Review: Captured Festival

Last year, I visited the White Isle for the first time and enjoyed it so much that I found myself crying hysterically on the day of my flight (I have since discovered this is not uncommon), as I simply didn’t feel ready to leave. My friends and I had gone for a long weekend and only managed to get to a couple of parties, one of which was Captured Festival, Ibiza’s only Trance festival, which is held in an abandoned zoo. This year, I listed it as one of my 3 must-visit electronic music festivals and spent most of the summer getting excited about returning to my favourite island and seeing what Captured 2016 had in store for us Trance fanatics.

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The highly appealing swimming pool

The day started off nicely – it was blissfully hot and the first thing I laid eyes upon when I entered the zoo was a swimming pool, which must have been closed last year as I don’t remember it being there, but I was very pleased to see it and got in almost right away. Once I’d cooled off, I clambered out of the pool, feeling nicely refreshed and went and stood in the queue for body painting. This was a bit of an error on my part; the queue was so long and there was no shade, meaning everyone was getting a bit restless and grumpy, but we were all determined to get ourselves painted! However, after a while, I heard the intro to Oxia’s ‘Domino’, one of my favourite tracks (an oldie, but a goodie) and decided I had to go and dance to it. It was coming from the Main Stage, where Sam Mitcham was manning the decks, and he went on to play another Techno classic, ‘Talking to You’ by Josh Wink. Seamlessly blending in the Trance with the Techno, Sam treated us to tracks like Jerome Isma-Ae’s remix of Orkidea’s ‘Nana’ and Dan Brazier’s bootleg of the legendary ‘God Is A DJ’. By the time he’d finished his set, I realised I’d probably lost my place in the body-painting queue… oh well. Totally worth it!

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Max Graham working his magic

Next to take to the Main Stage was Max Graham, who I’d never seen before, so I was intrigued to see what kind of set he’d play. Like Sam, he mixed Trance with Techno, getting a thumbs up from me as I love both genres and always appreciate a DJ with an eclectic style. Max kicked things off with the beautiful ‘Sun in Your Eyes’ by Above & Beyond- what a way to start! He then mixed that in to a brilliant remix of ‘Power’, courtesy of Hoxton Whores & HXTN before throwing in beloved Trance classic, ‘As The Rush Comes’, which I’ve heard on the dancefloor countless times, yet somehow it never gets old. As the sun began to set, Max slowed things down with his own remix of ‘Not Enough’ by Solid Stone and Jennifer Rene, a blissfully Balearic number, before ending with Mark Knight’s ‘Yebisah’. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed by that performance.

Thrillseekers playing ‘Affinity’ in the Seal Pit

Opting for a change of scene, I walked across to the Seal Pit Arena, where the mighty Thrillseekers was halfway through playing a vinyl set. The arena was absolutely packed, and each and every person was dancing. That’s what I love about these types of event; people really let go and enjoy themselves, rather than standing around posing, which makes a nice change from the likes of Amnesia and some other superclubs. As expected, Steve played a number of Trance classics, including an instrumental version of 4 Strings’ ‘Take me Away’ and ‘Universal Nation’ by Push. He also treated us to the gorgeous ‘Clear Blue Water’ by Oceanlab, before finishing on one of my favourites, ‘Age of Love’. A flawless ending to a flawless set.

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John O’Callaghan on the Main Stage

I had to go back to the Main Stage after that, as up next was John O’Callaghan, whose set at Cream the previous week was so fantastic that it had left me wanting more. This time, he managed to excel himself and play an even better set, during which I simply could not stop stomping! I had arrived just as Will Atkinson was finishing things off with his awesome remix of ‘Sunset on Ibiza’ and felt a bit gutted that I’d missed him but hey, you can’t see them all and unfortunately it’s necessary to make a few sacrifices at these festivals. JOC blasted out a number of vocal gems, beginning with Flynn & Denton’s ‘Say My Name’ and proceeding with another favourite of mine, ‘Ashley’ by Filo & Peri. Naturally, the crowd were singing along and the singing got louder as JOC progressed with a track of his, ‘Stay With Me’ – I think that had to be one of the highlights of the entire day. It was banger after banger after that, with so many more great vocal tracks, including Bryan Kearney’s ‘I Don’t Deserve You’ and a remix of Zara’s ‘Lost’. He played more of his own tracks as well, such as ‘Lies Cost Nothing’, ‘One Special Particle’ and his remix of ‘Save Me’ by Gareth Emery. Towards the end, the magnificent Mr O’Callaghan took us all right back with an old school number, Binary Finary’s ‘1999’. Could not have asked for more than that.

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The crowd going nuts during JOC’s set

After two hours of incessant dancing, I decided to take a short break with my friends on one of the bean bags by the pool. From there, we could hear the pounding beats emerging from the Animal Hospital, a new stage hosting Hard Dance acts such as BK, Andy Farley and Rob Tissera. I had wanted to check out this stage, but simply couldn’t tear myself away from the Trance!  After roughly half an hour, we made our way back to the Main Stage, just as Bryan Kearney dropped a banging remix of ‘Come to Me’, which the crowd went mental to. Despite being the last act on that stage, Bryan managed to keep everyone’s energy levels high with uplifting mash-ups like ‘Pearl Airport’ (Photographer vs Johnny Shaker) and ‘Out Of BeachWave’ (Rank 1 vs John O’Callaghan vs Nalin & Kane). That’s three for the price of one right there! Like the other DJs I’d seen that day, he also dropped in a couple of Trance classics, namely ‘Supernature’ by Stoneface & Terminal and his edit of ‘Take Me Away’. I also got to hear the very song that first got me into Trance, the sublime ‘Saltwater’ by Chicane. That was a special moment for me. Kearney finished his set off with a filthy Psy track, which I am yet to discover the name of, but you can hear it in the video below. 

Bryan Kearney ending his set in style

Things came to an end at midnight, when everyone began making their way onto the bus to head back into town and on to the after party. I was exhausted, but couldn’t resist going along so that I could see Jordan Suckley, Scot Project and Sam Mitcham (for the fifth time!) All in all, a combination of the atmosphere at Captured Festival 2016, the glorious weather, and the unbeatable line-up made it a true success and I’m already looking forward to seeing how the festival shapes up next year.

Written by: Milly Day

My 3 Must-Visit Electronic Music Festivals in Europe This Summer

In my last post, I wrote about Luminosity Beach Festival, my favourite festival of 2015, which sadly I’m unable to return to this year. However, I’m planning to make up for it by attending three other awesome events, which are about as different from one another as they could be. Below are details of my must-visit electronic music festivals in Europe this summer and reasons why I think you should join me at each one.

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Will Atkinson at Captured Festival 2015

1. O.Z.O.R.A
Location: Dadpuszta, Hungary
Date: August 1st – 7th
Tickets: €100 – €130

O.Z.O.R.A. Festival is one of the biggest open-air gatherings and, with its location in a lush green valley just 30km from Lake Balaton, it is the perfect place to embrace nature and music, and simply let go. The festival brings together DJs and producers of Psytrance, Goa Trance, Techno and Acid House, who will keep the audience entertained each evening through to the following afternoon on two stages – the Main Stage and Dragon’s Nest, both of which are decorated with colourful tapestries and psychedelic patterns. However, this festival does not revolve solely around music; it’s about bringing people together to share knowledge, ideas and experiences. There are also daily yoga sessions and a variety of workshops on everything from alternative massage therapies to batik. Sounds a bit like a playground for adults, no?

Why it’s in my top 3

I love the idea of a week-long outdoor party, plus I’m just so intrigued, as I keep being told there are no words to describe Ozora; you simply have to go to find out what all the fuss is about. Looks like I’ll have to get my hands on a ticket then!

What to expect

The banner greeting visitors at the festival site reading “Welcome to paradise!” should give a pretty good indication of what the festival is like.

Artist I most want to see

Progressive Techno duo Nanoplex, not only because my good friend Chris Williams makes up one half, but also because I love their sound.

Useful links

Ozora website
Facebook event page
View full line-up
Buy tickets

2. Captured
Location: Benimussa Park, Ibiza.
Date: September 11th
Tickets: €39.50 – €65

Captured Festival is run by Driftwood Ibiza, the guys who put on the fantastic Trance boat parties and Sunk nights at Vista Club, but this takes place in a rather more unusual setting: an abandoned zoo. I was lucky enough to be able to go to Captured last year, and it certainly did not disappoint. This year, the line-up is even more spectacular and, with three arenas featuring laser shows, visuals, dancers and even magicians (say whaaat) I can guarantee it will be just as good, if not better. On the Main Stage, you’ve got the big names playing Future Trance and Progressive, whilst the DJs at the Seal Pit will be spinning vinyl only (expect to hear some true classics). 2016 also sees the introduction of the Animal Hospital, where some of the best Hard Dance acts will take to the decks, so if you like your beats a little more pounding, then this is the place to be! As well as these arenas, the venue is home to an open air pool, several chill-out areas, a massage area and a string of food and merchandise stalls- you can’t ask for much more than that.

Why it’s in my top 3

It’s Ibiza’s only Trance festival and I’m a Trance nut, so I couldn’t possibly head to the White Isle without paying a visit to this one! Also, who can say no to a festival held in a zoo?!

What to expect

Euphoric Trance music, friendly faces (most of which will be adorned with animal themed face paints) and the vibe of a huge festival combined with the intimacy of a much smaller one. Oh, and plenty of sunshine of course 🙂

Artist I most want to see

Menno de Jong. He played at Captured last year and stole the show, in my opinion.

More information

Captured website
Facebook event page
View full line-up
Buy tickets

3. Sunfall
Location: Brockwell Park, London.
Date: July 9th
Tickets: £50 – £62.50

Sunfall is being brought to the UK for the first time this year by the team behind Outlook and Dimensions Festivals, who have joined forces with three London clubs – Phonox, The Nest and XOYO – to create a unique event that reflects London’s eclectic music scene. There are two parts to this festival; a daytime rave in Brockwell Park, and several after parties with different themes, with one ticket granting you access to both the main event and an after party of your choice (I’ve gone for Dimensions with Ryan Elliott and Joy Orbison). The best bit about Sunfall is that, unlike all other London festivals, there is no curfew, meaning you can keep the party going till the wee hours of the morning. The festival programmer, whose name is Andy Peyton, said the following: “Our background is in London clubbing, we understand the importance of great sound and longer sets. With Sunfall we wanted to bring that attention to detail to the British summer festival we know and love. Our day-to-night concept allows us to marry these two cultures.” Cheers Andy!

Why it’s in my top 3

It’s a brand new festival and I’m always up for trying something new, plus I like the concept of having one main event and lots of after parties. I’m a sucker for an after party, as I don’t appear to have a stop button!

What to expect

A wide range of electronic music performances, from House and Techno, to Dubstep and Drum ‘n’ Bass, by both renowned artists and more underground DJs.

Artist I most want to see

It would have to be Ben Klock, as I saw him play at Industrial Copera in Granada and he absolutely blew me away. After four hours of relentless stomping, I could no longer feel my feet.

Useful links

Sunfall website
Facebook event page
View full line-up
Get tickets

I’ll be writing reviews of each of these festivals too, so stay tuned!

Written by: Milly Day