Global Gathering 2009: Rated!
Long Marston, Stratford-Upon-Avon - 4-25 July
Photographer: Shab Notghi30 July 2009
Overall – 7/10
Global Gathering announced in July that they would be unleashing some amazing visuals for its 50,000 attendees this year with the brand new ‘Godskitchen Boombox’ and boy was that the talking point of the event. The LED-lit giant screen gave ample visuals for some superb sets from the likes of David Guetta.
Britain’s largest dance festival offered a host of variety from the likes of The Prodigy - who weren’t taking any interviews but definitely didn’t skimp on their performance - to Caspa and Rusko on Saturday’s dubstep stage with the latter even managing to perform on just one working deck while still managing to get fans to salute his skills. Further in and stars like David Guetta and Armin Van Buuren played great sets in the Godskitchen Tent while not forgetting the legendary Andy C who pulled out the best drum n bass for a two-and-a-half hour set in the Random Concept Tent on Saturday with MC’s Tonn Piper and Bassman getting the whole arena chanting “Andy C.”
Saturday night ended with the majority of people wandering around wrapped up in aluminium sheets to keep them warm as the warm days turned into a very cold night. As the night became day there was no queues at the bacon stall for breakfast baguettes like Saturday morning with everyone seemingly ready to pack up and leave without a thought. Or rather with the thought to beat the traffic.
The site – 7/10
Global’s site, which consisted of eight stages and five camping areas, lacked the general feel of community and closeness that a festival should have.
Those who paid extra to book Cloud 9 camping, may’ve got a little more peace and quiet but they were out by the car parks and searched every time they entered the VIP camping area. Following the walk of shame from being sniffed by the police dogs, fans still had to weave in and out of tents with no clear path to go through to the VIP area or to the main site.
The main event area had nothing to be desired with huge masses of open stony tracks, grass areas and measly stalls with not a lot on offer at high prices. While operators of the Fun Fair rides either hadn’t realised there’s a credit crunch going on or they are doing their level best to make money despite the recession, charging up to £5 a person.
Hot tubs were available to all with VIP bands, although the queue made for a lengthy wait. Still people were willing to stand and watch others enjoy their first wash of the weekend and still be happy to get in afterwards.
Getting there and back – 6/10
Joining the thousands of tourists travelling to Stratford-Upon-Avon who want to see Shakespeare this and Shakespeare that made the journey slightly longer than expected by car, but the escape route was a lot easier as we didn’t follow the queues of traffic trying to escape the Global site. Words of advice: look at the site map with other exit points before becoming a sheep and following the rest of the flock.
Atmosphere – 7/10
The weather forecast prediction for Friday was meant to be wet and cold, but with Global Gathering’s everlasting luck, the sun shone throughout Friday and Saturday with keen people laying out in their bikinis and shorts soaking up the rays. The sun shining God then allowed fans to party the weekend away with mosh pits at The Prodigy and frenetic dancing elsewhere – there really is no time for sunbathing.
The Prodigy – 9/10
Even thousands people back from the stage, mosh pits seemed to start in every direction and the only answer was to move with the crowd backwards, forwards, left and right jumping along to the sounds of ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ ‘Firestarter’ and ‘Invaders Must Die’ whilst trying to keep your head above armpit level. Through the sea of hands Keith Flint was on top form jumping around entertaining the whole crowd with his usual antics.
Caspa - 8/10
Following on from N Type and Hatcha, Caspa stepped up to perform in front of crowd that marvelled in his ability to mix anthem after anthem. The energy levels continued to rise throughout his performance to produce arguably the best set of Global Gathering. Caspa's ability to keep the crowd moving was unbelievable. He unselfishly played a wide range of anthems and incorporated a number of up and coming tracks from multiple producers including anthems such as 'Mr Chips', 'This Way', 'When I Look at You' and 'Eastern Jam'. The final choice of 'Cockney Violin' received a reception that made the hairs on your neck stand tall. While being quite a mellow track it was a perfect ending to his set as it paved the way for Rusko's live set. Dubstep has rapidly become one of the most versatile and appreciated sounds around and with DJ's such as Caspa at the forefront of the music scene the future looks good!
Scratch Perverts – 7/10
With a full house at the main stage, the likes of Tony Vegas, Prime Cuts and Plus One made up Scratch Perverts in their finest hour. Livening up the audience and drawing in stragglers from adjacent tents with a remix of Dizzee Rascal's ‘Bonkers’, the perverts allowed the crowd to go crazy singing along and jumping about like Dizzee himself in the video.
Pendulum – 7/10
One of the last sets on the Friday night had a huge turnout with a large rush of people leaving the main stage area pumped up from The Prodigy. Classic number ‘Granite’ was the queue for the packed tent to explode but the one that got the crowd jumping was ‘Propane Nightmares’.
David Guetta – 6/10
The new Boombox in the Godskitchen tent definitely lived up to the hype, with David Guetta playing commercial tunes the crowd knew, getting them pumped to the sound of house music while plugging his new single ‘When Love Takes Over’. The special effects from the Boombox added to his headline slot with 15, 000 fans dancing along and gazing at the spectacular visuals whilst clapping hands, stomping feet and pointing their fingers skywards.
Magnetik Man feat Benga and Skream – 4/10
Considering the skills Skream possesses as a DJ/producer and with the Spectrum looking to be a platform for the new genre of East London fashionistas and cool kids style music, the star didn’t seem to be very enthusiastic during the dubstep set. At least Benga grabbed the mic in between his parts of the show to get the crowd pumped up a bit.
Maybe it was the timing of the performance, as most wouldn’t want to be performing at 6pm, but the crowd were ready to party and even had a big banner emblazoned with ‘TUNE’ prepared for the show. Needless to say it was only visible on arrival and not held up many times afterwards. The only highlight to the crowd seemed to be when La Roux’s track ‘In For The Kill’ was predictably played – this isn’t the radio.
Getting on a gravity defying, rickety, 20-year old traveller-style ride called ‘Twizzler’ after hearing that everyone else who had been on it before had to sit down outside and throw up, wasn't the best idea. But it was worse for one girl at 1am on the Sunday who shouted, “Look what I can do!”. Everyone turned to watch as the floor disappeared, the girl went upside down with her head pointing to the floor. But as the ride started to slow down, the girl shouted that she was stuck, before BANG! She wasn’t stuck any more.
By Sarah Kennedy.