REVIEW: Creamfields 2013, Daresbury – 23-25 August 2013

is undeniably one of the world’s biggest and best dance music festivals. Steeped in Liverpool’s legendary nightclub Cream’s history, it was the first dance festival to carve its way into the mainstream to provide a clubbing experience in wellies and has since gone on to become one of the most renowned and popular global open air electronic music festivals. Our reporter Rachel Donohoe joined the sell out crowd.

They are a festival standard but wellies did not provide enough protection last year for poor revellers when Creamfields became a complete wash out due to extreme weather conditions resulting in a final day cancellation. But following a half a million pound cash injection for 2013, improving key areas of the site with field drainage systems, investment into additional trackways and a series of bridges across fields those scenes should not be happening again. Organisers didn’t need to worry too much anyway as the weather proved to be a whole lot kinder this bank holiday weekend.

It was my first time to Creamfields new home in Daresbury and a good ten years on from fond memories of watching the likes of Basement Jaxx, The Chemical Brothers and Underworld take to the main stage in Speke. My co-pilot was a complete Creamfields virgin but as ever we were keeping our minds open. We opted not to camp having the luxury of our own comfy beds nearby being a far more alluring prospect. Managing to wangle a lift to the site we checked the details on the website “somewhere between junctions 10 and 11 off the M56” and managed to find it easy enough taking around half an hour’s drive from Liverpool.

Security at the entrance is really strict and that is of course understandable with safety a priority. We were asked for ID, bag searched, body scanned and waltzed past a sniffer dog. Unfortunately we were relieved of a sneaky metal flask of vodka (which we couldn’t pass off as a pacemaker!) and some perfume but the guards were nice enough, full of banter and even let us down some of the afore mentioned vodka so merrily we made our way in. Once on site we headed straight for the ‘wine caravan’ and were pleasantly surprised to find you could buy a bottle of wine for a reasonable-ish £20 so we frequented for repeat purchases.

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Stand out sets for me on the Saturday included Nicky Romero and the epic Mr Zane Lowe both on the South Stage, the enigmatic Sasha with a fantastic stage lighting show in the All Gone Pete Tong tent and the mammoth headline set from The Prodigy was absolutely amazing. I must admit I love The Prodigy and have seen them live before but this set was incredible the ground was literally shaking underfoot as it felt like the whole of Creamfields were jumping in unison. I would have liked to go check out the highly anticipated Avicii but he clashed with The Prodigy and their set was just too good to leave. After that we went to check out a little bit of Mr Pete Tong himself headlining in his very own tent. We decided to save ourselves for the next day so headed off slightly early to the shuttle bus area and bought tickets back to Liverpool for just £6 and the nice bus driver even let us jump out at our stop.

On Sunday we heard the news that poor David Guetta’s plane had gone on fire but thankfully no one was hurt and ever the trooper he was still on route. I was really excited to see Groove Armada on the line up but it was a just a DJ set so in the end we only stayed for a few tracks. We did however really enjoy Sebastian Ingrosso’s set before popping in for a little Ferry Corsten, Jaguar Skills and Steve Angello before the big Tiesto finale. Tiesto was the highlight of the weekend for me and took me back to a misspent youth trekking across the Netherlands to watch him play with a group of mates. When he played Adagio For Strings I got goosebumps and dived up on my co-pilots shoulders. It was an amazing view seeing everyone bouncing away with their hands up and the lasers and lighting Tiesto was commanding where fantastic.

I really enjoyed my Creamfields 2013 experience, I think its festival goers get a bit of flack (unjustly sometimes) for being unfriendly but everyone we spoke to was lovely just having fun and excited to be part of the best dance festival in the world.

WORDS: Rachel Donohoe

IMAGES: Marc De Groot (supplied by Cream)

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