It's only April but Contactmusic already have one eye on the summer. specifically towards Creamfields 2013 which will be taking place at its usual venue near Daresbury in Cheshire over the August Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th August). And while much of the UK's music press will be off to Leeds and Reading, we're looking forward to something that bit more adrenaline-fuelled, weird and wonderful over at Creamfields.
Long since established as the UK's premier dance and electronic festival, Creamfields will be in full party spirit this year to celebrate its 15th Birthday, and the initial line-up is befitting such a milestone. Leading the charge for 2013's event are iconic dance pioneers The Prodigy headlining the Saturday night (24th August) with their only UK festival appearance of 2013. Still going strong and approaching their 25th anniversary, the band are still legendary for their incendiary festival appearances and we're expecting nothing less from their Creamfields headliner - true trailblazers! Supporting them on the North Stage that night will be French Wunderkind Madeon and Zane Lowe with DJ sets, while the South stage takes a distinctly more cutting-edge tack with Avicii, Knife Party and Nicky Romero. Steve Angelo and Benny Benassi head up the Size Matters tent, while Eric Prydz invites Marco Carola, Adam Beyer and special guest Maya Jane Coles to his Prydz Friends tent. Also heading up their own tents are Pete Tong and Annie Mac with impressive supporting casts, though personally, we're most excited about Above & Beyond's Anjunabeats stage: with Paul Oakenfold, Gareth Wyn and Gareth Emery giving us a night of exceptional Trance before Above & Beyond themselves come along to finish the whole thing off in glorious style.
Onto the Sunday (25th August) and the big name is undoubtedly David Guetta - arguably the biggest name in the world of electronic music right now - heading up the North Stage with a selection of tunes that have pretty much been resident on radios across the globe over the past few years. Though, he does face a little competition from Tiësto on the South Stage, as well as Groove Armada giving one of their ever-excellent and eclectic DJ sets in the Nation tent, and Sebastian Ingrosso proving that there is life after Swedish House Mafia as he fronts the All Mixed Up stage. Frankly, Sunday is full of mouth-watering clashes, with Richie Hawtin's intelligent Techno jacking the Enter stage around, Laidback Luke and Eddie Halliwell getting hands up in the air at the Super You&Me stage, Kutski, Andy Whitby and Alex Kidd pushing it hard and fast at the Goodgreef X-Tra Hard stage and Subfocus and Modestep bringing the bass tremors in the Speakerbox tent. And frankly, if you've got any energy left after that little lot, you're a stronger man than I am! An impressive line-up all round.
Last year's event unfortunately fell victim to what was officially Britain's wettest ever summer, with the Sunday being reluctantly called off after torrential rain and quagmire-standard mud caused many of the entrances and exits to the site to become impassable. But the festival earned significant plaudits for the way they managed the situation after the event and have implemented a whole raft of site improvements to ensure that such an eventuality never arises again. Upwards of half-a-million pounds has been spent on revamping the site, including 2500m of new drainage to ease any flooding concerns, 1500m of new trackways, bridges built over areas of the site that became bogged down in mud last year and a revised contingency and site plan to limit any potential issues should the rains come again. But of course, this is all academic because it's going to be blazing sunshine this year. So good to ease the mind, but ultimately we'll be using said bridges and trackways to dance on in glorious sun. You with me? Right then!!!
To get some idea of how the event seems from the perspective of the artists themselves, Contactmusic was lucky enough to have a brief chat with Eddie Halliwell - whose fantastic sets are always a highlight of any club night and who will be playing the Sunday on the Super You&Me stage.
Hi Eddie! Hope you're well and thank you for speaking to Contactmusic. How are things with you at the moment? All good - looking forward to the summer!
We're all getting pretty excited about Creamfields here over at Contactmusic. Can you tell us about your first memory of playing the festival? The first time I played Creamfields I did two sets - one in the Cream arena and the other in GoodGreef - so it was double the fun and allowed me to express myself in two different ways. All my memories of Creamfields are amazing - rain or shine!
What are the best and worst aspects of playing to a festival crowd, as opposed to a standard club night? The weather plays a big part in people's moods at a festival - but apart from that you lose a bit of the intimacy you would playing in a club - I like feeding off the people in the crowd, but still the atmosphere you get a festival is unbeatable! It's Creamfields' 15th Birthday this year. Why do you think the festival has managed to maintain its status as Britain's premier dance festival for so long, and through changing times and tastes? Because they have embraced changing times and tastes - they have always catered across the board and made sure the line-up is packed with new, up and coming talent as well as staple DJs and legends. Creamfields is a festival for the people - they listen to their audience.
You're playing the SuperYou&Me stage at the festival alongside Laidback Luke, which should be fantastic and we're really looking forward to heading down there. For those readers who haven't heard you DJ before, what can we expect from your set? I always describe my sets as - energetic, interacting and uplifting. I simply play good music and usually get carried away in the moment!! Who else are you most looking forward to seeing at Creamfields? Really looking forward to seeing The Prodigy again - they put on an amazing show!
Aside from Creamfields 2013 and your Global Gathering date in May, what else have you got planned? Yep, plenty of touring. loads of exciting gigs coming up!
You put your debut single 'Neon' out in 2011. Any plans to release any more original tracks or an album in the near future? Definitely!
And finally, what three things would you recommend as most essential for people coming to Creamfields for the first time? Just bring yourself, your mates, and a party attitude!!!
Thank you for your time answering these Eddie and really looking forward to seeing you at Daresbury this August!
Tickets are available from a variety of different online vendors, which can all be found on the official Creamfields website. A standard 2-day weekend and camping pass costs £130 + booking fee, while it'll cost you an extra £20 if you want to camp on the Friday evening.
Hospitality tickets (including specialist camping, free parking, priority site entry (believe me, it's worth it!), luxury showers and toilets, an exclusive hospitality bar and one free meal per day) are also available priced £220 for a two-day camping ticket and £250 for the three-day equivalent.
Single day tickets are also available for the Saturday and Sunday from £70 per day and for those who like to do their camping with a little bit more luxury, there is also the option to partake in the specialist, pre-setup Tangerine Fields Camping and also to stay in the funky Podpads.
Considering the strong line-up and the 15th Birthday celebrations, tickets are likely to sell out well in advance so book promptly. Organisers are set to announce more acts in the near future, as well as giving more information about on-site entertainment and features, so stay tuned to Contactmusic for more information as it becomes available. Frankly, we cannot wait!
Official Site -