Bank Holiday boogie: where to get your dance fix this August

Neil Outram looks ahead to a trio of dance festivals up and down the country over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The alarm goes off like a distressed robotic bird, making you equally distressed as your foggy brain realises it’s Monday morning. Where did the weekend go? And why does it feel like you’ve been given a full body massage by the Incredible Hulk? Oh, that’s right: dancing and drinking for 48 hours. If only you had a day to recover… but wait, you do because it’s a bank holiday!

Below you’ll find three English dance festivals that take place on the bank holiday weekend of 28 and 29 August, meaning you have Monday to get over it before returning to the daily grind. Before you get to the comedown, though, you need the high, so here we go…

South West Four Weekender 2010

Clapham Common is famous for two forms of outdoors indulgence – one of them is South West Four, which marks its seventh year in SW4 with its first full weekender. With more top DJs than you can fit on a Ministry of Sound album, not to mention the odd classic hip hop act, South West Four is London’s number one dance festival, offering four arenas of music, after-parties, bars, an airbrush tattoo parlour, fairground rides and more.

Armin van Buuren makes his only London appearance of 2010, headlining the Kiss main stage on Saturday (28 August). Voted the world’s most popular DJ for three years running, the trance guru will no doubt delight the crowds will his catalogue of original tunes and remixes.

Fatboy Slim is another headliner making his only London appearance at South West Four, this time on the Sunday (29 August). Though his assaults on the charts are rather lightweight these days, the British DJ/producer legend still hits like a heavyweight in his live performances, having been named by Q as one of their ’50 Bands To See Before You Die’.

Amongst the other acts are Salt ‘N’ Pepa (the aforementioned “classic hip hop act”), who make their first London appearance in 15 years, Armand Van Helden, Sasha, Boys Noize, Paul Oakenfold and Ms Dynamite (remember her?).

Tickets are available for Sunday only at £50 plus booking fees, whilst after-party tickets are available to those with tickets for £15 each night.

Click here to buy South West Four tickets.

Creamfields 2010

England’s very own touring festival stops off in Cheshire once again to brighten the north-west, having visited countries like Spain, Brazil and Poland in recent years. Run by the same people behind Liverpool’s Cream clubbing brand, 2010 marks the festival’s third year as a camping weekender, offering a huge line-up that’ll satisfy even the greediest of revellers. As well as the various music stages, including the Bowtime Bar and JägerRock Truck, there’s the dainty Pimm’s Bus, a Vanity Van to get your mop chopped and mitts manicured and much more.

The line-up is a dream team of dance music, including headliners Armin van Buuren (as above) and David Guetta (as below), as well as:

Tiësto hosts and headlines the Kaleidoscope main stage on Sunday (29 August), the namesake of his last album in 2009. Making an exclusive appearance this year for Creamfields, the Dutch superstar will certainly put on a show. He cites the likes of U2 as an influence for his live performances, commonly involving his own crews to create spectacular shows.

Deadmau5 is another exclusive for Creamfields this year, as the Canadian “live performer”, as he likes to be known (he detests the term “DJ”), supports David Guetta on the main stage on Saturday (28 August). Most of what he plays will be of his own creation – in fact, much of what he plays will be created on the night. He shuns CDs, preferring to perform live with cutting edge computer programs, experimenting at whim and delivering the crowd a unique show.

Other acts set to appear include Audio Bullys, Sasha, Calvin Harris, Eric Prydz, Paul Van Dyk, Swedish House Mafia and… Ms Dynamite.

Creamfields 2010 is sold-out.

L.E.D. Festival 2010

There’s a festival born every minute it seems, but London Electronic Dance Festival is seeking to become the next big thing on the London dance music scene when it opens in Victoria Park for the first time this summer. Can it compete with the clout of Clapham Common? That remains to be seen, but judging from its line-up, it has a good chance of growing into a big player. As well as the main stage, they’ll have a VIP club, offering a Hed Kandi party on Saturday (28 August) and a retro ‘90s night called Pump up the Volume on Sunday (29 August). Entrance is only available to those with a VIP ticket, which also allows you entry to a private secret garden, cocktail bar and lots of other perks.

David Guetta is everywhere these days – you can’t turn on the radio without hearing the French DJ/producer – but you can only find him in London at L.E.D this year, where he’ll be headlining Saturday’s main stage. Expect a stream of hits as he plays his own releases, like ‘When Love Takes Over’ and ‘Sexy Bitch/Sexy Chick’, and some of his production work, like ‘Acapella’ by Kelis and ‘Boom Boom Pow’ by Black Eyed Peas.

Leftfield returned this year after eight years away from the turntables. Even if you’re unfamiliar with their tour de force album ‘Leftism’, you’ll recognise their sound from the classic Guinness advert ‘Phat Planet’ when they headline L.E.D’s Sunday slot. This highly influential pairing pioneered progressive dance music, mixing genres like an electronic Beatles (that might be a stretch, but you get the idea), so if you love electronica, you need to be there before the kings disappear again.

Other notable acts include Goldfrapp, Soulwax, Calvin Harris, Friendly Fires, Aphex Twin, Audio Bullys and Ms Dy… just joking.

Tickets are on sale now priced £70 for a full weekend ticket or £40 for a day ticket.

Click here to buy London Electronic Dance Festival tickets.