Saunderson and start of Roger Sanchez at the Found tent. The party was in full swing by the time we got there and at this point it was evident that there really were tents for everyone, with the festival focusing strongly on incorporating a wide variety of influential sound. The Back to 95 stage was blaring out some of the finest UK Garage such as Crystal Waters who dropped her legendary tune ‘Gypsy Woman’. They took over the tent after the surprise guest of the day DJ EZ, who had sweat dripping in the arena as he tore up the tent.
Although we ventured out throughout the day, something kept drawing me back to the mainstage. The vibe was superb, and we did not want to miss the Kings of House NYC, Louie Vega, David Morales and special guest Julie McKnight. She really added something unique to a classic DJ set, with her incredible voice accompanying the beat behind. Needless to say, they did not disappoint, and the crowd were more than warmed up for the well-anticipated closing set by Kerri Chandler. He undoubtedly had the crowd moving as always, smashing out the tech-house tunes as he brought his usual enthusiasm for what he does, dropping his iconic sound and dance classics.
For those who were not ready to finish the party just yet, you could join the after party that was hosted at Ministry of Sound Club from 11pm right through the night until 6am. Featuring some legendary DJs who had already had us grooving all day, such as Roger Sanchez, Soul Clap & more.
After a full day of dancing, 51st State Festival was over for us for another year. We can’t wait to celebrate next time!