Fatboy Slim at Creamfields is quite possibly the best night at festival ever

Creamfields 2015 review

By Jamie Licence | Published: Tue 8th Sep 2015

Friday 28th to Sunday 30th August 2015
Daresbury Estate, Halton, Cheshire, WA4 4AR, England MAP
£175 for 2 days with camping, 3 days is sold out
Daily capacity: 70,000
Last updated: Mon 3rd Aug 2015

With the 11pm curfew placed on the site on a Sunday the action swung into life a few hours earlier, with a certain Norman Cook invading the campsites before 11, (yes I know to a lot of you festival regulars or people in the real world that sounds very late, life doesn't stop at Creamfields. 

Dance festivals rarely keep to standard times. The main bulk of stages don't stop until gone 4 am). The Fatboy Slim DJ is armed with loud speakers to entice people to come and join his smile high fun club, where the crowd would be making a huge smiley face to be photographed from above. He was also offering those involved the chance to win free vip tickets for next year's festival, the day got off to a good start for many.

After a little walkabout looking around all the amazing arena stages, from the Curve stage, through to the huge Cream arena each one had their own sense of character. As they are also each curated by different labels and DJs daily, it meant you really could go and find exactly your style of music at any time of the day or night.

With the sun out we again decided to start the day in earnest on the North stage with Carnage. With a heady mix of big bass lines and retro samples you couldn't help but feel that Sunday got off to a faster start than the previous day. Following Carnage were the Australian beauties Nervo. Yet again seeming to have a direct link to the massed throngs moving along in unison to their pounding sound, these girls are one of my favourite acts. I don't necessarily love all the music they play but you cannot help but admire the verve in which they deliver them, bouncing around behind the decks obviously having the times of their lives with smiles beaming from ear to ear!

Our group then went separate way, the girls stayed to watch a bit of Steve Aoki, who they said got a great response but left them feeling a little underwhelmed. I felt there were a lot of elements to his performance which seemed to be pretty standard, and seemed very much a copy and paste from his snap chat feed. But they did say that they then saw two of the best sets of the weekend...

In the small Pepsi Max Curve arena, two legends were billed in quick succession,Paul Oakenfold, and Paul van Dyk, both delivering sets capable of transporting and turning back the hands of time to the days when they ruled DJ booths all around the world.

I was lucky enough to catch up with a couple of the acts on the bill for a chat, Nicky Romero, and Fatboy Slim.

Both were hugely looking forward to their sets, and equally both were buzzing to be playing in the smaller arenas, having both played on the open air main stages at last year's event. This year they were stepping back inside, with Romero taking a slot in the Don't Tell Daddy arena, and Slim curating the Smile high club. After a brief discussion with Norman Cook asking what would be different about this year's set, to which he replied “playing in a smaller arena is usually a lot more fun, the atmosphere is bouncing, and we have brought quite a few tricks to surprise and amuse people this year” I decided that that was where I would end up later on.

I re-joined the girls at 7 when the Main stages had shut down for an hour whilst Daresbury church held its weekly service. We caught 30 minutes of Nicky Romero's tent ramming set before grabbing a drink and heading to catch AfroJack. Again it was falling dusk and the big screens and special effects towers were really coming into prominence again.

One thing that kept catching my eye that took a little bit away from the visuals were a flashing bright blue display on the special effects towers advertising a deodorant. It was explaining that the towers were movement sensitive and the more you partied the more the flames and co2 cannons would fire off, but it was just a bit tacky and with amazing visuals going on up on stage it kept distracting my eyes.

However nothing could distract my senses from the A star set Afrojack was delivering, It had for me easily beaten the two headliners of the previous night. Creamfields is a festival I could happily go to 4 weekends in a row as the line-up is so strong you just can't possibly see everyone you would like to. So in picking Fatboy Slim I had to ignore performances by Axwell & Ingrosso, Tiesto, Hardwell, and Eric Prydz to name but a few!

However I stand by this decision, as Fatboy Slim and his Smile high performance delivered exactly what he had promised in my brief meeting, an hour and a half full of huge grins! With a full cast of dancing odd balls, some giant dancing robots and Fatboy Slim's acid generator this set really felt like an 80's rave brought up to date. Add hundreds of giant smiley balloons dropped onto the crowd and punters taken through his acid generator to be unleashed on the world with a huge smiles painted on their faces. This was a real immersive experience and quite possibly the best night I have ever had at a festival.

Yet again Creamfields continues to push the boundaries of the festival experience continuously looking for ways to improve the immersive experience of the crowd, and push forward the limits of the production capabilities. I for one will be waiting with baited breath to see how they move on from the immensely high standards they have set yet again!

Creamfields 2015 take a bow!

review by: Jamie Licence

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