We look ahead to a special tenth birthday celebration for Global Gathering.
What, when, where?
Bouncing into Shakespeare country from 30-31 July with a sack full of glo-sticks, a grin as wide as the M4 and ten firework-sized candles, Global Gathering remains a leading stalwart of the dance festival world. This year, organisers will be keenly ushering together a spectrum of live acts and DJs across six stages as the event celebrates its tenth birthday.
Long Marston Airfield in Stratford Upon Avon will host the biggest party since, well, last year’s festival, with Faithless and Dizzee Rascal given the honours of being head of the table for the occasion.
Five to watch
Chase And Status
Is it unfair to call them the Florence And The Machine of the drum n bass world? A little perhaps, but the London duo have made equally gigantic leaps from muso obscurity to media perpetuity in the last 12 months. Expect monster basslines, enough clattered drums to please Animal and in the words of Roots Manuva: “a tune or two.”
Their 2001 release ‘We Come 1’ has become house music’s own ‘Hey Jude’ after two explosive Glastonbury appearances. Singer Maxi Jazz’s subterranean vocal sound fused with an unequalled live electronic hit seems to be the recipe for festival success.
Zabiela is something of a Tasmanian Devil around the decks. The Southampton DJ may wear his hair like Robbie Savage but he’s much more likely to give you a kick when you see him live. Expect tech house and breaks to flash in front of your eyes and surround your ears.
Caspa (dubplates/decks/visual FX)
Much like your funniest mate turning up to a party and upstaging the host, Caspa looks to do the same at Global this summer. He’s packing his dubplates, he’s got decks (don’t they all?) and he’s promised some visual FX as well. All he needs now is an abundance of dubstep dancefloor killers and he’s there. Oh, we’ve just heard he’s packed them too – very organised.
You may look at your festival programme in disgust, but there are few contemporary stars as enjoyable and contagious live as Dizzee Rascal. You’ll soon forget that radio play ruined ‘Bonkers’ for you and that kids play ‘Dirty Disco’ through their mobile phones on the bus when you’re bouncing up and down at the front.
One to miss
Earlier in the year he had ‘one to watch’ plastered all over him like an prison escapee on the front page of the Daily Mail, but after seeing his Glastonbury show (he played INXS, nuff said?) he’s not quite there with the whole DJ set thing.
Playing a rare UK festival date
Fabio And Groovemaster (acid house set)
Who better to pluck out a twisted set of acid tune choons than Radio One’s drum n bass specialists Fabio And Grooverider…oh. Actually this will probably be something of a hidden gem. The duo have been on the dance scene long enough to tell the difference between the classic and the common, so expect some sweating-starting stonkers.
Whilst all around him dubstep producers are being subjected to the rigours of life in the spotlight, Joker stands as an innovator, transcending mere sound to create what he calls ‘Purple’. Having electrified his home town Bristol, he is now set to spread his synthetic melodies and computer game sound effects across the nation.
Be at Global Gathering if you like…
Dance music would be the obvious answer here but also blindingly bright colours, partying all night, amazing visuals, or Shakespeare. Maybe.
Avoid if you hate…
It’s not for you if you can’t handle swathes of fluorescent ravers pulling shapes to militant electronic beats at all hours. If you prefer drum-kits to decks and guitars to gigabytes, you might want to rethink.
Don’t get caught in the streams of octogenarian coach-trippers (some of which are old enough to remember Shakespeare’s last release) who are the life-blood of Stratford-upon-Avon, plan an alternative route. Keep water as one of your mixers to avoid falling foul of the hottest summer in years.
Fashionista or folky?
It’s almost like they’d turn people with beards and hemp-knitted cardigans away at the door. This is fashionista all the way, even if that means Burton’s printed tees for the boys and Topshop vests for the girls. Big, dark sunglasses will be the order of the weekend – don’t lose them.
Alcohol of choice
Vodka. Mix it with what you like but this isn’t a lazing-on-the-grass-real-ale-in-hand type of affair, more a let’s dig our heels in keep partying vibe as you won’t want to miss a beat.
Take your mum score – 2/10
Unless your dear old mum has got the radio jammed on House FM and likes to spend her days with massive groups of twenteens, it’s best you leave her at home.
Can I still get tickets?
Yeah there are some left, it’s £132 for the weekend with day and VIP options also available.
Big Green Coach have announced that they are working directly with this year's festival, providing ticket and travel packages for fans.
The environmentally responsible travel company has a number of weekend camping passes for both sites with coaches running from a number of major cities.