As September arrives, festival-goers around the UK are faced with a bittersweet reality: the season of losing your inhibitions in a field during those hazy summer days is nearly over. Now is the time to pack away the tent, take off the wristbands and brace yourself as the country slips into depressingly cooler temperatures.
Thankfully the team at One Out Festival were primed and ready to send off the summer in style as they returned stronger than ever to Apps Court Farm for the 3rd year running. With a site that had doubled in size thanks to the addition of 2 new stages, and a line-up of dance music’s finest, the crowd descending upon Walton-on-Thames were in for a treat. This is an event that prides itself on being created by festival lovers for festival lovers and they certainly didn’t disappoint.
Having made my debut for the festival in 2022 I was very kindly invited back to kick things off on the Main Stage, playing a collection of disco and funky house to get the crowds in the mood for the day that lay ahead. Stepping up to the decks after me was TikTok sensation Jakkob, who blended crowd-pleasing vocal bangers with tougher underground weapons, setting the wheels in motion for a mega afternoon. Schak’s signature bouncy sound brought an infectious wave of excitement over the crowd, demonstrating why the Geordie has risen through the ranks of dance music so fast. Eli Brown was a real highlight, his darker yet energetic style against the back drop of the setting sun guided the crowd into the night and lay the foundations for headliner Franky Wah. Melodic uplifting elements intertwined seamlessly with rumbling basslines and infectious grooves had the crowd swaying uncontrollably for the final 90 minutes. Franky closed out the stage with anthemic piano banger “Come Together,” a record whose lyrics are laced with deep-rooted emotion, serving up a much-needed reminder of how the love of this music binds us all together.
For those that like their BPM’s a little faster, a short walk across the field landed you in the Hospitality tent where the crowds were served up some of the finest beats by Drum & Bass’s rising stars and veterans. Harriet Jaxon wowed the crowd with her unique talents as a selector, mashing together a mix of diverse records that crossed multiple eras. Stepping up straight after was Flava D, the multi-genre DJ and producer who double dropped her way through a set that thrilled the crowds with recognisable classics, bootlegs and uplifting hands in the air moments. Highly acclaimed A.M.C did what he does best and treated the masses to a display of creative and technical mixing before headliner Metrik stepped up to the stage to close things out. Guiding the crowd perfectly through a set that incorporated his original productions, dubplates and hits spanning the last 10 years, it is clear to see why Metrik has become one of the biggest names in the scene.
One of the more unconventional stages came in the form of a converted transit van known as Homebass. Having started in lockdown the instantly recognisable green and white rave wagon has played host to the likes of Fatboy Slim, Eats Everything and been front and centre at some of London’s wildest roadside parties. Joining forces with Save Our Scene to host their own stage, the crowds were treated to a veritable feast of cutting edge talent. Saint Ludo brought her signature mix of rap-inspired UK bass and 140bpm party starters whilst Izco & Reeko left no stone unturned, effortlessly blending grime, garage and jungle. Then it was time for The Streets frontman and UK music legend Mike Skinner to take to the decks and show the crowds why he has remained at the forefront of British music for the last 2 decades. Interplanetary Criminal closed out the night, despite looking shaky on his feet the Manchester chart topper drew a crowd that packed out arena and left everyone begging for more.
Divine Sounds hosted the 4th arena and featured some of dance music’s heaviest hitters. Rising superstar Jess Bays packed out the tent early with her trademark vocal house selections entangled with bouncy basslines and skippy drums, that got the crowd sufficiently limber for what laid ahead. Detlef and Tini Gessler perfectly complimented each other during their back-to-back and took the sound down a groovy, more techy route before Radio 1 aficionado Danny Howard stepped up to the decks and did what he does best, treating the crowd to a setlist of cutting edge house and techno. Paul Woolford perfectly paved the way with this signature selection before lady of the house Sam Divine tore roof off with her energy and passion that could be felt all the way to the back, serving only to solidify her role as queen of the dancefloor.
Attending both as an artist and as a music lover, there is no doubt that One Out has firmly secured itself as major player on the UK festival circuit. Take a short walk around the site and it is clear that this is a team whose passion and dedication to the community of electronic music lovers is unwavering. As always I am forever grateful to have played a small part in what was a truly epic day!
If this sounds like your kind of thing tickets are on sale now for 2024 so grab yours today and see you on the dancefloor.