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Review: Gottwood Festival 2019

It all started on a Thursday afternoon, with varying degrees of sleep and preparation the night before, 5,000 people set off on their pilgrimage to the Welsh countryside all in search of the Carreglwyd Estate, more commonly known amongst festival-goers as ‘Gottwood’.

Gottwood, being labelled one of the most scenic festivals in the UK, lived up to this tag on arrival: You’re greeted by the stunning Welsh coastline that weaves its way into the horizon or – as they say in Wales, ‘it was lush, it was’. In store was an unforgettable weekend that offered an enormous range of selectors, from the talented up-and-comers to the heavy-hitters, in a setting so picturesque, no one even cared they were in Wales.

What better way to direct the energy of a crowd riled up on their first night of a festival than sending them to a sweaty barn to dance their hearts out? On Thursday night we were graced with the dulcet tones of Enzo Siragusa’s jungle set; it was quite the way to kick off four nights of grooving and dancing in the only converted barn in the country that had the potential to be used as a festival stage. The room retained its crowd throughout the set, no one being brave enough to holster their gun-fingers and fight their way through the sea of the sweaty masses.

Friday offered the first full day to explore and was probably my favourite, despite the now decidedly Welsh weather. It is a testament to the efforts of those who put on Gottwood that they are able to design so many unique stages that all felt intrinsically different in their own way. Each stage has its carefully curated feel from The Walled Garden, which was a tucked away haven from the Godless sweat-pits in The Barn.

Some of the more open stages such as The Curve and Trigon offered people the opportunity to dance in the open as they enjoyed their completely natural, un-supplemented euphoria.

Peach b2b Nathan Micay was a real highlight and Ricky’s Disco offered the perfect environment, being one of the tighter spaces to pop a whine in the festival. The compactness of the tent resembled something of an Oak House flat party or a Saturday night queue for Turkiss, as people were so rammed up against one another, they had little else but their will to survive to ensure they didn’t start weeping.

The set itself was one of the more entertaining ones in the weekend as they both tried to outdo each other in terms of the ‘wickedness’ of their tracks. It proved that these two DJs were people who took their profession seriously enough to be able to cooly drop a set of ridiculousness to cap off the weekend.

The amount of talent on show on Sunday really made it a great way to round off the weekend. Bradley Zero b2b Shanti Celeste was a real highlight of the weekend’s music. They brought the techno, we brought the tech-yes. Move D also seriously knows how to ‘shake-his-thang’ and watching him propel everyone through a somewhat weary Sunday afternoon showed that.

As everyone tried not to pretend the end was nigh, Crazy P took the reins. What could have been quite a mellow way to end the festival was greeted with Danielle Moore doing what she does best: Singing. The crowd was one of the biggest of the weekend, all summoned to wave goodbye to the tenth year of Gottwood. As the set came to an end, over to our right a fireworks display began which was perhaps the best culmination of what was described as a particularly over-zealous friend as “one of the best weekends of their life”. I couldn’t help but agree.

The weekend was brought to a close with a pub lunch in a neighbouring town; the infamous Black Lion Inn, Llanfaethlu. I said I would drop them a review on Facebook but thought what better way than to name them here. The fish and chips were hot, Welsh, and good.

Gonewood but definitely not forGottwood.

10/10.

Tags: festival, gottwood, gottwood festival, house, techno, wales

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