Fresh from the success of their 20th birthday party at Amnesia and Radio 1 live Essential Mix at Privilege in Ibiza, back in the UK Cream staged their massive Creamfields festival on August Bank Holiday 2014 in the idyllic surroundings of Daresbury in Cheshire.
With a sell out crowd and the who’s who of the dance music scene performing, we couldn’t wait to head to the UK’s biggest and best dance music festival. The sheer size of Creamfields is impressive; 2 massive outdoor stages holding tens of thousands with various tents dotted around the site. This is big production at its absolute finest.
We arrived on the Saturday just in time to see joint headliner Avicii playing to a packed South Stage. He played the anthems that made him a household name such as You Make Me and Silhouettes, as well as his new track My Father Told Me, Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing and Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child. Avicii is pure main stage headline material, he certainly knows how to put on a show. Also, his Sunday events at Ushuaia in Ibiza are amongst the busiest parties on the island.
At the direct opposite side of the festival on the North Stage joint headliner Deadmau5 was doing his thing (complete with mouse’s head on) playing his big tracks Drop The Poptart and The Veldt (Tommy Trash remix), accompanied by some melodic slower break downs.
Over in the Hospitality tent, in which Hed Kandi were dominating proceedings, DJ Eibhlin was accompanied by Dean Oram on percussion and Tom Lormor on saxophone. She played Red Carpet – Alright, Hard Fi – Hard To Beat (Axwell remix) and Patrick Topping – Forget. For those that think that hospitality tents are chill out areas, Hed Kandi had different plans; they provided their lovely vocal piano house complete with a great atmosphere.
In the A State Of Trance tent, Armin Van Buuren was sending his loyal followers delirious to a set of vocal and driving hands in the air trance. He played his track Save My Life, Zombie Nation – Kernkraft 400 (W&W Remix), Armin van Buuren & W&W vs Tiesto vs D#Fat – Adagio For Strings and John Legend – All Of Me (Dash Berlin Remix) all to a backdrop of “WHOOOMP there it is” chants from the crowd. It was visually and aurally awesome.
From the lights and glamour of the ASOT tent to the dark, driving progressive beats and intimacy of Eric Prydz in the Pryda tent. Prydz tonight provided a progressive master class, playing his tracks such as Power Drive and his remix of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus. Towards the latter end of his set he played his tracks Aragon, Everyday and Liberate, the crowd providing the vocals with a massive singalong!
In the AMP Annie Mac played summer anthem London Grammar – Hey Now (Arty remix) to an extremely busy tent, whilst over in the Size Matters tent Third Party brought the party by playing acapellas/remixes of classics such as Fatboy Slim – Star 69, KOT – Finally, Delerium – Silence, Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars and Daft Punk – One More Time.
We arrived on site on Sunday to Bookashade playing a lovely melodic house and techno set in the Mixmag tent, the biggest tracks being their anthems In White Rooms and Body Language. Award for busiest tent of the weekend goes to Axwell and Ingrosso, who played a set of main room anthems, driving electro, vocals, big build ups and drops.
Just yards opposite on the North Stage, Fatboy Slim was conducting the masses providing the party set of the weekend – playing loads of different tracks and mixing them in quickly, the likes of Eat Sleep Rave Repeat, Ill Behaviour, Renegade Master, A Bit Patchy, La La Land and Let’s Jack. With the visuals matching the tracks on the massive cinematic screens, Fatboy was bouncing around the stage pumping out the air horns having the time of his life. Number 1 DJ in the world Hardwell was opposite on the South Stage playing a set full of EDM bangers, most notably his big track Spaceman. In the nearby Speaker Box tent, producer of the moment MK was playing a set of deep house to a packed out tent.
Back in the Mixmag tent Above & Beyond were playing a set of beautiful trance including Ocean Lab – Sirens Of The Sea, Above & Beyond – Walter White (Matt Brux Heisenberg Edit), and their recent new remix of New Order – Blue Monday. Messages were then shown on the cinema screens behind Above & Beyond – “Music has the power to define a whole generation” and “We are the electronic music generation” – a massive roar of approval went up from the crowd. They’re right, we are a generation of electronic music lovers. Electronic dance music is getting bigger and bigger – 20 million people listen to Armin Van Buuren’s weekly radio show, and 30 million listen weekly to Above & Beyond’s radio show. Dance music is becoming a phenomenon in America, DJs are commanding gigantic fees for playing clubs, festivals and stadiums all around the world, whilst this was Creamfields biggest year to date, and Ibiza continues to be as popular as ever. Dance music right now is at its absolute peak, and it is certainly this type of music that is defining our generation.
Which leads us to a DJ/producer who is partly responsible for this recent mainstream crossover culture of dance music. In the past 12 months Calvin Harris has earned £40 million through DJing, merchandise, advertisements and record sales. To put that in comparison – that’s far more than any footballer. He has helped introduce teenagers to the genre through producing and working with some of the biggest pop stars on the planet. Tonight he headlined and closed the Sunday at Creamfields playing the last set on the North Stage to a crowd of around 40,000 people. He played a set of well known vocal tracks including Icona Pop – I Love It, Calvin Harris – Sweet Nothing ft. Florence Welch, Calvin Harris feat. Example – Well Be Coming Back, Rihanna – We Found Love ft. Calvin Harris, Fatboy Slim – Eat Sleep Rave Repeat (Calvin Harris remix) and John Newman – Love Me Again.
In typical fashion, Creamfields went off with a bang and ended on a big firework display. Visually it was stunning, complete with tens of thousands cheering to a backdrop of the main stage with 40 foot cinematic screens, visuals, lasers, lights, confetti, fire and smoke cannons. If Creamfields 2014 was the biggest yet, bring on Creamfields 2015! We can’t wait!
Check out Creamfields social media sites for photos, news and tickets for Creamfields 2015