Saturday is a night of triumphant sets at Creamfields

Creamfields 2011 review

By Jamie Licence | Published: Mon 5th Sep 2011


Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th August 2011
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
camping tickets £115, day tickets £60, Friday arrival £20 - SOLD OUT
Daily capacity: 40,000
Last updated: Mon 1st Aug 2011

The words "August bank holiday weekend" usually mean one thing to me, Reading festival, but after a weekend at Creamfields 2011 I have a sneaky suspicion it may no longer be my first choice destination, from now on I think I will be heading to Daresbury Park, just outside Warrington.

I arrived late morning Saturday morning and to my delight found little traffic, straight off the motorway and rolled straight onto site with speed and ease, ploughed straight into the camping site and threw up the trusty quick pitch pop up tent, and got my raving shoes on ready to go. Well when I say raving shoes, I mean wellies, the site was in a stately park with plenty of room to accommodate the sold out event, with plenty of room for expansion in the future if the need arises.

around the festival site

We enter the arena, through the security checks, with very welcoming staff, my first impressions of the site were of a very nice compact site, in beautiful settings, with twin impressive main outside stages and a plethora of huge tents, also on site was the largest funfair I have ever seen at a festival, with a wide array of rides for the punters to satisfy there adrenalin fix.

So to the south stage I go, one of the new twin stages brought in this year, to catch Skrillex, what a start to the weekend! This one man show, pounds out the relentless powerful dub step, most producers can only dream of mastering, he mixes up hit after hit, of which he has produced over the last 12 months, this lad is going places, and very fast.

After giving my internal organs time to recover form this brutal onslaught of sub bass, I go for a wonder around the compact site, if not for the mud it would be easy to hop between any two stages on site in 5 minutes, meaning you don't have to miss out on many acts, but there was a fair mud issue, this turned a 5 minute amble into a 15-20 minute slog, but this didn't deter the people. In fact there seems to be a very unique atmosphere on the site, everyone is happy and absolutely mad for it.

I have a quick look at the Jager truck stage, which is showcasing a lot of fresh talent, but with Skrillex still smashing out his huge bass onslaught, there is quite sever sound bleed problems, so I decide to give this stage a miss for a while, I go across site to the twin main stage of the north end of site, where Diplo is spinning up a storm, raising the pace and energy in the crown, whipping them into a frenzy by dropping his signature track featuring Tiesto, who will be appearing on the very same stage later in the evening.

As expected the huge crowd go bonkers in anticipation, a little over half way through his set, a big chunk of the field starts to empty, everyone is heading back to the south stage, where Katy B will soon be arriving.

I decided to cut back through the 'Paul Van Dyk presents Evolution' tent where I stumble across a set by Giuseppe Ottaviani, I was looking for a short cut to avoid some of the ocean of mud, and found a real gem, Guiseppe was blowing the roof off the tent, with an intensity rarely seen so early in the day, one look at his face was all you needed to see exactly how much this set meant to him, he was living his dream and taking this moment with two big hands holding it and squeezing every drop out of it, I will be catching him again in the future I really recommend seeing him if the possibility arises.

Katy B
After this booming tent gig I went back out into the sunshine of the south stage to witness a humongous awaiting the arrival of Katy B, she appeared on stage to a rapturous reception, and jumped straight into one of her huge summer smash hits, when disaster struck, the sound dies, she wasn't a happy lady, she takes a seat at the side of the stage with her band, as the sound techs rush around to fix the issue.

Thankfully this takes only a few minutes, to her credit she comes out fighting, working her magic on the giant crowd, she holds the crowd captivated on every word she says, she salutes the crowd and thanks them for there support.

There really is a unique party atmosphere at Creamfields, two and a half sets and I am loving every minute. I was a little apprehensive before the festival, as to how a festival comprising of just DJs would keep me excited for the whole weekend, I couldn't have been further form the point.

Magnetic Man
Following Katy B were the Powerful trio, Magnetic Man, with a sound so huge it could rumble a pack of elephants. The three magicians, Benga, Skream and Artwork conjure up sounds so rich and pure, with a destructive appetite for sub bass, that you couldn't possibly stand still. With dread MC up front providing the swagger and stage presence, they shook Creamfields to the very core.

I didn't watch them but I imagine The Chemical Brothers had a tough time following the Magnetic Man performance.

I made my way to the North stage for the evening's headliner Tiesto, a huge clash Tiesto vs The Chems!

Nightmare, but I think I chose well with Tiesto, when I was approaching the stage Calvin Harris was just finishing his set, with his chart friendly summer good time hits, the mainly female crowd were lapping up the confetti shower and radio friendly grooves.

Tiesto came on to a north stage ready for action, a crown of 35-40,000 were waiting with anticipation, and he did not disappoint in any way shape or form, lasers pierce the night sky with stunning visuals on huge LCD boards all around his decks he played a powerful hour and a half set, showing exactly why he stands clearly at the top of the game. He finishes of the show with his sublime rendition of Barber's 'Adagio For Strings', which prompts the throwing up of 40,000 pairs of hands into the night sky.

It makes for a very spine tingling end to a triumphant set, what a night, but this is Creamfields they have no intention of finishing there, the two outdoor stages power down for the evening, but there is still 5 more hours of entertainment to go, hold tight.

As the night goes on the bass and the pace picks up and up I catch half a set of Annie Mac and Kissy Sell Out smashing their respective tents to pieces. Then I finish the night with some old school jungle, with Goldie, who is still mashing out the tunes as I wander back to my tent at 4 am.

around the festival site
review by: Jamie Licence

photos by: Jamie Licence

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