Review: Love and Light Festival 2011

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Alongside the booze and supplies packed in the car was our blanket, the affectionately named “Jeffrey”. We were taking him to Worcester for his first party – the Love and Light Festival.

The Love was apparent on arrival as we found ourselves parking next to old friends who’d pulled in at the same time from the opposite direction. Static Flow was playing as we stood on the hill surveying the scene spread out at our feet. It was a helluva set up. The dance floor lay next to the river, with the pool behind and the bridge over the river to the left. The décor was bright and rounded with lots of chill areas and the energy on the dance floor was palpable, even to those of us who had just arrived.

The first hour or so was spent catching up with friends, going to tell the “We Love Ice Cream” couple that I loved them too and getting into the rhythm of the party. After a hectic week it took a while to unwind, but the quality of the sound rig and the video DJing, both in terms of the equipment and the artists, were on a level I’ve never seen before – quite magical. Headroom’s trademark swinging beats were what I needed. He got me loose on the dance floor, got me flowing.

Then… Gandalf. What Headroom loosened, Gandalf exploded. The sound and the energy reverberated in the air. The hairs on my arms literally rose as if from static electricity. He had me glued airborne, totally released. I spent half his set leaving the ground and the other half in the air. Gandalf wasn’t a sound, he was a feeling.

Tune Raider and Jos grabbed hold of this energy and drove it home hard and steady, masterfully keeping a huge vibe floating on the floor. I had to peel myself away in the wee hours of the morning, to make sure I got some rest and quality time with Jeffrey. Out of sheer kindness Alex and Greg had appointed me as Sleeping Security Guard for their Coffee Shop (best cinnamon hot chocolate ever). Through the night I was occasionally woken (smiling, wide eyed) by supernatural tunes drifting from the dance floor.

After the morning rejuvenations, it was back to the dance floor. Lox was on, lifting the energy out of the ground. Long unseen mates began resurfacing and appearing. Shout out to my boy Lil’ J, we come in twos, brother. While Lox was winding down to some big admiration from the crowd, Neelix was getting locked in. After providing us with a quick flight safety briefing he taxied us onto the runway gathering the energy that Lox had cultivated. From there it was a vertical take off – only the dust that engulfed the dance floor was evidence of us ever having been on the ground. We were taken on a percussive flight with beautiful free slow wide turns …

Later, jet legs aching, I was lying by the pool in a mellow holiday languor, when a guy approached and asked, “Are you that guy from the party in Walmer Estate on Friday?” I nervously confirmed that I might have been in the vicinity that night, only to hear that I had allegedly stumbled into my friend’s kitchen and announced into the awkward silence “…Everybody … be less kak … and more awesome!”

Could have been worse. Apparently my drunken words of wisdom had been taken up as a mantra by the group of kitchen friends now at Love & Light. I felt like a guru. Daniel and your crowd, thanks for being awesome.

And so my weekend was tied up neatly and happily in that little bow. Just to top it off we joined Perfect Stranger’s set to unwind through soaring synths that sent our hearts up and our minds gently down. With a few percussively explosive drops to burn and shower that excess energy off, yeaaa boi!

The sun set over the dance floor, creeping under the shade netting and soaking the huge crowd that remained in warmth with the music. After one last session at the swings overlooking the dance floor we headed home, love and light pouring out at the seams.

Jason Bongers

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