United Kingdom | 03 September 2009
Camping, fewer queues and a vast choice of musical kick, Creamfields returned bigger than better than before, Lyndsey Oliver took it all in.
Overall – 7/10
Now in its 11th year Creamfields is back bigger and better than ever. With a newly expanded site, more music and with more revellers turning up, things are looking up for the organisers.
Although the festival itself has built on its epic reputation it’s still fairly new in the fact that this is only the second year that the event has boasted camping. With this in mind tickets sold faster than hotcakes with the festival selling out a week before the curtain was due to go up.
With more bars than you can shake a cup at, it means fewer queues and more choice. That coupled with the amount of toilets on site, plenty of food stalls and the vast choice of tents and stages available, there is always something available to do and plenty of variety.
Getting there and back – 7/10
The site is easily accessible by car with signposts leading up to the site and the festival places a huge emphasis on safe travel. With plenty of signs warning about the dangers of drug driving, the organisers go to great lengths to ensure that everybody is as cautious as possible.
With easy train access, plenty of cheap taxis and shuttle buses taking you from the site to everywhere from Liverpool to Manchester it’s simple enough to navigate to and from the festival.
The site – 5/10
The site has been expanded this year after problems with entrance and mud last year, which means the festival had chance to grow. With a field just for the main stage and much more space between stages, it means that there’s no crossover in sound and crowds do not get too compacted.
However there were still problems with queues. With strict baggage checks and just one entrance into the site, it means long waits and anxious crowds.
The campsites were poorly lit, as were the walkways from the arena, which, after a heavy rain pour on the Sunday caused nothing short of chaos. This made for a rowdy bunch, which could have, quite easily turned in the blink of an eye.
Atmosphere – 6/10
Because of the problems with lack of entrances and long queuing times to enter and leave the arena, it really put a dampener on everyone’s spirits. Those who paid out the extra money for VIP tickets were subject to more strict searches when entering the hospitality arena and were often met with abrasive security staff.
That being said, the rest of the security guards and event staff were in high spirits throughout the weekend, and were as friendly as they were helpful. Even the large amount of police presence seemed welcomed as they happily posed for photos and were even spotted by the main stage on Sunday by Virtual Festivals having a little dance to Basement Jaxx.
Mylo – 6/10
Back in 2005 ‘Destroy Rock And Roll’ was one of the hottest dance albums about. Mylo had created nothing short of a masterpiece with tunes such as ‘Drop The Pressure’, ‘In My Arms’ and ‘Muscle Car.’ Back then these dance classics had just about everyone in Ibiza worshipping the Scottish dance legend. However, here, his live set seems old hat, with a poor back show for a main stage artist and not enough people bothering to stick around to the end.
Friendly Fires – 9/10
Although the festival is largely a dance event, the appearance of live bands is always a welcome relief. With a massive following, those who chose not to watch headliner Tiesto on the main stage are pleasantly surprised by Friendly Fires.
The band who were originally penned in for a DJ set play all their hit singles such as ‘Jump In The Pool,’ ‘Paris,’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’ as lead singer Ed MacFarlane literally dances from the moment he walks on to the stage to the moment he leaves. Adding a truly carnival feel to the evening, his unique style of dancing doesn’t go unnoticed from any of the bands fans, which saw the crowd swinging their arms and hips in all directions from start to finish.
2manydjs – 10/10
With Soulwax seeming nothing short of a distant memory, lots of people who turn up to watch them were blatantly unaware of 2manydjs existence. However with mixes including tracks from The Prodigy, Michael Jackson, Dizzee Rascal and Tiga’s ‘Just Take Off Your Shoes,’ the whole set stopped just short of genius.
Literally everybody knows at least one track that they are playing and literally everybody dances wildly throughout this modest daytime slot.
Calvin Harris – 7/10
A somewhat surprising appearance from Calvin Harris. Not usually known for being the perpetual songbird, his live appearances are usually marred by the fact that he seemingly can’t hold a single note when singing. Whether this is down to nerves or sound problems, this always taints his sets.
However, this time around, Harris pulls off his set with style and finesse and hit pretty much every note pitch perfect, plus he manages to get the whole crowd bouncing.
Dizzee Rascal – 7/10
Dizzee is known for his grime roots and is heavily in touch with them. With this in mind it’s only his recent entry into the pop world with hits such as ‘Bonkers,’ and ‘Holiday,’ which grow in his large crowd. This meant a lot of people didn’t really get his set, or his music, and left them pretty much waiting around for three songs.
‘Dance Wiv Me,’ ses Calvin Harris make an appearance on stage to before they celebrated their new number one entry with ‘Holiday,’ which is met with a finale of fire works and confetti.
Basement Jaxx – 6/10
A disappointing headline slot from the usually fantastic Basement Jaxx crew. With big tunes sporadically placed in between what seems like a wealth of self-indulgent experimentalism, they fail to pull in a big enough crowd, as most opted for new kid on the block Deadmmau5 on the Mixmag Terrace.
With pretty much every genre of dance covered there is always something to cater to any revelers taste.
A welcome stall this year was the Schuh welly exchange tent. For the mere price of an old pair of shoes you could bag yourself a shiny new pair of wellys with the shoes going to charity. Brilliant.
The poor weather on Sunday meant a lot of mud on the way back to the campsite. This made it difficult to navigate safely back to the tents and left everybody anxious and rowdy.
Virtual Festivals had the pleasure of bumping into recent Big Brother housemate Freddie Fisher as he searched for his tobacco by the funfair. This erupted into a good half hour chat during which we felt most at home and strangely star struck!
By Lyndsey Oliver.
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