‘We Are FSTVL’ Kicks Off UK Festival Season In Style

Over the past weekend, 27th – 28th May, We Are FSTVL celebrated its 5th anniversary under the perfect weather conditions as the sun made regular appearances throughout the weekend with temperatures peaking as high as 25 degrees celsius. This weather combined with summer anthems coming from all around the festival set an amazing vibe, getting thousands of revelers into the summer spirit.

One of the first acts we got to see was the Future House master Tchami, who played an electrifying house filled set in in the enormous Terminal 1 stage, performing to thousands of ravers in a packed out crowd. The set was loaded with Tchami’s fantastic productions and remixes as well as dropping a few releases from his Confession label, including Angelz’s reggae rework – ‘Devils‘. Tchami may have taken us to the future, but right after his set Armand Van Helden took us back to the past, throwing out 90’s hits and anthems to get us all in the mood for the big night ahead.

Craig David perhaps had one of the best performances of the weekend, showcasing all of his talents as he DJ’ed and performed live vocals on stage. His stage presence and the way he connected with the crowd was on another level and the R&B superstar made the show seem so intimate. One of the highlights from this show was his slick cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’.

Carl Cox headlined the Used + Abused stage, performing 2 hours of his legendary techno fuelled set from 9pm to 11pm. Upon arriving to the tent, every entry and exit point was completely full, making it very difficult to get in. As waves and waves of people kept trying to cram themselves into the tent, it was evidently clear that this was definitely the most popular act of the entire weekend, proving how much of a musical mastermind Carl Cox really is.

On Sunday, Defected took over one of the stages and brought a mighty range of talent over, including Duke Dumont, Basement Jaxx and Julio Bashmore. Duke came on stage at the perfect time as the sun set, creating a stunning contrast of colours in the sky as he delivered a set full of summer house anthems. His tracklist brought out the best of underground music as well as mainstream house, appealing to every person in the crowd. One of the best parts of his set was when he very cleverly mixed Watermat’sBullit‘ with  his biggest hit ‘I Got U‘ which is no easy task. The house producer played some of the biggest hits to come out of the house scene that included Kideko’sCrank It‘ and underground hits included songs such as ANOTR’sStrobe‘.

Jauz performed on the We Are FSTVL stage, starting his set off with his collaboration with Netsky – ‘Higher‘ and managed to get the whole tent to sing along. The American DJ dropped new music as well as old having played a mashup of Nirvana’sSmells Like Teen Spirit‘ and Skrillex and Habstrakt’s new track ‘Chicken Soup‘ within the space of ten minutes, keeping everyone as loud as possible while showcasing new music within the EDM industry.

Overall, We Are FSTVL was an amazing way to start the summer. All the stages were very creative and innovative, with many of them having incredible visuals and a perfect capacity as every stage never felt either too busy or too empty (except for the packed out Carl Cox set). The festival line-up couldn’t be curated any better as even though it was predominantly a house music festival, there was plenty of different other acts to see including chart topping acts Dizzee Rascal, Giggs and Wilkinson.

The We Are director – Reece Miller reflected on the success of the festival saying:

“We would like to thank the greatest Dance Music fans on the planet for the phenomenal response to our 5th anniversary We Are FSTVL 2017! The thousands of pictures and videos online tell the story of our most successful edition to date. Special thanks needs to go to every supplier, worker, contractor, trader & local authority agency but not to forget the outstanding partnership in 2017 with the Metropolitan Police in the face of a testing week following the tragedy in Manchester on event week.”

Photographs: Carolina Faruolo, Danny North and Richard Johnson