South West Four 2009: Rated!

United Kingdom United Kingdom | 03 September 2009

Overall  - 6/10

London’s annual outdoor dance event returned to Clapham Common on Saturday 29 August and VF headed down to check out what all the fuss was about.

If 2008, headlined by Carl 'King of Clubs' Cox was anything to go by than surely London was in for a treat? With four stages and just a few hours, sacrificing one DJ for another is in order for the day.

Every act had a different style of house to showcase for the afternoon and Scarlett Etienne - the only female DJ of the event - kicked off proceedings on the Kiss Main Stage. Aural treats from Tall Paul, James Zabiela, James Lavelle and Eric Prydz followed.

Getting There and Back – 9/10

With many good transport routes, SW4 - a green expanse in south west London – the festival couldn’t be easier to get to. For many who live in SW4, the site was in their back garden. For other revellers who reside in London, the site was accessible by tube on the northern line or by a number of buses.

For those travelling from across the country, Clapham Junction train station is only a ten minute bus ride or taxi journey away. Unfortunately, this is one festival you will have to leave your car at home for, as there are no parking facilities available on site.

The Site – 7/10

With South West Four pitched in the middle of Clapham, the after party can spill out into the many pubs, bars and restaurants in the trendy area. Although it is only a one-day festival, the site could do with some expansion to offer revellers a place to relax and chill out in between sets.

On the plus side it didn’t take long to dash from each corner of the site to see your favourite acts. The only other entertainment besides the music was a fairground ride ‘Booster’ in the heart of the common and back massages courtesy of the Ibiza Angels.

Atmosphere – 6/10

No doubt the gorgeous sunshine did well to lift everyone’s mood throughout the day. The trouble with one-dayers though, is that no ones ever really sure how much to ‘go for it’ as the music ends at around 9pm and there is no on site camping area to continue the fun.

Though there were pockets of people around the Main Stage and in the tents beaming with joy that grab your hand willing you to do ‘big box, little box, cardboard box’ with them.

Music – 6/10


David Guetta- 9/10

Surprisingly, the man of the day was David Guetta, famous for number one hits ‘Sexy Chick’ and ‘When Love Takes Over’. He pleased the crowd with a mixture of underground bangers and chart worthy tunes. His mixing skills, polished from his summer of DJing, further won over the hands-in-the-air crowd.

Dubfire – 8/10
Contrary to his name Dubfire is strictly a house and techno and the DJ, as expected, set the Shake it stage on fire with his grind house.

Sander Kleinenberg – 7/10

This Dutch DJ succeeded in keeping the Main Stage audience on the toes from one mix to the next. He really switched up the musical journey by dropping tunes from everybody from 90s Gala – ‘Freed From Desire’ - to Paul Johnson’s Get Get Down’.


Nic Fanciulli – 7/10

At last year’s SW4 Nic Fanciulli definitely delivered. But as he took to the decks in the Global Underground stage, timeless chant ‘Turn it up, turn it up’ flooded the dancefloor, drowning out the intro and reminding the crowd that there is nothing more frustrating than not even being able to hear the beat.

The long anticipated, Tony Lionni's ‘Found A Place’ made a showing in the Global Underground tent being played out by the one and only Nic Fanciulli. Slightly surprising since as it’s been heard on pretty much every dance floor this year.

Random Events

There were three women dressed in neon glo-pink and yellow who really livened up the punters’ spirits with their ‘Tune’ placards that they threw into the air every time an aforementioned tune came up.

Alas the summer bank holiday has passed, summer is probably over and South West Four is a whole year away. Hopefully it will be back in full swing in 2010 with an explosive line up to instil non-stop partying in the crowd and prove to the world that London definitely knows how to party.

By Lauren Hamilton.

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