James Barton takes us through his experience of Creamfields 2009...
Wow! What a show that was. The 2009 edition of Creamfields is now behind us and it’s now time to reflect on the weekend’s events good and maybe one or two not so good features.
Let’s start with the good, from the moment we announced Creamfields 2009 on April 3rd tickets have been through the roof with camping tickets selling out two weeks in advance and the whole show eventually selling out 10 days before show day. This is big news for us when you consider that camping was only introduced to the festival last year and let’s not forget this all happened in a recession year. The ticket price obviously worked as did the line up, but on reflection the smooth running of last year’s event seems to have also played some part.
Continuing with the good, the weekend itself was amazing, from the moment we opened the gates we could see that there was a slightly different atmosphere. The Creamfields crowd has always been up for a good time, this was something I haven’t seen in years. I guess the buzz with the show selling out gave those people clever enough to buy early an extra lift as there was so much demand for tickets in the last two weeks. I arrived on site at 6.45am and already punters were arriving into the car parks hell bent on extracting every possible minute/hour from there Creamfields weekend.
The good vibe continued throughout all of Saturday with a really nice crowd filling into the arena from early on, the weather held out and the show was building nicely throughout the day. The evenings bit hitters started to shape up with Mylo taking to the main stage with a last minute change from a live show to a more beefed up DJ set with a massive LED screen behind him. The crowd didn’t seem to care about the change and enjoyed it all the same. Staying with the stage the headliner of the night Tiesto had one of those massive main stage crowds that only a few can claim to have pulled. Backed up with a massive production, the biggest DJ in the world right now (sorry fella’s, he did sell 25,000 in London last month!) Tiesto smashed the pants off it! Being very clever by keeping his set moving along with a few old school classics including a Prodigy track and even ‘Sweet Dreams’ by Eurhythmics his set built to a massive climax of pyrotechnics and confetti cannons. The crowd went bonkers!
In other parts of the festival the arenas were going strong, a big shout out for Laurent Garnier’s live show in the Chibuku tent, Hernan Catteneo and James Zabiela who both ripped up the Cream Arena, Friendly Fires had a big crowd on the Mixmag stage, Erol Alkan and Crookers nailed the Chibuku arena. Although the outstanding sets for me have to be Luciano with his first live show in the UK in the Chibuku arena, it was cool, clever, different and all the things you’d expect from one of the world’s most exciting new DJs. The Swedish House Mafia destroyed there arena, I popped in to see the boys and it was red hot – we all love these boys at Cream, they take so much care of their arena and along with their agent Amy they once again delivered one of the highlights of the festival.
Before we move from Saturday, I have to explain/discuss apologies for what happened when David Guetta took to the stage. Firstly let me mitigate what happened when I say that when David was booked to headline the Cream arena it was back in January or February and his popularity was not what it is now. As those that were at the show will already know, the tent became so overcrowded that there were some issues with crushing and this led to us taking David off stage to prevent any injuries to our crowd. There has been various rumours, but I can assure you no one suffered any serious injuries. I was at the arena at the time and even though David leaving the stage affected people’s enjoyment it was totally the right thing to do, our customers safety has to be priority. David returned to the stage to a hero’s welcome and delivered an hours set that will go down in the Creamfields history books, I was there with him in the booth and the noise was unbelievable.
After Saturday’s events, Sunday opened up with a bit of a lull, all the campers seemed to be carrying hangovers and the weather didn’t help. It rained all day and the show seemed to struggle to catch light. Poor Calvin Harris played in some of the worst rain I have seen at a festival and although he and the crowd worked there socks off I really felt sorry for all concerned as the majority of the crowd headed for the shelter of the DJ arenas. The Cream Arena was firing all day, but stepped up a notch when local hero Eddie took to the stage. Eddie Halliwell and Ferry Corsten ripped the place apart, again with pyro’s and fireworks blowing everyone’s minds. Over in the Subliminal arena Laidback Luke kicked things off with a massive crowd who stuck around all day and night seeing the likes of Timo, Sasha, Dubfire and Mr Morillo bring home one of the most consistent arenas at Creamfields. Arena host Annie Mac Presents faired well throughout the day, but saving the biggest crowd for the lady herself Annie.
Outdoors the weather cleared as did some of the early gloom when 2manydjs took to the main stage with a clever and amazing show, too many words are needed to describe here how good this show is – please go and see for yourself. One of my favourites of the weekend.
By the time Mr Rascal took to the stage the rain returned with a vengeance, but that did not prevent us from seeing one of the best sets of the weekend. The crowd stayed the distance and when Dizzee took to the stage it was well on its way. Bringing Calvin on stage for their joint number 1 record ‘Dance Wiv Me’ was a nice touch as Calvin had suffered with the worst of the weather, but the highlight was convincing them to both do ‘Holiday’ together on the day it went in the charts at No.1. The crowd went Bonkers before Bonkers : )
Closing the day out was left to Basement Jaxx, Paul Van Dyk and Deadmau5, who all did their job so well. But again we should mention the young pup on the scene Deadmau5, who pulled a massive crowd up against the old grandees of dance. He is fastly becoming one of my favourite artists both professionally and personally. He is brilliant and cheeky all at the same time. I popped over to see the end of PVD’s set and once again it was awesome, he never fails to deliver and without any fuss either. He’s really cool to work with.
So that was it, but no festival is complete without some lessons learned and although the big picture is key there were a few issues that will have to be factored in to next year’s show. We need to reduce even further the queuing especially for the campers, we have heard you and we will work on that for next year. Mr Guetta will hopefully be back and he will play in a bigger space and overall we will strive to improve on everything – we always do!
That was Creamfields 2009.