If you went into the woods in Norfolk last weekend you may have been in for a big surprise, you would have spotted spaceships, rabbit holes, hula hoops and dizzy circus rides. I had the pleasure of attending Glade Festival and even better got to revert to a child- like state at the same time as dancing away to Psy Trance, Electro, Hip Hop and House.
When we arrived on the Friday evening we headed straight for woods where we caught up with Septic Insurgent and got down and dirty with the Dirty Au Pairs. Amidst the trees, bushes and wildlife, we ran riot in Glade’s futuristic silver maze and mingled with travelling foxes playing trumpets and drums. We realise we must sound crazy but this stuff really happened and we can’t explain how amazing the Meteor stage was; the spaceship DJ booth was completely out of the norm and we enjoyed partying deep in the woods. As it had been raining a few days prior to the festival, it was hilarious trying to clamber up the muddy hills! We ended Friday evening with an exciting set from Marc Romboy, it was my first time witnessing them live and they were compelling to watch as they tapped and spun their set away. Their equipment was rather in keeping with the futuristic madness I had witnessed earlier in the woods and after much jumping around to electronica, I made a bee line for camp. Another amazing factor to this festival was that everything was within 10 minutes; this made me a very happy bunny! Don’t think that while I was sleeping the rest of Glade was, no, they were still on it way past 6am; it has to be said that Glade was quite literally full of 24/7 party people.
On Saturday we got right into the Alice in Wonderland theme as we hung out at The Rabbit Hole, we even had the chance to get all metamorphic as we acted like bunny rabbits hopping through their purposely built rabbit hole, which brought us to a secret rave. Hopefully no one was afraid of small spaces but if I got through (and let me tell you that I stand at 5’11) then I think most could. We met mad hatters, got low to reggae & calypso, and then indulged new talent in the form of Bryony Marie Fry. We’d describe her as sickly sweet folk, as in eating cake and not being able to stop eating that cake because it’s stupidly addictive! She was definitely a highlight and had us feeling very mellow and very smiley. Now if you haven’t heard of Rudimental already, where have you been? The DJ’ing duo had the Overkill tent in pandemonium as they mixed funky house, club bangers and big hip hop beats. We were treated to live trumpets which only enhanced Rudimental’s set. This only warmed us up for the legendary Sven Vath who played a jaw dropping trance set over on the main stage, the crowds were hyped and we were moshing.
It’s fair to say Sven’s set wiped us out and we would have loved to have taken advantage of the ‘Bathing Underneth the Sky’ hot tubs as they looked divine. The massge huts would have been the ultimate treat as well. The majority of Glade’s community (and that’s exactly how it felt) were hard core ravers so it’s good that there were many chill out area’s blasting out house and trance; you could have a midday snooze but still feel the electric vibes. It was disappointing that Rusko was unavailable to play but this meant that we had the chance to discover lesser known DJ’s and we were pleased that Toddla T was still on track to play. For me, his Sunday afternoon set was under appreciated by the masses, as I shimmied away to reggae mixes, skanked to heavy hitting drum and bass and got grimey to exactly that!
We have to big up Dub Pistols for their energetic performance as they chewed up and spat out ska, dubstep, hip hop, reggae and punk. One minute I was winding my body, the next I was ready to mosh it out. The three front runners were passionate as they ran around the stage, dapperly dressed in black suits and their band were just as sensational.
We really must give props to the Dance Off stage because it was simply down right hilarious. Let us set the scene… a WWF style wrestling stage surrounded by mega sound systems and loads of hail bails. It looked like a South American hoe down and now we’ll introduce the cross dressing, short of breath, comedy gold hosts. We could have spent our days there dancing to DJ’s Itchy & Scratchy as they worked hip hop, 80’s disco classics, dance and cheese into one gorgeous mix. The hilarity of the dance offs and limbo’s was amazing but sorry there is only one thing that could top off everything mentioned throughout. We’ve kept you waiting and although you missed out on KOAN sound, Alex Jones, Eats Everything and more, there was something that can’t be explained. A lucky 10,000 Gladians witnessed the end of a spectacular weekend, watching the fiery and breath taking burning of the wooden Pyro- mid stage. Cheers for that freaking weekend, we’ll drink to that.
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Written by Vanessa Carby