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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Creamfields 2016, 4 days of electronic music paradise, Days 1 & 2

Creamfields 2016 was organised  at the holy grounds of Daresbury near Warrington in England from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th of August. The 19th edition of the world's leading dance festival was a massive success and as you can easily gather was completely jam packed despite the fact that this weekend was the busiest in UK with several festivals taking place all over the country. The festival organisers reached the capacity of the festival grounds around 70.000 festival goers during the whole period of the 4 days. Creamfields took extremely care to  offer the finest camping facilities that visitors could set up their tent in  normal, silver, bronze or gold premises that each one offered additional benefits like better shower facilities and toilets for example. In addition, Dreamfields is the area that you could pre-purchase variety of tents according to your budget and the number of friends you were going with. But the real deal every year at Creamfields is the scale and magnitude of the artists performing at the festival including only the biggest headliners you can think of including Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Above & Beyond, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Axwell & Ingrosso, Alesso, Avicci and many more that some of them will be mentioned in this review while some of them have been interviewed as well and their interviews are included in here with the goal to document one of the strongest festival brands in the world right now that focuses on quality production stages that offer memorable spectacle with high-tech design, state of the art lighting and lazers, high class first order artists, great safety and security and overall a festival experience centred on music rather than the festival brand being the centre of the experience.

Review by Dimitri Kechagias, Electronic Music Journalist & Researcher / Radio host at 1mix radio

Jordan  Suckley
The largest Silent Disco in the world
Things got started pretty nicely on Thursday 25 of August that the festival open its gates for the 4 day ticket holders. The day was a bit cloudy at the beginning and then was getting rainy as well during the whole night. Despite the fact that I was honoured with a four day gold ticket I decided to visit the festival from Friday that the weather conditions were about to improve as I was camping also for the first time and I was not sure how I will cope with this as last year I was staying during the night at a hostel in Liverpool. The result of my decision not to go from Thursday was that I really missed one of the most biggest silent discos in the world ever. On Thursday 3 stages were operating from 17.00 till 23.00 with Cream stage offering  great trance vibes from the likes of  Jordan Suckley, Ben Gold, Mark Sherry, Craig Connelly and Venom One. According to those who were partying in this tents the atmosphere was pretty insane and actually sounded quite good in a silent disco settings. The well known festival brand Sexy By Nature with powerful house vibes included Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano special 3 hours set,  Redondo, Jack Eye Jones and LilRockit. On the PEPSI MAX ARENA the artists DJ SKT, Sonny Fodero, Sam Divine, Midnight City, Rob Harnetty and Special Guest: Doorly. Certainly silent disco is not something that festival goers  experience very often and for those who were Thursday at Creamfields will be remembered for ever.  

Camping village at Creamfields was a nice place to stay
Armin van Buuren
Orjan Nilsen
Friday 26th of August was the second day of the incredible festival and I felt pretty excited arriving at the Warrington train station and from there with the reliable shuttle service to Creamfields. The cue was long enough but we passed the various search controls reasonably quickly and with the support from some other kind festival goers that I send them my love wherever they are I manage to pass through the mud and reach the Gold and Silver camping field. I searched a while  until to find a place to set up my tent. It wasn't difficult and pretty easy I created my 'little home' for the next 3 days surrounded by complete strangers with some of them we become known and we exchanged our life stories. I tried to finish everything as soon as possible and run at the Arenas as I was extremely excited to see how the festival has progressed from last year and any improvements they may have made to offer a better electronic music experience. Friday schedule included fantastic DJ sets that I was looking forward to hear. First I went to the beloved Netherlands based record label stage Armada. By the time I arrived Khomha and Ruben De Ronde have performed already while David Gravell was behind the decks. I must confess that once again the upcoming youngster has impressed me with a solid and super tight set of bombing big room trance. Ørjan Nilsen was next and he was simply outstanding with his luscious melodies and big hair raising synthy themes that he unleashed in an impressive stage of gigantic screens. Andrew Rayel took over from him and you can guess he dominated the stage with rough basslines and rioting rhythms. MaRLo has been in the forefront lately and I can see why he played before Armin van Buuren who played his dark tech trance with big room hybrid sound. Lastly on stage came the King of Trance who delivered two solid incredible hours of a state of trance music that turn the crowd into a jumping mass who simply enjoyed every second of his memorable performance. Armin never fails to deliver what he promises and he gave to Creamfields one of his coolest sets ever with well known anthems and many new material as well. Trance music was well represented on Friday that's for sure and Creamfields takes care to give trancers strong line ups. 

You can watch here the Aftermovie of the Armada Stage at Creamfields.

Cirez D at Steel Yard

Chase & Status
Steel Yard has been promoted as the landmark of this year's Creamfields amongst the other stages and I was taken over by the hype for it so I wanted to get inside and take look and listen some sets there too. It must be said that Steel Yard is one of the most advanced technologically stages ever with ultra long set of gigantic screens that cover the main stage while the colourful lazers you had the impression that can cut you through and the incredible lights and other effects were adding to the mindblowing spectacle. I had a nice satisfying portion of  the UK Top 40 star Sigala performance  that has attracted as was expected quite considerable amount of up for it house crowd. 

  I am glad that I catch a big byte of the Martin Solvieg set. He is simply one of the most innovative artists with music videos that stand out and his DJ set there was mouthwatering with funny moves and crazy visuals that added to the whole party atmosphere. When you watch such a strong image and you listen some of your favourite house tunes it is pretty impossible to stand still so I was pumping around like a small child. After watching this performance I appreciated Martin even more and the great effort put to organise this spectacle was well done to write it in your memory for long time. Cirez D aka Eric Prydz gave an incredible performance with dark moody melodic progressive techno with green being the main colour of the holographic visuals and incredible flow of haunting transcendental sounds.  It is worth noting that Steel Yard returns at the Central Docks at Liverpool Waters on Saturday 26th November with Axwell ^ Ingrosso and special guests. The show is already sold out but let's hope some additional tickets will be released soon. Lastly the chart toppers Chase & Status delivered an excellent DJ Set packed with eyeopening visuals and great mixture of drum n bass, house and hip hop moments too. These sets were recorded from BBC Radio 1's Essential mix and are available to listen here (until end of September).

Watch an extract of Martin Solveig incredible performance here via Creamfields facebook page

On the North side the biggest stage was the ARC that looked once again truly impressive with gigantic LCD screens and brilliant sound that you could hear even by being a bit far away from the front side. Alesso, Knife Party, NERVO and KSHMR performed by offering some of the strongest sets of their career. KSHMR with his tough progressive house vibes, the beloved duo NERVO with their ability to mesmerise the crowds and communicate with them via mic and taking them on board in their music journey. Watch here an extract from their performance:

ARC stage
Next on the ARC stage was the rough and always on the edge Knife Party and finally the biggest star of the night Alesso who played incredible tracks with mixture of his own tracks and works of others that he likes supported by visuals, effects, lasers, fire explosions,  and fireworks too. He finished with Heroes that I consider to be one of the highlights in his career so far. Horizon Stage was closed on Friday and was in full effect on Saturday and Sunday. 

Maya Jane Coles
Andy C
On the Friday highlights for me on the paradise stage I checked out the always very focused on her set special guest Maya Jayne Coles, the top noch The Martinez Brothers and of course the one and only Jamie Jones who round up the proceedings perfectly for his stage was always busy attracting a more sophisticated older crowd who enjoys more underground electronic house.  Drum'n'Bass in UK is a huge scene that last and this year even manage to break into the charts top 10 positions.  ANDY C PRESENTS RAM was vibing amazing energetic basslines rolling drums and cool melodies while always the MC's on top gave the party tone and encourage the crowd to get deeper into it and enjoy the sounds.  I manage to catch Andy C, Wilkinson and High Contrast who have confirmed that Drum'n'Bass will continue rising as more audience were attracted to it and really enjoyed the moments. 

Sam Feldt and his live trumpet and saxophone player
    On Pepsi Max arena the current deep house / future house and progressive house scenes were represented with massive DJs like Bassjackers who pumped the place up, the French idol Michael Calfan who delivered magical melodies, strong vocals and uplifting pianos, the London based Third Party with their melodic euphoric hands in the air distinctive sound, the incredible Sam Feldt who had several hits and during his performance he had even light trumpet players who added to the fun a lot and the slowly rising at the top Curbi. Finally at the impressive The Vault stage the Melbourne took over was in full effect with Tigerlily, UberJak'd, Joel Fletcher, New World Sound, Some Blonde, Teddy Cream, Brynny, Brooklyn and Sax On Legz. The stage was packed so there is definitely a big following in UK for the distinctive Australian house sound with big bouncy basslines, thunderous drums and playful arrangement that kept things running wild and juices flowing. 

My actual first day at the festival finished at 23.00 and then our way back home to the camping village that was populated by wonderful people from all over the world with variety of tents to keep them safe and sound during the night. The first actual camping night was pretty cold for me despite the sleeping bag and also my tent despite being promoted as waterproofed actually start getting some water and it lowered the temperature inside. I manage to get some sleep and I got a nice message too that I'm going to interview the heroes Above & Beyond on Saturday.

Dimitri Kechagias Creamfields 2016 quick facts review:
[review top="1"]
 [item value="10"]The Arc / Horizons Stage Design and Decoration[/item]
 [item value="10"]The Vault Stage Design and Decoration[/item]
 [item value="10"]Steel Yard Design and Decoration[/item]
 [item value="10"]Arenas Design and Decoration [/item]
 [item value="10"]Crisp and Clear Sound Quality at the 2 mainstages[/item]
 [item value="10"]Crisp and Clear Sound Quality at the Arenas[/item]
 [item value="10"]Light effects incl lasers & pyrotechnics at the festival[/item]
 [item value="10"]Final Line up at the festival incl. cancellations[/item]
 [item value="10"]Quality of the actual DJ sets[/item]
 [item value="10"]Audience response & involvement during DJ sets[/item]
 [item value="10"]Goosebumps / Shivers moments during DJ sets[/item]
 [item value="10"]Emotional affinity and heartfelt moments during DJ sets[/item]
 [item value="10"]Non-Music Related Entertainment incl funfair[/item]
 [item value="10"]Quality and variety of the food offered in the festival[/item]
 [item value="10"]Free Tap Water[/item]
 [item value="10"]Quality of Drinks/Waiting time at the Bars[/item]
 [item value="10"]Friendliness of the festival staff[/item]
 [item value="10"]Security and Safety at the festival[/item]
 [item value="10"]Gold Camping Village Experience[/item]
 [item value="10"]You can’t get this festival out of your head[/item]
 [item value="10"]It has potential to become one of the festivals that changed your life[/item]
 [item value="10"]Overall impression for the festival[/item]
 [content title="Summary" label="Overall Score"]I strongly believe that Creamfields is one of the best festivals that I have been and I have reviewed so far. The organisers move forward every year by introducing new stage designs, using the latest technology and high quality sound equipment. The line up included all the major players in the various electronic music scenes with good balance of mainstream and underground acts. The audience was enthusiastic during the DJ sets and in my questions about their opinion for the festival they said that they were very satisfied and certainly they will return next year. Certainly can not satisfy every single visitor 100% but if you think about the price of the ticket and what was offered I believe that Creamfields is value for money and I highly recommended to you for 2017 that they will celebrate their 20th anniversary. #PureGold Love It[/content]

Next Review of Day 3 & 4 at the magic world of Creamfields 2016

Thanks very much Rio & Gill  for the press accreditation and the whole Cream team for having me on a such incredible festival

Thanks to Lily & Sasha for organising all the interviews for all the press.

Don't Forget Creamfields next year in UK celebrates its 20th anniversary so  there will be many special additions so better start booking your tickets:

Additional info: