That withstanding, half of the blue and red tent that represents one of Glastonbury’s newest additions certainly is dead! Devastated by fork lightning and torrential downpour, the Dance Lounge is hastily declared closed for the whole weekend. Not that this discourages the hundreds of rampaging mud monkeys intent on squishing and squelching to the beat as the remaining five Village attractions finally dry themselves down and batten down the hatches for a dirty weekend of non-stop naughtiness.
Only a short sloppy trek away from both the John Peel and Other Stage, the Dance Village succeeds in putting most dedicated all-nighters to shame. Trance, drum ‘n’ bass, house, techno, chill-out, R&B and every imaginable sub-genre loiter suspiciously behind their dark canvas hoodies, waiting to pounce on lost, unsuspecting Keane fans. The Roots Stage is first of the starting blocks with a line-up dominated by bass-bothering dub and reggae heads. The star of the show, though, is by far the burgeoning UK breaks scene that dominates the outdoor G-Stage for most of Friday and Saturday with a series of career-defining sets from superstar DJs in the waiting: General Midi, Krafty Kuts and Evil Nine.
But the daddies of this particular quagmire are the Dance East and West arenas (representing the respective US coasts) with the latter in the same location as the old dance tent and its counterpart directly opposite. Despite delays, both crank up their soundsystems late Friday afternoon and barely stop for breath until Monday dawn. From Deebee’s prodigal son High Contrast dropping the heaviest mix of FSOL’s 'Papua New Guinea' to 2 Many DJs' hugely popular and massively influential bastard pop mixes, the tents are rammed for the duration.
It’s not just bosh related-madness, though. The spectacularly trippy ID Spiral dome structure is a soothing retreat for those in need of blissful after-hour comedowns with its candlelit, psychedelic interior. Failing that, the infamously foppish Pussy Parlure houses the incredibly cheesy Guilty Pleasures as well as offering a sideline in some of the best hot, tasty cuisine on site.
If all that isn’t enough, the Silent Disco sees a packed crowd dancing hilariously out of sync with one another due to the choice of soundtrack available via headphones. The occasional scream of joy only punctuates what has to be one of the most surreal shared experiences even by Glastonbury’s brain scrambling standards.
All in all, a weekend within the Village feels like a festival in its own right and if this is what can be done as just part of the bigger Glasto picture, then other promoters need to sit up and take note.