Its coming up to that time of year when we start thinking about drinking in sunshine, holidays and dancing in muddy fields. Its generally agreed that we’re likely to get 2 weeks of sunshine in any given year. This year, just like most years (except for any year before 1990 where you could rely on 1970s type sunshine all the time) is going to be no different.
Lets face it, we have been let down so many times before, but we don’t really give a shit because we live in the United Kingdom and unless we fancy venturing abroad to war torn places like Croatia, we are stuck with the good old UK. There is nothing quite like partying in a field for days, making friends with strangers, baking in the blistering heat, drinking cider, eating dodgy falafels and trying your best to keep all 16 of your friends together until it becomes untenable and you wind up going solo. Whatever you are into, there is a festival out there that caters for your music or cultural tastes.
These days festivals come into a few disctinct categories. There are the all encompassing Glastonbury type festivals which covers most bases in terms of genres, but also offers so much more in terms of art and culture. There is cabaret, stand up comedy, film and artistry of every kind. Bestival is in a similar ballpark, as is the Secret Garden Party. There are the niche dance music events, of which Bloc Weekend is an excellent example. Bloc focuses on techno, electro, hip hop and breakbeat. Its one for the true heads and is held every year in March. Then there are the multi genre dance music events, of which there is only one clear choice and that is Glade Festival.
The Glade Festival started out as a stage at the Glastonbury festival before becoming a festy in its own right back in 2004. I first discovered it, tucked away in its own little corner at Glasto during the mushroom summer of love, coincidentally the same year that Bonobo sounded amazing and people got really excited about rainbows. The organisers clearly knew their stuff and the dreamy stage managed to grab our attention for most of the time that we were there.
My first experience of the Glade festival in its own right was in 2006, the heat was intense, the lineup was immense and there was a huge crew of us making best friends with the ~15,000 people who were trying to do exactly the same thing.
One of the great things about Glade is the fact that you can easily bump into friends and nothing is ever too far away. There are so many different acts from a variety of genres and this makes it more exciting because it gives you the chance to check stuff out that you wouldn’t normally get to in a clubbing environment.
Glade manages to capture the spirit and feeling of Glastonbury, but with a much more intimate vibe. More recently the organisers have further enhanced the atmosphere and reach of Glade by involving promotions such as Mulletover, Overkill, Bloc, Nuskoolbreaks.co.uk, Cool & Deadly to name a few.
The brightest stars of modern day dubstep, techno, house, psytrance, breaks and IDM are out in full force this year, bolstered by legends such as Underworld, Squarepusher, Dave Clarke, Plump DJs and Juan Atkins.
The venue has changed this year, relocating to the Matterley Bowl in Winchester, this means that Glade will be louder, later, longer and hopefully much better as a result!
There is always somewhere to sit down and have a cup of tea if its all becoming a bit much, they tend to have the same people running cafe’s every year. In 2008 we made a beeline for Weirdigans Cafe and spent many happy hours there. There is also some pretty good food on offer if you look past the usual burger vans and venture slightly off the beaten track.
If you want to get a good camping spot, its best to get there early. The gates open at midday on Thursday 16th July and the festival runs right through to the 19th July.
Their spanking new website is over at http:///www.gladefestival.com and its full of videos, music and useful info. Do let us know if you are going, because we are assembling a massive crew and all camping together.
Tickets are £125 + booking fee and you can buy them from here.
And if you are looking into tents, you wont be able to do much better than this
WATCH OUT FOR THE MAGIK BULLET FESTIVAL SURIVIAL GUIDE COMING LATER IN THE WEEK!