Global Gathering exceeds itself again in 2012

Global Gathering 2012 reviews

published: Thu 2nd Aug 2012

around the festival site (2)

Friday 27th to Saturday 28th July 2012
Long Marston Airfield, nr. Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire., CV37 8LL, England MAP
£105 for weekend, Saturday £65
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Fri 8th Jun 2012

I shouldn't really moan about sunshine at a festival considering the washout for many others this year, but having been awake for 22 hours on Friday (including a full day at work); 3 hours sleep was nowhere near enough now that I am the wrong side of 30 years of age. Having fought my way out of my boil in the bag tent, it took myself and Olly a good few hours to sort our fuzzy heads out, do the necessities and get some breakfast.

around the festival site (2)
Luckily for us we were camped in the VIP area of the festival, and everything was on hand with barely any queues and a nice 'chill out' area. However en route to our friend Rachel's campsite in the main area, it was plain to see that the facilities provided were not enough with huge queues for water points, toilets and all the food stalls.

The heat took its toll on people as well, unlike most festivals where the main stages are finished by 11.30pm, Global didn't stop until 3am and with the soaring heat hitting close to 30c many people were just flaked outside their tents or hiding in the shade. The scene that greeted us when we got to the campsite was more like a zombie after party, with many revellers in the same clothes from the night before, and girls with make up half scraped off desperately clinging onto the ground for dear life.

DJ Fresh (2)
After taking a wander round the site with our friends and meeting up with another group from our home town that had headed up just for the Saturday, we grabbed some lunch and went over to the main stage for DJ Fresh. The main stage field which had been pretty much empty before they came on filled up fast with a very young crowd and several men who were clearly there in vain hope Rita Ora was going to appear on stage for 'Hot Right Now', although to their disappointment a backing singer filled in for her.

High Contrast
With the sunshine still blazing the crowd dispersed to the chorus of his 2011 hit 'Louder' and we headed for the Hospitality tent to see High Contrast. He whipped up a storm before watching Bristol's finest Roni Size play to a packed tent, and finishing on the anthem 'Brown Paper Bag', I really do start to realise how time has flown when the guy next to me says he can't believe its 15 years since 'New Forms' was released!

Chase & Status (2)
From chatting to many people over the weekend it's quite clear that most have turned up to see Chase & Status who are next on our list to see. A lot of criticism has been thrown their way from apparently "selling out" and their rather odd choice of booking for this year's Download Festival. I'd seen them in one of the tents at Global Gathering last year and given the near on dangerous crushing in and outside the tent, the main stage was the only place for them to play to their people.

They came onto a crescendo of screams from the crowd with smoke and bright lights filling the stage as they came on stage with MC Rage announcing them as "Chase and Fucking Status" before dropping straight into 'No Problem'.

Chase & Status (crowd)
It's certainly clear why this group work so well with catchy and sing along songs, along with a heavy bass line to keep the crowd energised, almost like a 21st century version of The Prodigy. The big moment comes when Liam Bailey is brought on stage for the whole crowd to sing 'Blind Faith' and it feels for a few minutes as if the whole festival has come together for one moment.

Unfortunately, a lot of the moans as we made our way back to the other tents is that the sound was too low towards the back, a criticism that some people seem to throw at the group rather than the organisers.

Ferry Corsten
We finish the night with Above & Beyond, and Ferry Corsten in the trance tent where we are once again joined again with our friends Rachel and Lewis and our new friend for the weekend Chris. We dance the night away and when it finally hits 3am my back and legs virtually give in and I had to call it a night.

Five hours later and the heat got us up again and we quickly got our tent down and headed for the car. Unfortunately the car park was gridlocked and it looked like we would spend most of the day queuing up to get out, however the gods smiled on us as a staff exit gate was opened up near us to ease the traffic and I found myself back home just after 1pm.

Above and Beyond
Global Gathering is a fantastic set up as everything is so close and compact, for the dance lover you should look no further. However the lack of things to do whilst there is no music on and the alcohol policy stops this becoming a really good festival. I must say however that despite peoples opinion of what type of person this festival attracts I saw no trouble all weekend, and there were only two arrests for drug offences. We encountered no end of fun and friendly people, and as Olly was off taking photos, I was on my own for large parts of sets, people were much more approachable to talk to than I've encountered at other major festivals.

I really didn't think we would be able to top our visit to Global in 2011, but 2012 managed to exceed it and more.
review by: Stuart Watson

photos by: Hayley Edwards / Olly Pickett

Friday 27th to Saturday 28th July 2012
Long Marston Airfield, nr. Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire., CV37 8LL, England MAP
£105 for weekend, Saturday £65
daily capacity: 55000
last updated: Fri 8th Jun 2012


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