Future Music Festival – A Review.

On a sunny afternoon in Melbourne, and having the mood take me, I decided to venture to one of Melbourne’s largest festivals, Future Music Festival. Having shied away from festivals for a number of reasons more recently, I was again interested to explore current trends in the music marketplace. This time I was a consumer rather than a producer. But with an eye on what a consumer might want from a producer. And I had a few mix CDs of my February Live @ 125 set to give out in case I bumped into Eric Prydz.

Without a ticket it was time I tried to get one. Luckily my friends also decided last minute to go. They had a ticket. I payed over the money. That seemed to go smoothly. I parked a couple of streets away. That seemed to go smoothly as well. I am a big public transport advocate but the obvious congestion issues getting to and from venues has been an issue in the past. Problem solved!

It was a warm day we were blessed with. Entry was seamless and we were tagged via an electric wristband. In I went. I immediately heard duff duff which ironically would not stop for 7 hours. No complaints.

Friends were unsurprisingly in the Cocoon tent, run by the legendary Sven Vath. Guy Gerber was playing, and his rolling, deep baselines were perfect for 3pm, I was very much enjoying the music. Maya Jane Coles was next, and this blissful talent did not go unnoticed. Her choice of music was superb, characterised by a deep presence blurring the lines between techno and deep house.

So Pharrell was on next and it was time to see what the hype was about. He had a tough job. His stage was fairly bare, himself and two singers, plus a DJ spinning a backing track at the back. His start was slow, thats fair enough, as he struggled to sync his lyrics with the backing DJ. His voice was difficult to decipher initially and I wonder if that was the mixing. He played a lot of his hits, and other artists’ too. The one i keenly enjoyed was “get lucky”. I was not alone there. His popularity was certainly immense, and I felt sorry for Kaskade after him, one of the people I look up to, as people left for shade and a break. However Kaskade did not disappoint, belting out some really nice vocal house to get the crowd moving.

The gang at Pharrell Williams.

As I went back to the Cocoon tent, I passed the Likes Of You Stage. I passed Kaytranada, just after Gordon City had finished. I enjoyed them both. Kaytranada got me dancing in the sun with his cool, funky baselines, soul vocals and feel good vibe. I really enjoyed his set.

Kaytranada delivering a high quality, funky set.

Of course one of the main draw cards was Eric Prydz. I had never seen him play, and he looked different onstage to what I had seen him online. His sets started at 6:40pm and he did not disappoint. On a warm summer night, we got to watch the sun go down to songs like Everything, Every Day, Pjanoo and many more. What I noticed was his drops were amazingly big. A buildup of tension in the breakdown, stripping the bass elements right away so when they return, the energy of the bottom end really hits you in the solar plexus. Boooom!

Eric Prydz tearing it up.

We were pumped.… Off to Rudimental. Excellent. The band was interactive as they played classics like “I’m not Giving In,” “Free” and “Feel the Love”. It was a nice to have a live element to the festival with instruments and singers involved. Even the trumpet player wowed us with his skills, getting a solo on stage. It was certainly a highlight for me and my friends.

A bit hard to see but Rudimental were amazing as the sun went down.

A bit hard to see but Rudimental were amazing as the sun went down.

Back to the Cocoon tent. Sven Vath. Delivered what he always does. Loud, in your freaking face techno. Playing vinyl.. Respect. It was loud, did I say that? The girls on the stage certainly seemed to be digging it. I think a lot of people were seeing Deadmau5 at the time, but there were still a fair sprinkling of people there. With the help of my friends I managed to give out some mix cds. If you listened to one, please get in contact and let me know what you thought.

Off to Paul Van Dyk. This guy is so experienced, he can’t fail to deliver. And he deserved the mantle of closing out one of the side trance tents. A true dance music legend.

Time was running out, and I wanted to miss the traffic home. Deadmau5 was on, and I caught about 15 minutes. Big sound. Mouse hat. Great way to end off the night.

I didn’t get to see everyone i wanted to. But thats part of being at a festival. Its about enjoying the atmosphere and life with friends. And I am pretty happy I did that.

So I have not been to Future Music Festival for at least two years now and apparently those years have been lacklustre. I was impressed this year. There were no drink cards (a big plus), bar and food was easily accessible, as were the toilets. There was water freely available and I noticed it was not too jam packed with people. A good thing. However the most important aspect was the music. The lineup seemed to satisfy everyone. And what about the weather!

Would I go back? Yes
Would I play? Yes

Bring on next year,

Elton xx

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