On the weekend of the 16-17-18th July I met up with my Cape Town friends and soulmates Kate and Cleon, and we headed west of London to the Glade Festival. This was the first Glade Festival and was inspired by and a spin-off of the Glade stage at Glastonbury, which largely features underground electronic dance music. Underground in the sense of existing independently of the corporate commercial commodidised branded sponsored mass marketing world. And there was a strong South African connection with the local guys from Nano Records having a lot to do with the festival, inspired no doubt by some of the excellent outdoor parties that we have enjoyed in the mountains and valleys of the Western Cape. There was another connection: Tim who was part of Rustlers Valley, and who returned to the UK a few years ago with his family, seemed to be connected in some way - part of 'the local possie' no doubt.
Since The Glade Festival was first announced, it sounded like a must and I went all-out to get there. But being with your (like-minded) mates makes all the difference so cheers to C&K, who were just starting their holiday. The locations was near Reading in a posh Estate with a small but ancient forest and small lake on the one side (more on that forest later). From the moment we arrived we where blown away by the friendliness and professionalism of all the staff and everone working there. Tickets were limited to 5000 which made for an intimate like-minded crowd.
Let's get back to the music at the Festival. There were several tents of varying sizes hosting different flavours of electronic music, including house, breaks, some techno and others. As will be evident from the pics that follow, we spent most of our time at the Origin Outdoor Stage which was at the far end of the row and close to our magnificent camping spot. It was not a coincidence because that's what we was there for: the psychedelic trance music we know and love. This type of music really works best outdoors with the sun shining, in a beautiful spot with beautiful people and kicking sound rig. Whilst I did spend quite a bit of time enjoying the music at the other tents, the pics that follow attempt to represent the time we spent together.
George got a lift with as and also kindly organised a ticket for me since the festival was sold out by the time I was able to confirm. Our camping spot was on a small rise facing south east and that stunning forest from which the most amazing sonic phenomena eminated. The sound waves from the Origin Stage to the left of us echoed off the tree trunks in this forest. But it was only the mid-range frequencies. And there was more: I am sure there was a bit of resonance as well, that is these frequencies were exciting some natural harmonics in that forest. This amazing ringing echo travelled up the forest from left to right as the speed of sound and with the bass frequencies coming direct from, the sound system (only low frequencies travel long distances) it provided a stunning manipulation of the tunes, a natural processing and filtering which I am sure can be simulated. I would like to do this one day, and I will call it The Glade effect.
The Origin Stage was decorated with stunning inflatables and luminescent butterflies.
Many of the revellers were decorated as well, wings of various forms being a recurring theme.
Being amongst these ancient oak trees in their natrual habitat was a treat.
Just about everything was perfect for this party.
An Inflatable Counch proved useful and comfortable.
The echo chamber is apparent here with the Origin stage to the left. The campsite was comfortably populated, generally people were very friendly, and no taping Glastonbury-style.
The scene in the right hand side of the Origin stage on the last day.
It was all leading up to our home boy Protoculture closing off the festival.
Sunday 18h00 it was all over, an unforgettable high.
The Glade Festival website is here
Brad & Anna's pics here
Pics © Bruce Gillespie