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FESTIVAL REVIEW: Creamfields 2016, 4 days at the world's leading music festival, This is Day 3

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike smashing The Arc stage at Creamfields
Creamfields is considered to be the world' leading electronic music festival that covers every possible popular taste in electronic music and represents  both the underground and the mainstream artists so everyone in the audience to feel satisfied with the incredible line up that accommodates the very best in house, trance, techno, drum'n'bass, hard dance and anything else in between and around these music genres.  It took place at the holy grounds of Daresbury near Warrington in UK from 25th to 28th of August and particularly for this year was extended to 4 days. The whole atmosphere of the festival welcomes both electronic music aficionados who know everything about their favourite acts and also those who may know electronic music from the charts and the commercial compilations and aim to enjoy the full experience including the fun fares and wide variety of nice food. The first 2 days 25th and 26th of August were open only to those who were camping at Creamfields while Saturday and Sunday were open to single day ticket holders as well who had to enter  when the music started and must go when the music finished. The camping village was alive and kicking during day and night and on Saturday morning I woke up in my tent a bit worried about the prospect of rain and even flood that the weather forecast were predicting. So I bought not only one but 3 additional tent protectors with the hope to cover all over the tent. The downside of this was my mistake to cover all the small windows that allowed the oxygen to enter the tent and this is definitely not recommended because there is a big chance to suffocate and feeling unwell in the morning. Anyway that was my second time that I was  camping in a festival after Dance Valley in the Netherlands and first time in UK that the weather during August is unstable and highly unpredictable because despite all the extra protection the weather on Saturday and Sunday was very mild with some short showers that definitely were not dangerous to cause major issues inside the tent.

Watch here Creamfields Saturday video

After spending quite a lot of time securing the tent and getting to know my neighbours and their motives for visiting the festival I was ready to explore the Saturday schedule at Creamfields 2016. On Saturday was the longest day of the festival as it started at 14.00 and finished at 04.00.  First I went to the Cream Mega Arena to check out the upcoming star of the deep house scene Seeb who had huge success with his Mike Posner remix. His DJ skills are admirable and his set included all the well known deep house and future house style tracks. Very beautiful atmosphere and great audience enjoying every moment of this set. Cream Arena line up on Saturday included Alan Walker, Watermät, Robin Schulz, Grum, Andrew Bayer, Above & Beyond, Tchami and Danny Howard.

Seeb  and Watermat at the Cream Arena
Julian Jordan in full effect at Pepsi Max Arena
Then my next stop was at the Pepsi Max Arena with Julian Jordan reaching the last minutes of his set and thanking the crowd that was going ballistic with his big pumping progressive house choices. The full line up of this stage was very promising for a long day of enormous big room house with acts like Anton Powers, Julian Jordan, Timmy Trumpet, Will Sparks, R3hab,Tommy Trash,  Laidback Luke, Sander van Doorn and Firebeatz. This particular stage gathered a more young audience who were able to jump non stop and singalong passionately to their favourite vocal tunes. 

Creamfields with Brazilian colours.
Creamfields this year offered wide variety of interesting auditions and one of those was the superb Brazilian music players and dancers who were giving their finest performance of Latin dance moves that made particularly the male audience feel a bit destructed too as it was impossible not to focus on them and watch their flexible bodies following the rhythm of the drums.  It certainly manage to add some Carnival flavour to the festival and was a nice change to something more traditional and organic rather than just digital and electronic.

Dirty South at the Arc Stage
The Arc stage gathered many festival goers from very early on with star line up including DVBBS, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Axwell & Ingrosso. I checked out the Australian legend Dirty South with his excellent melodic progressive house choices and I was totally immersed in his floating seamless mixing but I wanted to explore the rest of the stages so I had to move on.

DJ EZ rocking Jam Packed
The Jam Packed Arena was as the name suggests Jam Packed with an eclectic line up of groovy, soulful, house and garage and anything in between including Flava D, SASASAS, Logan Sama, 99 Souls, Charlie Sloth, Mistajam, A-Trak, Kurupt FM, DJ EZ and James Hype. 

Los Soruba at Arc.
The famous ANTS Arena was moving in the deeper, darker, underground and twisted sounds of house, tech house and techno with the  cream of this constantly growing scene with DJs including Los Suruba, Eli & Fur, Patrick Topping, Route 94, Gorgon City,Yousef and Andrea Oliva. Los Soruba offered a wonderful hypnotic set with some melodic and more moodier moments that definitely capture audience attention while they were browsing the festival stages until to find the music that corresponds to their mood and their intentions.

Eats Everything at All Gone Pete Tong. 
Next stop was not the twilight zone but the globally famous All Gone Pete Tong Arena that last year was one of the hottest spots at Creamfields and this year equally the line up was dazzling and classy with Cristoph, Andhim, Eats Everything, Heidi, Steve Lawler, Hot Since 82,  Pete Tong and very special guest the techno legend and trance pioneer Sven Vath. Eats Everything were playing in an enthusiastic audience that were responding and dancing with the very strong tech house choices.  It certainly proves that is one of the upcoming artists that build a loyal following and this will grow bigger in the coming year. Creamfields is great opportunity to be able to enjoy established artists and the ones that bubble up and attract the radars of Pete Tong who curates his stage with great dedication and attention to showcase the finest talents.

On Saturday the second biggest Horizon stage featured some excellent performances and one cancellation too that had as a result the reshuffling of the line up. Unfortunately for technical reasons related to his transportation to the festival via air Martin Garrix didn't performed and the final line up was Lucas & Steve, Otto Knows, Anton Powers, Nicky Romero and Avicii with his last ever UK performance.
BK at The Vault stage
Near the Horrizon stage was the futuristic stage which looked like coming out from Mad Max style of movies The Vault stage that on Saturday included the well known UK Hard House/ Hard dance legendary label TIDY with the massive Charlie Goddard, Lee Haslam B2B NG Rezonance, Stimulator, Yomanda, Tidy DJ’s, BK, Max Mozart & Audox, Freak Brothers (Rob Tissera, Ben Stevens, Adam M) and  Gammer. On this stage you could listen euphoric feel good old school UK hard trance, hard house and nu-nrg. I had the chance to enjoy the last chunk of the Tidy Djs performance and the epic first minutes of the awesome BK. Metallic basslines, pounding drums, uplifting synths, trance diva style vocals and plenty of acid overtones. The faces were smiling and the old school family really enjoyed the DJ sets. On this stage though you could notice a slightly older crowd that has been with the Tidy sound from the beginning and they still faithfully followed them. Of course they were many festival browsers like me who have passed from the stage for a while and they jumped around with hands wide in the air.

Female power at Creamfields: Heide at All Gone Pete Tong and Eli & Fur at The Ants stage
I had to continue with another round to all the stages so I passed once again from every stage to sample the flavours and the atmosphere. All Gone Pete Tong's Arena was vibrating with Heidi's incredible uplifting techno set. She looked airy, energetic, confident  and dynamic behind the decks and I loved the way she smashed it and turn the crowd into a mass of underground faithfuls. On Ants stage this time two fantastic upcoming female DJ stars were on stage, the beloved Eli & Fur with noteworthy releases on Anjunadeep and even collaboration with the legend Erick Morillo that was released on his label Subliminal records. I wanted very much to loose myself in their deep tech house dj set and observe the way they shared the decks and how they were co-operating too as DJ duo. I was very impressed of their selection and mixing abilities and the large crowd in the stage was enjoying them very much too.

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike explosive performance

On Horizon stage the Protocol records head honcho, the one and only Nicky Romero was replacing Martin Garrix and he did incredible job by dropping one big tune and after the other, talking with the crowd on the mic and keeping the stage full with an audience that was feeling good as the weather stayed dry and the things were getting extremely hot as Nicky is a very talented DJ who knows how to handle mainstage festival crowds with pumping house and strong singalong moments. Until to reach the Arc Stage, as the distance between the two mainstages is quite long and Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike were about to finish their DJ set. Banging beats, aggressive basslines and even tropical house beats with their latest hit Stay A While. They manage to  attract a big number of  audiences once again and that signalled that there is a big chance for them to stay at the number 1 spot of the DJ Mag for a second year. Everything will be revealed during Amsterdam Dance Event 19th of October at the glamorous DJ Mag Top 100 ceremony.

Trance in the safe hand of Andrew Bayer
 Meanwhile on Cream stage the Anjunabeats crew took over first with the incredible Andrew Bayer. One of the most influential producers at the moment and a very skillful DJ that always provide great entertainment for his audience along with inspiration and motivation to enjoy every moment to the fullest. Andrew has fantastic attitude behind the decks and after enjoying him at the ASOT festival in Utrecht, I was looking forward for his DJ set and after experiencing him at Creamfields I am even more convinced that this artist has still a lot to offer and his decision to bring back the good trance sound will definitely have an impact.

Near to the Cream stage is the Arc stage so I had the opportunity to witness once again the explosive duo Axwell ^Ingrosso who continue the legacy of their previous act Swedish House Mafia. Their Creamfields  set was packed with their biggest anthems and crowd that was devoted to them and they wanted so much to see them live and kicking. Their performance was truly satisfying but opened our hunger for even more so those who wish to enjoy them again Creamfields is bringing their monumental Steel Yard Saturday 26th November at the Central Docks, Liverpool Waters at an incredible event that is already sold out with Axwell ^ Ingrosso headlining along with many special guests.

Avicii at his last ever UK performance at Creamfields 
On the Horizon stage that was  absolutely packed Avicii offered an incredible performance and I must confess that after listening to him in various festivals I enjoyed the most this one because his set was more oriented to the big crowds and festival mainstage atmosphere rather than being radio friendly and promoting forthcoming wanna be Top 40 hits. Certainly the whole hype around this performance as being the last ever in UK have added to the anticipation and the crowd was ready for something so monumental and he delivered an exciting experience to remember.

Grum at the Cream stage
 My next mission was to be for the first time at the interview area at the backstage of Creamfields that I witness for the first time and I was truly impressed from the amount of people working behind every stage to provide the mind-blowing spectacle that you enjoy at the forefront. I did a very nice short interview with Laidback Luke who has told us about his Creamfields DJ set experiences and the latest releases on Mixmash and Armada Music. Then I did an interview with Above & Beyond who I met when they came in Greece for two excellent DJ gigs before many years and we talked amongst other things about their very successful acoustic tour and when we expect to see it in full online along with a fantastic documentary about it plus about their Porcelain remix on Moby. Then I had the opportunity to interview Yousef who I didn't interview before and who is considered as being  a Liverpool legend of true underground techno and dark house music. The interview with him is the longest that I did at Creamfields and I considered it as being very informative so you better press play and watch it to get to know Yousef's contribution to the electronic music culture. After I finished the interviews I headed straight away to  the Cream stage that the beloved Anjunabeats family member Grum was offering another mesmerising and always out of this world DJ set that combined smooth velvet like basslines, pumping drums and hypnotic but deeply arousing melodies that carry you away for a ride to remember. Better have your radar open and whenever you see Grum coming near to your town be sure to go and party with him and you will not be disappointed.

Above & Beyond at the end of their surreal DJ set at Creamfields
 Next at Cream Arena it was time for  the beloved Above & Beyond DJ set. The stage was jam packed and I must confess that their set was the only one that I experienced in its entirety. Their set was compromised of mainly well known hits that the crowd was singing loud with their heart and soul until there is no air in their lungs anymore and their throat was hurting. As always they have included some brand new  material to spice it up and most importantly they were communicating their feelings and messages through their messages that appeared in the screen. In my opinion this is the best way for DJs who want something to say rather than talking with mic by ruining the tracks and breaking the continuity and coherence in the atmosphere of their DJ set. It was definitely worth it to be the only set that I experience it in full with luscious melodies, harsh basslines, pounding drums and cracking atmosphere. The Push the button moment was very emotional and the lucky ones chosen to perform the ritual during the DJ set were in heavens as they came to press it and share the stage with their idols Above & Beyond.  If you ask me what I wish next year is for Creamfields to invite Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep to host a stage on their own with extensive set from Above & Beyond.
BBC Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard at Creamfields
 At Cream Arena next was the future house sound of Tchami who performed a vigorous super tight set and he was followed by the Radio 1 DJ and label owner of the well known label Nothing Else Matters, DJ Danny Howard. I was looking forward for his set and the extract that I manage to listen was pretty slow, late night deep house with early 90's influences but  I felt that the music was too moody for an audience that was expecting more energetic sounds to keep them dancing until 04.00 in the morning. His DJing techniques are unquestionable but his choices were more Howard and less what the audience needed at this specific moment. In my opinion after Above & Beyond DJ slot, Creamfields could bill some more trance acts that could take the audience to the next level rather than adding completely different style DJs but again this is just me that can not get enough of trance.

First ever Marshmello performance at Creamfields
One of the stages that I manage to visit only very late on Saturday because was always packed and you had to wait  in short cues to get inside was the Steel Yard Hard presents. The music policy was dubstep, trap and anything in between with tougher and rougher edge to it. Ghastly, Mercer, Four Tet, Malaa, Jauz, Jack Ü and Marshmello. I got the chance to enjoy Jack U and the incredible Marshmello. Cool strong melodies merged with heavy hard hitting basslines, thumping whopping drums and well known vocals. Particularly Marshmello is noteworthy for keeping the so large mysterious mask in his head during the entire show and even talking underneath it. His real face hasn't been disclosed yet and as he mentions in his facebook "I just want to make good music...that doesn't require you knowing who I am". The hype is massive around him and his Creamfields debut went down as a bomb and closed the Saturday proceedings for the Steel Yard.

Sander van Doorn and Bassjackers at the Pepsi Max Arena
At the Pepsi Max stage the heat was on with the finest epic big room progressive and bass banging house smashers provided by the Mixmash boss Laidback Luke who cracked all the body codes and turn the place upside down, followed by the one and only Sander van Doorn who is considered as one of the most creative and highly influential talent with his top label Doorn records nurturing young talents seeds from around the world and finally the crazy, sexy, maddening sound of Bassjackers. Young and up for it crowd was the main inhabitants of this stage all night long and they seem to go ballistic having a party night to remember.

Pete Tong and Sven Vath at All Gone Pete Tong Arena on Saturday night
One of the must check sonic attractions that I had to visit was of course the incredible Pete Tong who has the most recognisable voice in the electronic music industry thanks to his influential radio show on BBC Radio 1 and his DJ sets are simply magnificent. Pete Tong is considered an old school DJ who looks very  concentrated on what he is playing and he is rather not interested to put up a show behind the decks and look entertaining. Despite his popularity, at Creamfields he had an incredible deep tech house set with sonic textures of moody and melodic in one melting magic pot that could hypnotise you and keep you dancing all night long. Last set of the night at this very busy arena mainly from an older sophisticated musically literate and educated crowd came from the hands of the most busy techno DJ in the universe Sven Vath, who is also another case of a DJ that despite his global status as an icon because of his catalytic contribution in our culture, he remains humble and highly focused on delivering a DJ set that worth your money spent on your ticket. Techno that you dance to and feel the incredible energy radiating to your body from your head to the toe and back. If German perfection is not just a sale tag then Sven Vath represents it 100% doing what he knows best to do without concessions.

Yousef and Andrea Oliva with deep twisted vibes at the Ants Arena
Last Arena that was running until 04.00 in the morning was The Ants. After interviewing Yousef I  had to observe his 4 decks set. He was focused and totally immersed behind his decks providing warm vibes of dark house and techno that was pounding and infectious in a very floating way. The crowd was totally into his sonic landscapes  and his DJ skills were evident throughout. I'm glad that despite the hype of the mainstage DJs there are still fans to keep the underground vibes disseminating all over the world and Yousef is one of those artist who give an excellent reputation for his home town Liverpool. Final DJ performing at the impressive futuristic stage was Andrea Oliva. His set was haunting and mesmerising with the right amount of pulsating basslines, metallic drums, heart-moving grooves and soul-shaking rhythms. Definitely Ants stage for 2nd  year at Creamfields put together a line-up that stood out and kept visitors returning for more throughout the day.

The music ended at 4.00 so slowly we had to move towards the camping village that the party of course continued and everybody was so excited that it was very difficult to sleep straight away. I checked the tent and despite some occasional showers it was still very dry but what I didn't consider was the oxygen that was very difficult to get through the tent so despite that I stayed nice and dry in the morning I had difficulty to breath easily. Overall, the 3rd day at Creamfields run smoothly and I was very glad to be part of this incredible gathering of same minded people who love electronic music so much and to have the opportunity to interview wide variety of electronic music artists. Sweet dreams are made in the grounds of Creamfield's camping village.

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  4 at the magic world of Creamfields 2016

Read here Review of Day 1 & 2

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: