Festival season has officialy started and we decided it’s also time to go and enjoy the summer vibes. We decided that for us, the first festival of the season will be a “newbie” in the ranks of festivals – CityFest in Pardubice, Czech Republic. It’s not so often, that an open-air festival is taking place nearby the city center and we were really interested about the whole outcome of this new festival, which promised a really huge lineup!
Above & Beyond, Jerome Isma-Ae, Ilan Bluestone, Super8 & Tab were the headliners of the outdoor stage and we have to say that our hearts were stolen the moment we firstly saw the lineup.
25th of June was set to be the date and we couldn’t wait for that date to come!
HOT GIRLS, NO CUES, FREE BEER
As we arrived to the place of the festival shortly after 14:00 (gates were supposed to open at 14:00) we claimed our guestlist passes with no problem at all (some promoters tend to forget about some of the media passes), but the festival gates weren’t opened just yet – a short delay creating short cues at the entrance, nothing too harsh. The temperature was going strong, so strong that it was around 35 °C and I can’t even express how satisfying it was to see the hostesses from Desperados, giving out bottles of tequila beer for free – either a coincidence, but maybe also a great gesture from the promoter! We got into the area of the festival shortly after 14:30 and started to rate the amount of bars, food stands, etc. The whole area was bigger than we expected and so were the bars, which were well equipped with a vast variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and very suprising prices, drafted beer for just 1 EUR, ciders for 1,4 EUR, water for 1 EUR aswell – you don’t see prices that low on every festival!
Price of the food was decent – from 1 – 4 EUR, regarding the type of food you wanted, the variety was pretty good. We even noticed a special coffee stand, a great beach area with couchettes and even a ferris wheel! There was also a large number of places to sit, near the food stands, bars, simply said – few steps from everywhere.
The number of toilets was sufficient, no cues at all – really comfortable.
WATER TO REFRESH? NOPE!
However what we missed the most was a possibility of simple, clear water for people to refresh with, spray their heads, bodies, hands as nothing like that was offered anywhere in the area and the temperature did not drop under 30 °C for the whole day. It was said by the promoter after the gig, that there was running water in the toilets, but there was no offiical info about it and they could have posted it on the site or FB event, so still – boo!
Regarding the stage and the audio setup: Stage was really decent, nothing too megalomaniac, nothing too small and the space between the stage and dancers wasn’t too big, so it was really nice to be so close with favorite DJs. Sound was clear, strong and you could hear well even in the rear (farest) part of the festival. During some of the sets we’ve noticed that the sound was a bit overbassed, but it’s hard to say if the sound crew did it or the DJ, as the sound was mostly very good during 90% of the day.
SOUND WAS GOOD AND THE WEATHER EVEN BETTER
The real deal however, is always the music! The time-table was set in this order: Michael C, Michael Burian, Super8 & Tab, Ilan Bluestone, Jerome Isma-Ae, Above & Beyond. It was shown later on, that the time-table seriously needed a different order, because people did not enjoy that much, because of the changes in the pace of the music. We fully understand, that the promoter cannot always choose the time-table the way he wants it, according to the conditions from the perfomers, but we really wish it would be like this: Michael C, Michael Burian, Jerome Isma-Ae, Ilan Bluestone, Above & Beyond, Super8 & Tab, that would have been absolutely perfect!
Regarding the music itself, Michael C, a local czech DJ who has been on the scene for a very long time now, proved once more, that he fully understands what is the right music to set the mood, to warm-up the party and to build up the atmosphere. His set was really soothing, combining sounds of the famous anjunadeep artists, but also the sounds of tech-house vibes – and the result was an amazing warm-up set that prepared the mood very nicely!
Michael Burian – well, if you want to kill the mood after a great start, you let this guy in and he’ll do the rest. Boring set from start to end with around 3 bright moments (tracks) which can’t really save the rest of the set. His set was just a lineup fodder, just a filling, a not very well done transition between the start and the coming of S8 & T.
The finnish duo (Super8 & Tab) came to the stage and we were all very happy to see the guys again and we can judge that by way they looked at us, they felt the same. As they were going through their 90 minute set, they proved that after all those years, they simply know what are they doing. Perfectly balanced set, which was set exactly in between the typical melodic sounds of trance and the heavy weights of „EDMish“ beats – we haven’t seen an unhappy person in the crowd during their set and to end it all, even „Elektra“ and „Suru“ were played, what more can you want?
The premier of Ilan Bluestone was something so many people waited for. And Ilan gave them exactly the stuff they (us too) wanted. The typical heavy Bluestone sound was present during the whole set, well known vocals from the anjuna kitchen were going loud both from the speakers and the crowd, hands were flying way up everyone’s head and Ilan was enjoying it all so much. Best moment? Well, when „Bigger Than Love“ was played, there was no need for any vocals in the track, as everyone was singing so loud that the track was almost unhearable, such-a-moment!
Jerome Isma-Ae was the next performer to take over the decks and we do love his productions and his sets really much, but the change in the pace of the music was so noticable after magical sets from S8&T and Ilan, that when Jerome started, everybody noticed the change of the music so much, that some people even left the stage for drinks, etc. It was a real shame, because from our point of view, Jerome’s set was absolutely blazing and we surely did danced like hell. So, musicaly the set was great, but Jerome should have gotten a different time position in the lineup.
Now, it was time for the „real deal“ to happen, the moment the whole festival waited for was finally here as Above & Beyond entered the stage after letting the crowd cheer a bit which was exactly what was needed. They smiled, started the set with „Arty – Patriots“ and the whole crowd fu*king exploded. The atmosphere was so palpable and the crowd were like wild beasts from the start of the till the very end. We were given such tunes as „Thing Called Love“, „Satellite“, but also their newest bangers like „A.I.“ or the very emotional return of Oceanlab with „Another Chance“.
However the two absolutes highlights of A&B set were when „Walter White“ was played, with the visulation of Heisenberg on the screens and saying the legendary „say my name!“ and then the newest piece from the studio of A&B – the new perfect remix for an ultimate classic „Moby – Porcelain“. People cried, eyes were shut and the whole crowd just simply went on a magical journey, which can barely be described.
Above & Beyond once again showed their speciality, their soul, their undying love for their fans and most of all, the neverending hype for making all the people so happy with their music.
The whole outdoor stage was closed with massive fireworks, proclaiming an end to the outdoor show and people were leaving the outdoor area with bright smiles on their faces, knowing, they just been a part of something they will never forget, because…life is made of small moments like these.
8/10 is the ranking for festival as a whole, written in parts:
DJs: Michael C – 9/10, Michael Burian – 3/10, Super8 & Tab – 10/10, Ilan Bluestone – 8/10, Jerome Isma-Ae – 9/10, Above & Beyond – 11/10 🙂
Sound: 8/10 – good sound, well stacked, well aimed, sometimes overbassed.
Visualization: 8/10 – Very good and well done, nothing too big, but sufficient!
Bars: 10/10 – no cues, prices very low and friendly bartenders with smiles on their faces
Food: 8/10 – could be a bit cheaper, but still pretty decent.
Toilets: 10/10 – no cues, high number of them.
Water refreshment: 1/10 – no possible refreshment of fresh water to spray your head or body and the temperature went over 32 °C.
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