Adam Metcalfe (Headroom) and his girlfriend Caterina Toffoli take on Europe for 3 months of Summer fun & festivals! They’ll be spanning the UK, Holland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Greece & Montenegro for Adam’s European tour. Cat will doing an exclusive write up of each party & festival for MyCityByNight, as they go along 🙂 Enjoy!
Glade Festival 2011
We kicked off our European party mission with Glade Festival, one of the UK’s most popular electronic dance festivals. This was definitely one to remember! An absolutely mental outdoor festival, where we learnt just how bloody crazy 5 and a half thousand Brits could be!
With impending rainy weather reports, we decided to adopt this motto for the weekend: WWCSD? (What Would Craig Stack Do?) to ensure we got the best party experience we could manage! Rain or no rain!
We left the Notting Hill flat where we are staying on Friday afternoon, and after 5 hours of countless tubes, trains and busses, we eventually reached the venue.. The majestic gardens of Houghton Hall was our play ground, a spectacular stretch of acres of good old English land, mysteriously said to be owned by an English count. We’d been set up in a beautiful Moroccan style tent with cosy mattress & duvet – super styling when you travel with Headroom I tell ya!
We grabbed our old friend Jameson’s & started the mission… Arriving just in time for fellow Saffa Broken Toy’s set on the super trippy Origin stage, he rocked it as usual, and it was a fantastic start to what was going to be an amazing weekend! The venue was massive and there were loads of different dancefloors with music for all tastes. Dubstep, Break Beat, Disco, Techno, DnB, Old school classics – you name it they had it! The main stages was The Glade Stage, which boasted the likes of Trentemoller, Sub Focus, the Drumcode Crew (Adam Beyer, Joseph Capriati, Slam & Paul Rich), Dub Pistols and Krafty Kuts. The Origin Stage was the other main stage, featuring full psytrance awesomeness that included Atmos, Tristan, Captain Hook and Antix.
Sub Stages included Overkill, dedicated to the freshest and harshest experimental dance music – super heavy beats and dirty bass. The infamous Rabbit Hole was where most of the mischief went down – a fun filled, no holds barred mosh pit of debauchery – the only dancefloor open until 6am.
The effort & energy put into this festival by the organisers and party-goers was outstanding! The Brits are complete nutters when it comes to jolling & the costumes were epic – They really go all out and anything goes! Harajuku girls, mad hatters, goth punk robots, safety pinned trannies in full lycra bodysuits, dinosaurs, pokemons, unicorns – you name it! There were acid dosed hippie girls giving “makeovers” for £2 – which were basically just a shit load of hair teasing and glitter explosions. The granny brigade – dressed up as grumpy elderlies picketing with signs proclaiming “Let’s get Senile!” and “No tax on cat food and Hair nets!” – we felt utterly underdressed & pretty boring in amongst all these crazies.
There were also various installations at every corner, to amuse & tantalise. Our favourites included the Juke Box where you could plug in your own music, connected to a DJ mixer & thumping sound system. The most laughs were generated at the Dance Off stage where hopeful candidates battled it out to all kinds of different beats. The two commentators were utterly pissed and hurled hilarious insults at the participants in true British fashion.
Friday night got pretty messy, we hit the jol with Jimmy (Broken Toy) and made friends with loads of colourful characters along the way. Trentemoller was somewhat disappointing, as his new tunes are not really that dancefloor friendly – although the production was outstanding! Adam and I ended up on the Fuse dancefloor in the wee hours of the morning – a tiny psytrance floor for when the Origin stage closed at 12pm. We partied with some crazy old Californian hippies and I was loving life until I was dragged to bed at around 5am.. The sun rises at 4am in UK Summer, so it screws you over a little bit as it feels much later than it is!
Saturday night was round two and we kicked it off with Headroom’s set on the Origin stage at 18h30, even though there were looming clouds overhead, no rain appeared. He drove the crowd crazy in true Headroom style, banging out classics such as “3-4 to the floor” and unreleased straight from the studio beauties “Rebirth Control” and “Feel the Heat”. The absolute highlight of the party for me was the random naked guy who jumped up in front of the DJ box and unashamedly jiggled his (rather unimpressive) man bits around on stage much to the crowd’s amusement. He was joined by a trannie in a wedding dress and the two of them busted out some interesting moves until Nano’s Regan had to forcibly remove them when Captain Bare Balls tried to destroy the stage decor… Adam somehow managed to keep a straight face while all of this was happening during his set!
Saturday night we had our ears treated to some mind-bending techno beats, the Glade stage was dominated by Drumcode label artists – Adam Beyer, Paul Rich, Joseph Capriati and Slam. The beats were relentless and seamlessly mixed – which made for a powerful four hour session. Our night ended with a hands & knees crawl down the Rabbit Hole, a seemingly never ending tunnel that took us to a dancefloor where debauchery was the name of the game! Dark and dirty tunes and equally messy party-goers made for a great ending to a truly eye opening weekend! Sunday was when the rain eventually showed its face, and although the Origin stage had a thumping line up that included Allaby, Captain Hook and Atmos, we were feeling pretty fragile and the thought of the 5 hour journey ahead of us ensured that we took it easy!
Glade Festival 2011 will be remembered as one of the craziest parties I’ve ever been to and was the best start to our Summer trip! Huge thanks to Ans & the Glade Crew, as well Regan, Shane & the rest of the Origin crew for making it such an amazing party!