David Guetta, and Pete Tong top the opening night of Creamfields 2010

Creamfields 2010 review

published: Wed 1st Sep 2010

around the festival site (crowd)

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
weekend tickets £110 - SOLD OUT, only Sunday £55 available
daily capacity: 40000
last updated: Mon 16th Aug 2010

A 19th-century German philosopher named Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "Without music, life would be a mistake... I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance." Fast forward a couple of centuries and Pink can be clearly heard referring to God as a DJ... evidently music and religion possess many similarities; they both provoke debate, provoke passion and can unite or divide their followers. I can't lay claim to having seen any celestial beings this weekend though, despite the fact that I was surrounded by several DJs and dancers; I did however see a raving rabbit, a pumped up Pocahontas and a mental Mexican; where was I? Where else, the 2010 Creamfields Festival.

around the festival site (Main Stage)
The weather wasn't predicted to be favourable over the Bank Holiday weekend in Daresbury, Cheshire, but I didn't expect that small detail to get in the way of the 40,000 revellers' fun and frolics; and I wasn't wrong. This year was the fastest selling Creamfields Festival to date and it wasn't difficult to see why looking at the unbeatable line-up; boasting exclusive headline performances from David Guetta, and Tiesto, special performances from Leftfield, Deadmau5, and other huge names such as Ferry Corsten, Judge Jules, Paul van Dyk, and hot favourites of the moment, house DJ/producing trio Swedish House Mafia.

That really is to name but just a few, so it proved to be both a challenge and a personal goal of mine over the weekend, to get to see as many of the acts as logistically possible. I was particularly looking forward to checking out the facilities on site, which I had heard such good things about: facilities such as the Hed Kandi Hospitality Arena, International Food Market, Strongbow Bowtime Bar, Pimms Bus and Vanity Van for those all-important festival faces and fashions.

Upon arriving at the festival we were directed to the wristband exchange area, where a large, yet manageable queue had already begun to form. Possessing Hospitality Weekend tickets, we were shepherded to a separate tent and appropriately tagged; or not, as the case proved to be. Rather than go in to the irksome detail of it all; let's just say that we received the wrong wristbands which meant that I didn't have access to the photography pit of the main stage on the first day, hence having no photographs of David Guetta or Deadmau5.

Thankfully, the very helpful and lovely Lucy from Cream sorted this for me the next day; allowing me to get some great shots of Tiesto and Calvin Harris, as well as some of the DJs playing at other stages such as Paul Van Dyk, Leftfield, AN21, Riva Starr, Hed Kandi and The Subs.

Once inside the festival walls, no passes-out are permitted, which had been the root cause of our difficulties on the first day; security would not allow us access to the press office and we were not allowed off-site in order to enter via the correct gate. I do understand the reasoning behind this rule, but felt that some of the security on-site could have been considerably more helpful than they chose to be. This was not reflective of the crew or Cream team in general however, who were completely the opposite.

around the festival site (2)
I was initially taken aback by the sheer size of the festival grounds; I think I had envisioned a much smaller and more compact site but was actually greeted with a veritable village of activities and facilities. Having attended V Festival (Weston Park) last year, I was really impressed at this early stage by just how much your ticket fee could offer you at Creamfields, both in terms of artists and facilities. A Standard Weekend with Camping ticket cost £110 plus booking fee at Creamfields, versus £165 plus booking fee for the same ticket at V Festival. Clearly you can't compare the two festivals to the same degree due to the genre of music, but like for like I would definitely say that you get much more for your money at Creamfields.

Having a pre-arranged and pre-paid appointment for a festival makeover in the early afternoon, my sister and I made our way across the vast grounds to the little haven that was the Vanity Van. True to its name, the hair and beauty stylists stationed at this mobile salon were on hand to offer a huge variety of treatments including massage, spray tan, facial, manicure/pedicure, false eyelashes and face/body art. Goody bags were given to each customer containing Barry M make up items and other bits and tricks and prices were quite reasonable... after all, a girl's got to look her best at these events, especially with all the official photographers floating around!

around the festival site (1)
After arriving slightly late due to the queues, we arranged to have one of our treatments the next day to prevent backlog for the Vanity girls and once again I was greeted with the Creamfields staple "sure, no problem, whatever works best for you!"... what a delight to be amongst such approachable and friendly people; so I'd like to say a big thank you to Alix at Vanity Van for the warm welcome and professional treatment that we experienced this weekend. Fully beautified, we braved the winds and light rain and decided to take a stroll around the site, taking in a few sights and sounds as we went.

I would say that the age range for this festival would be around 18-25 in the main, with a large contingent from Liverpool (obviously), North London and Northern Ireland. The atmosphere throughout the weekend however was never short of fully-inclusive, with no signs in the arena of flare-ups or disorder; admittedly there was a large police presence, but in my experience this doesn't necessarily mean that festival-goers can be relaxed about such events taking place. Indeed, I felt much safer at Creamfields due to the laid back and 'chilled' atmosphere than I have at many other live music events. Everyone was just there to enjoy the music and have an unforgettable weekend; some may have chosen to make it artificially so, but each to their own I say. We are all accountable for our own actions and as long as me and mine are having a good time, let others be is my motto. The mere fact that I have a motto for such eventualities, outlining that six-year age gap perfectly!

around the festival site (Cream tent)
As well as the Main Stage there was a vast selection of other stages and arenas, offering a diverse range of electronic dance tunes, including the Cream Tent, Chibuku, Pryda Friends, Ape, Mixmag, Jagerrock Truck, Residents Terrace, Annie Mac Presents and Goodgreef X-tra Hard. The larger tents got going around 2:00 pm, finishing around 4:00 am on the first night and midnight on the second. Festival-goers could keep themselves refreshed with food from one of the many stalls on site, including cuisines from all four corners of the globe, which were reasonably priced; again, no unwelcome surprises there. It can get expensive at festivals, especially if you're spending a full day on site and trying to catch as many artists as you can. Luckily the portions on offer more than sustained us and I am delighted to report that we did not need to dispose of any sub-standard fare. One suggestion that I would make to festival organisers would be to have additional signage on site; apart from a map in the Hed Kandi Hospitality Arena and the standard site map on the line-up guide, I didn't see any other maps in locations which would have been useful; next to the toilet facilities, main entrance, in front of the main exit areas.

On such a large site, it was easy to lose your bearings especially later on at night in those areas which were more dimly lit than others. Another suggestion would be to have additional cleaning personnel on site collecting litter; after the first day the site was somewhat dishevelled and I did not envy whoever would be tasked with the huge clean-up operation. I think to a degree that this is down to allocation of resources, however I think the audience has to play its part too; several festival-goers were choosing to throw their litter on the ground when several bins were dotted around the site. You can bring a horse to water and all that. On the other hand, the Hospitality Arena was spotless and the toilets on offer there were several steps up from the standard festival port-a-loos.

Judge Jules
We caught a variety of artists on the first day including Judge Jules, Gareth Emery, Mix Hell, Pete Tong, Jaymo & Andy George, and Sarah Louise in the Hed Kandi Arena. Funky House is my favourite sub-genre of dance music so Hed Kandi was always going to be a particular highlight of the weekend for me and Sarah Louise did not let me down. The atmosphere in the Hospitality Arena never dipped below buzzing, despite the time of day or night, the weather or the main stage artist performing at that particular moment. Leather sofas and two fully stocked bars with ample staff on hand greeted you as you walked through the white linen curtains and once inside you never wanted to leave. Hospitality Camping ticket-holders were treated to a main meal per day from the luxury caterers on-site and the food looked delicious and plentiful. I would definitely recommend this ticket option to anyone considering going to the festival next year; for just £50 (approx.) extra per person you can enjoy regularly cleaned and stocked toilets, comfy sofas and no queues at the bar, nothing short of a haven in the middle of otherwise frenetic fun and games.

A highlight for me was seeing Judge Jules in the Cream tent; I've seen Judge Jules a few times in Ibiza and the excitement that surrounds his sets never wanes for me. My sister and I busted a few random shapes on that particular night let me tell you; however the videos will remain safely hidden! Deadmau5 was another crowd pleaser on the Main Stage and it was clear that this act had been a popular draw for the festival, as the crowd began to swell to capacity. The energy was exuberant across the crowd as everyone clambered to catch a glimpse of the head that Deadmau5 would be sporting. There's something particularly heartening and uplifting about watching several thousand people dancing away in a crowd, some to the beat on stage, some to the beat in their own head, but all to a universal beat – the beat of expression. I like this non-judgemental, non-intimidating atmosphere, were you can be chatting quite seriously one minute about the merits of commercial festival culture, then the next being shown photos on a guy called Deano's iPod of him "with food and shit"; Deano with some chips and a fish, Deano with a Bombay Duck, Deano holding a Seabass at the Morrisons Fish Counter. Ah, I do love the randomness.

around the festival site (2)
Jaymo & Andy George in the Mixmag Tent was another popular set with the crowd spilling out on to the fields adjacent; this was another aspect of the festival that I particularly liked, you didn’t necessarily have to enter each tent in order to hear the sounds coming from it. Instead you could sit outside on one of the many picnic benches, have a drink or snack and just chill out, without the queuing or grappling to get to the front of the crowd. To be fair though, there was little queuing over the weekend to be seen; except perhaps for the smaller stages like the Strongbow Bowtime Bar. Pete Tong was brilliant in the Pryda Friends tent and again this was clearly a popular choice amongst the crowd. Playing a selection of tracks from his huge back catalogue, the energy and motivation of the crowd showed no sign of a lull, before we hotfooted it over to the Main Stage to catch the headliner, David Guetta.

David Guetta is one of the most in-demand producers in the world right now, having worked with a wide range of international names, such as Madonna, Akon, Kelly Rowland and Fergie. Guetta played a selection of his most recent and popular tracks including 'Sexy Bitch' and 'Gettin Over You' and also some tracks from his new album, all of which were well received...in fact I think he could have played anything and the crowd would have gone crazy, such is his pull and aura on stage. I tend to like anything that Guetta has had a hand in, as I think his signature style of electro, house and dirty pop is instantly recognisable and each track hooks you in from the first few beats.

Having decided to stay at the De Vere Daresbury Park Hotel for the night, we left the site at a relatively respectable hour and headed up to the 4* establishment just across the road. And boy were we glad to have made that particular – and perhaps costly – decision a few months ago, as heavy rain battered the site throughout the night, making the ground extremely soggy and muddy the next day. Luckily we had brought our wellies, being more than accustomed to our Great British and particularly, great North-western weather. On the plus side, the hotel was most comfortable and the staff were a delight; ever helpful and ever willing to answer any queries you might have, such as "Can I please order extra beans for my jacket potato?" or "Can I please take these muffins home for my Mum and Dad wrapped in a napkin?" If camping isn't your thing then I would definitely recommend treating yourself to a stay at this hotel; it is the nearest to the site by a mile, reasonably priced for the standard of service and offers a wealth of facilities including spa, swimming pool, 24 hr room service for those nightly munchies and swish toiletries. I do appreciate a swish toiletry item. You girls will be with me on that, I'm sure.

around the festival site (2)
review by: Shelley Hanvey

photos by: Lynsey Hanvey

Saturday 28th to Sunday 29th August 2010
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
weekend tickets £110 - SOLD OUT, only Sunday £55 available
daily capacity: 40000
last updated: Mon 16th Aug 2010


latest on this festival

Creamfields 2021
festival details
last updated: Thu 11th Mar 2021
Creamfields 2021
line-ups & rumours
last updated: Thu 11th Mar 2021