die hard fans stay raving in the rain on first day of Creamfields

Creamfields 2012 review

By Jamie Licence | Published: Tue 28th Aug 2012

around the festival site (crowd)

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2012
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
£125 for 2 day camping tickets, or £145 for 3 days - SOLD OUT
Daily capacity: 40,000
Last updated: Tue 14th Aug 2012

For many years August bank holiday only meant one thing to me, Reading or Leeds festival, I can safely say however after visiting Creamfields for the last time in 2011 this has now been firmly replaced by the Daresbury park event.

Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike
I arrived onsite not long after midday Saturday, with no traffic to hold us up we breezed through the gates and had our tent up in next no time at all, ground conditions were a little sloppy but nothing out of the ordinary for a British festival, with wood chips strewn all around. This was a nice pro active measure which showed that the cream site management team were one step ahead, as we entered the arena we headed towards the North Stage, (one of the two identical outdoor main stages) where Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were getting the party started, with a reasonable sized crowd which I would of guessed numbering about 15,000 revelling in the sunshine.

It was clear to see the famous Creamfields vibe was in full flow. I only caught the last 15 minutes of their set, but they certainly supplied the crowd with the perfect kick start for the madness to begin.

Dash and Ben Proudlove
We decided to take a walk around the site to see if there was any change to last years lay out, when we stumbled into the Vodafone chill out lounge, a venue I had not seen the previous year, full of hammocks and giant size bean bags, we decided to take the weight off our feet for a while. Whilst in there, one of my picks of the summer stepped up to the decks, Dash & Ben Proudlove played a nice chilled out progressive set with a little funk thrown in for good measure.

This was a nice unexpected treat that went down perfectly whilst chilling in a hammock on a sunny day.

Norman Doray
Only a stone's throw away from the tranquillity of the Vodafone chill out zone was the second of the giant out door stages the South Stage, here Norman Doray was at the helm, this end of the site never seemed to fill up to the same numbers as the South Stage, until headliner time. I think this may be in part as most of the camp sites enter the arena near the North Stage, also the bulk of the indoor tented stages are located on the north half of the site. This did not seem to phase Doray, with a triumphant set full of fist pumping house. The Frenchman will surely rise up the listings in the coming 12 months.

With the drizzle starting to set in I made my way to the Annie Mac presents stage, where Madeon was due on half an hour later, on arrival Mele were storming the tent with a great young MC and some very strong beats, the big top was shaking to its core, leaving a huge challenge for the 18 year old Frenchman to follow.

Not only did he rise to the occasion, he blew the roof off, with the tent practically splitting at the seems, Madeon, seems to be going from strength to strength, and it wont be long until he is headlining one of the outdoor stages at this rate. After a breathtaking hour long sweat inducing set an outdoor stage was a must, so armed with a nice cold drink, I checked out Cazzette, a Swedish duo, much like Deadmau5 these guys wear huge cartoon masks when they take to the stage, but of cassette tapes.

They bring with them the genre they are claimed to have invented, DubHouse, the crowd adore the big beats that Cazzette supply. The duo have blown up in 12 months, already being championed by Tiesto, Avicii and Swedish House Mafia, after mixing bootlegs which the respective artists enjoying there work that they went on to sign the bootlegs off as official remixes.

The sky was fast turning a worrying colour, on the way back over to the North Stage, I decided to head for a quick look in the Radio 1xtra tent, Benga featuring Youngman were booming out some of the darkest dubstep, with baselines so low they shook you. I only caught 20 minutes of their set, and that was enough to reposition most of my internal organs.

I carried on to the North stage to watch Example, after seeing him at last year's Creamfields, and being very impressed I thought I would see what his new material was like, and to be fair he was really taking the stage by storm. Talking of which, it was then the clouds above finally opened, the rain fell so hard and so fast it was like being stood under a dam emptying, many thousands of die hard fans stayed put raving in the rain.

I decided to get inside a tented stage to watch Skrillex for half an hour hoping that the deluge would pass. Skrillex entered the stage to a rapturous reception.The crown prince of the dubstep revolution started hard and fast, in fact so hard that he blew the rig. After a mad rush by the sound team, they finally got things back on track after about 5 minutes.

Starting where he left off, he unleashed a relentless onslaught on the dubstep stronghold that was the 1extra Stage, I would have loved to of stayed around for the whole set, but one of the sets I was most excited about when the line-ups were revealed was fast approaching...

Headlining the South Stage tonight was Avicii, the 22 year old Swede has taken the world of electro by storm over the last couple of years, culminating in this headline slot. Estimations towards a crowd upwards of 20,000, prove the booking team are bang on the money yet again this year, and no-one is left disappointed, as Avicii powers through an awe inspiring set. Not even the heaviest downpour can taint this truly euphoric moment! Over the hour and a half set the crowd just multiplies, culminating when he dropped huge smash hit 'Levels'. It was a moment I will remember until the day I die, standing in the heaviest rain I have ever felt arms raised to the sky in the crowd of roughly 30,000 sharing a moment that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

With an epic light show to accompany the set, the 90 minutes seemed to pass in a flash. After 4 hours non stop rain in what felt like a monsoon, it was time to head to an inside stage again. With conditions getting more and more muddy underfoot we trudged our way from stage to stage taking a 15 minute taster of each act as we worked out way around site.

around the festival site (crowd)
With the main tents running till 4 am there was plenty to choose from, in the next two hours we saw snippets of Eric Prydz, who for my liking didn't really have enough going on in his set to keep me after 15 minutes.

So, it was a straight shoot out between The Chemical Brothers (DJ set), and Steve Angello, one of those times in life when you wish you could tear yourself in two. I plumped for Angello, and it for me proved to be the highlight of the day without a shadow of a doubt.

The best 2 hour set I have ever witnessed. Unleashing his back catalogue, including all his hits from the Swedish House Mafia, the tent was filled to capacity with punters standing outside in the monsoon trying to get a glimpse.

It was the perfect way to end the first evening, with the rain now having fallen for about 7 hours non stop the site was getting more and more hard to navigate, with pools forming at any point where the water was not able to run off. We made the decision to walk back to the car to sleep in there instead of the tent for the night. Even in the car I was kept awake most of the night by the horrendous weather.

around the festival site (crowd)
review by: Jamie Licence

photos by: Jamie Licence

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