Bringing Ibiza to a field just outside Liverpool, Creamfields was back again, with a plethora of headline disc jockeys, showcasing Creamfields as the powerhouse of UK-electronic festivals. With as many headline acts and big room DJs as Ibiza, the only thing the Daresbury site cannot guarantee is the Mediterranean weather, though after years of being unfortunate to receive bad weather on a biblical scale, it was about time the festival punters fell serendipitously to some great weather.
Everything about the festival now seems augmented, revamped, rejuvenated and seemingly reinvigorated. Both outside stages, the tents, and the brand new 15,000 capacity mega arena seemed to have massively upped the ante, with grade A lighting and theatre to match the quality of the artists orchestrating their crowd below. Whilst stage hopping is very accessible, the frustrating part of Creamfields is down to the embarrassment of riches they portray in the artists they book, which any regular Glastonbury reveller will tell you is the most vexing part of the festival - missing artists you want to see.
Despite being a three-day festival, Saturday is the main attraction, as tents stay open long into the morning, providing that Ibiza like mentality. From 5pm-4am, the choices were overwhelming and this was the crowds' predicament. Annie Mac or Dannie Howard? Above And Beyond or Armin van Buuren? Chemical Brothers, Avicii or Jooris Voorn? Maya Jane Coles, Laidback Luke or Hot since 82? Alesso, Seth Troxler, Pete Tong or Steve Angello? Knife Party or Gorgon City? The set clashes were inevitable, though the positive outcome to this is that the stages never seem chaotically rammed to the extent of ruining the music and atmosphere, like with the Swedish House Mafia in 2011.
Staying at the outside North stage to get those final few hours of outside debauchery in before hitting the tents (outdoor stages have to be done by 11:30), Above and Beyond brought their typical mix of group therapy to the masses. With their euphoniously tranquil trance, the three DJs captured a bonding amongst the crowd that is something to be witnessed. Going through all the hits from their two studio albums, amongst mixing in the likes of Coldplay, the group succeeded in a way most other DJs cant - which is sharing moments you will never forget.
Having the Chemical Brothers, fresh with a fantastic new album, close the stage after Above and Beyond may seem to break the musical continuity, which is why a 30 minute interval was needed, something very rare at an electronic festival, though massively needed for the change of pace and style. Having played Creamfields so many times now, the London duo delivered a set of pure genius, amalgamating all of their classic hits like 'hey boy hey girl' and 'galvanise' into their new album. It seemed to be a never-ending set that the crowd overtly indulged in that was far more bass heavy than the most would be used to from the Chemical Brothers. Though once they had finished, there was a sense of 'can anyone surpass that the rest of the evening?', as many headed for some rest from a set that was intensely exceptional.
Steve Angello, the only member from the Swedish House Mafia flying solo nowadays, expectantly filled out the largest tent available. As always, any member of the ex-supergroup would be welcomed by any crowd, however, Angello still resorts to his hand-raising hits from his former days like 'Save the World' for his biggest moments of his set. Knife Party closed the Cream Mega Arena but wasn't as hard hitting as one might have expected, whilst Gorgon City closed the Pete Tong stage to a huge ovation.
For those who stayed Sunday, the hardcore fans were treated to the likes Tiesto, Nervo, Axwell n Ingrosso, Eric Prydz, Nicky Romero, Duke Dumont, Steve Aoki, Dimiti Vegas and Like Mike. For the 70,000 who attended, no one will be leaving unhappy, though maybe a small percentage leaving with lower levels of serotonin, which was a poignant aspect of Creamfields 2015, in contrast to that of previous years or even including any other dance festivals. And that is the diversity of the crowd. As EDM has spread across the world, consuming everything on its way, Creamfields, like many other electronic festivals now attracts people from all walks of life and of all ages. Dancing until dawn is no longer considered something done by the extreme aficionados.
With EDM looking set to amplify and continue the domination, expect Creamfields 2016 to go next level in every aspect.
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