It has been a train wreck of a summer so far, but if there's anything for outdoor ravers to look forward to then Saturday 4th of August is offering a ray of hope to those put out by the ongoing tropical rainstorms. Eastern Electrics festival will be touching down in Area 12, welcoming 10,000 dance heads to the Docklands area of Greenwich, for a one day takeover showcasing an eclectic array of talent from across the world of underground dance music.
With all but VIP passes sold out, the pre-festival hype has been pretty intense. An unsurprising result, given the years of work building Eastern Electrics a reputation that has infiltrated and spread its way throughout the many circles of UK dance music. One glance at the festivals bill poster is testament to this.
The main stage hosts a big enough draw by itself, bringing together a line-up stacked with deep house heavyweights. Headlining will be the mighty Azari III with their full LIVE outfit. You'll also find Crosstown Rebels founder Damian Lazarus, Hot Creations head honcho Jamie Jones and Maceo Plexx (aka Maetrik) stepping up to the decks.
Lining up beside them will be a further seven promoter / label crews, all of whom have curated their own stages. Legends such as MK and Keri Chandler will be mixing with the new school on the Black Atlantic stage which will also be featuring Bristol's Julio Bashmore, Bicep and Joy Orbison. Elsewhere Nina Kravitz and the Krankbrothers are hosting their very own Krankbrother stage. Whilst holding it down for the Found crew you'll be able to lock into the sounds of Richy Ahmed, Boddika and Koreless.
2020 Vision, Hands On Decks, Futureboogie, Return To The Future and Trix will all be adding their own personal touches to the party. There are a lot of flavours on offer, whether it's wonky deep bass lines, rigid rhythmic progressions or a bit of hard as nails sub bass action, Eastern Electrics has upheld its tradition for bringing together an innovative collection of talent under one roof.
Put simply this is going to be one of the biggest summer blow outs of the year and the party doesn't just end at Area 12. The official Eastern Electrics after-party will be kicking off just round the corner at Proud2 who will be welcoming on board promoters Just Jack and Junk for the night. We caught up with the promoters for a quick chat about what to expect.
Welcome Eastern Electrics crew, you are the people who make this whole thing happen, who started it all from scratch. Could you run down a brief history of the festival?
Ever since we first started talk of doing big events together five years ago, we always had the intention of a festival, but we wanted to grow our fan base organically - which is how we ended up doing the large scale warehouse parties at Great Suffolk Street. We wanted to build a trust in us and our ability put on these large scale events, so that when the big time finally came, people knew the festival would be good! Even though the whole idea behind Eastern Electrics has always been to cross musical boundaries, this is on an even large scale than has previously been possible. So it's been pretty exciting.
All the standard tickets for the Eastern Electrics festival in August have sold out. You must be bouncing off the walls?
All remaining tickets have completely sold out and yes, we are really pleased to be in this position three weeks ahead of the festival. But, the work doesn't end there and there is still plenty to keep us occupied over the next few weeks!
You're hosting Eastern Electrics in the great outdoors at Area 12 this year. Can you give us the lowdown on the venue and why it's being used?
Area 12 is an area of wasteland on the Greenwich Peninsula, with amazing views of the London skyline, that is being developed and used as a festival site over the Olympic Period. It's in our nature to try something new, so this was the ideal venue when Clapham Common fell through. It's also nice that it takes us back to our industrial roots - the car parks and warehouses that first held EE parties when we first started out. Aside from all this, the facilities are great - fully stocked bars, great food, posh toilets (as opposed to portals) and everything else you'd expect to find at a festival! We are working with noise control audio to supply the sound systems for each of the stages which is well known for providing excellent sound quality for live and DJ sets.
There's going to be 17,000 people descending on Greenwich for the event, how do you feel being in charge of a party this BIG?
It's actually 10,000 people! After the move from Clapham to Greenwich, although our venue is capable of holding 20,000 people, we had to cap the number of people at 10,000 due to restrictions imposed from the Olympics committee. Either way it's still a big responsibility, but obviously very exciting at the same time.
What's it like having such a diverse array of artists, labels and promoters involved?
While we're proud of the diversity of the line-up I think the most important thing for us is that everybody involved from artists to promoters is really pushing the music forwards at the moment. Whichever strand of house, bass or techno it is, these acts and brands are right at the forefront of all the exciting things going on in the UK with music at the moment, and that's why they're part of the festival.
What are your top three festival tips for having a good time at Eastern Electrics?
1 - Make sure you see someone you haven't seen play before - we highly recommend every single act!
2 - Get involved - there will be plenty of on the day competitions, and things to get involved aside from the music so don't miss out on those!
3 - Remember it! - Take lots of photos & videos, we're gonna want to see them!
Having run Eastern Electrics events for a while now, what are your favourite memories from past parties?
Rob's: probably NYE a couple of years ago with Seth, Damian, Jamie & Geddes playing in the tunnels under London Bridge - that was a pretty spectacular night!
Will's: Laurenet Garnier dropping Donna Summer I feel love at the stroke of midnight for our last new years party! Very appropriate song in hindsight.
Can you give us three tracks that you think are going to personify the vibes of this summer's Eastern Electrics festival?
Yeah Yeah - Waifs & Strays, Burnin - MK, Dusky - Flo Jam. Have a listen and you'll agree!
Once all is said and done at Area 12, there's going to be an after party right?
Of course there's an after party! We are lucky that the rather colossal and very well equipped Proud2 is just a five minute walk away from the festival site. It's perfect for the high end production we want to carry through with us into the night and also to hold a what we imagine to be, very up for it audience! Yet more exciting brands join us in the form of Just Jack, Junk Department & ManMakeMusic along with Damian Lazarus, Art Department, Tale of US, Mosca, Thugfucker and Kyle Hall just announced plus quite a few more exciting names. We imagine tickets for this might sell out before the show as well so it's gonna be a busy day and night for us! Tickets are on sale here.
Anything you want to shout about or any advice to give to people heading down to the party?
Obviously we are based very near to where some of the Olympic games are happening - please plan your route to and from the festival carefully beforehand, making sure you give yourself plenty of time. And just come with your party hat on!
Words: James Paterson
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