Vandelay x The Tower
A lot of festivals in the UK tend to ignore the small details and focus heavily on the music rather than the experience of the festival itself. I’ve found the best festivals I’ve attended have always been the one where I don’t just cherish the sets of the DJs I’ve seen, but also hold onto to the actual experience of attending. Not only telling my friends how sick the music was, but how great the venue was how well the stages were arranged, how everything just felt perfect. That being said, I’m more than excited for The Tower Festival on June 29th in the East Midlands. 700 capacity with a 24 hour license, I know clubs bigger than that, so one talks about intimacy, you can’t get closer than that. It’s not a festival-by-numbers where you’re bashing past people, squeezing in your tent between two other groups who have no interest in you whatsoever, but rather a festival that encourages you to build connections, and creates a community of people sharing the same intention, to have a good time.
The creative direction this year is headed by Hesselbrand. Yes. Hesselbrand. To architects, Hesselbrand are like the equivalent to Ben UFO or Joy O to us music lovers. When you talk about experiencing space, and how spaces can be transformed by design, Hesselbrand demonstrate this in the most unique of ways. You only have to look at the British Pavillion at the Venice Bienalle (yes we know our stuff) to become even more impressed at the effort that The Tower are taking into creating an unforgettable experience. The founding director of Hesselbrand himself, Jesper Henriksson refers to shock-absorbing dancefloors, polarized glass roofs and interactive light/video installations that will “intensify the multi-sensory experience”. This commitment to turning a festival into something more is rarely seen, and is greatly appreciated, especially when you think about the size of the festival itself.
Our fellow internet radio station Netil Radio (big up) will be providing the live streaming in a way we haven’t witnessed before, and of course cameras and phones are discouraged from the dancefloor so guests stay within the moment, rather than trying to witness it through their devices. Muddled Marauders, Ossia, Inner Totality Family and Little Gay Brother are all in attendance as well to ensure that the party is popping, with performers to ignite the party. A lot of people forget about the environmental impact of festivals, the litter, the carbon impact, and to be honest, not a lot of festivals do anything about it. The Tower combat this by not only planting a tree for every ticket sold, but Woodville Project Boutique camping means eco-friendly camping. Talk about going green.
The Line Up is full of old and new faces alike, a lot of upcoming DJs, producers and musicians coming together with some established names, which is what we like to see, with Childsplay, DJ Calypso, DJ Bus Replacement Service and A Boy From Outer Space all getting their dues, acts we’ve been major fans of since day so it’s great to see them on a large platform. Optimo, no introduction needed, are headlining, with an extended set, digging deep into the depths of electronic music. Dan Shake, one of my personal faves but also Moodymann’s as well shall be in attendance playing all things dance, and from down under, Tornado Wallace makes a rare appearance at The Tower, with some extraordinary beats. It really is a line up you can’t beat.
Tickets are available from RA, or the festival’s website (https://www.the-tower.co.uk/tickets/), already on Tier 3, but at 70 quid, you have no reason to complain. We’ve been kindly granted two guest list tickets that we shall be giving out in a competition further down the line, but get your tickets ASAP as this will sell out, and honestly, this festival could just be that one in a thousand experience of a lifetime. Hope to see some familiar faces there as always.