Last Saturday, 10,000 party people from the UK and beyond travelled down to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire to celebrate all things dance. With the electronic music scene being stronger than ever, EE gave us the biggest mix of bass, house and techno on seven stages that one could only dream of. With the weather forecast against us, we did worry a little but when the (short lived) rain did come down, out came the macs, the rain jackets and a sea of umbrellas, holding a united front – nothing could stop this party.
Maxxi Soundsystem kicked off the celebrations on the main stage with a thrilling set that really got the party started. “The people that turn up at 11 in the morning are really ready for it,” said the Brighton DJ and producer backstage. “They looked like a lovely bunch – smiley, happy kids.” It really was smiles all round when we joined in the party, catching Steve Lawler’s set full of those house tunes he’s known so well for. In front of the main stage, the crowd was growing minute by minute, each person in their rave gear best; mesh tops and short shorts, and that was just the guys.
Heading to the Art Of Dark tent to see Parisian producer Dyed Soundorom, we were transported to a dark and mysterious world of underground beats. Performing in front of a large light installation in a dark and packed-out tent, it felt as if we were dancing in an underground club at two in the morning, not two in the afternoon in the grounds of a large manor house. Where ever we went an air of elation followed.
On our way to see tINI at Mulletover in the Switch Yard, we heard some familiar tracks that caught our attention. Following the sound, we ended up at the Red Bull Studios stage and we weren’t the only ones. T. Williams brought the crowds to the smallest stage at the festival to catch him playing some seriously catchy beats, constantly teasing us with that drop. When we finally managed to pull ourselves away we headed over to the Switch Yard just in time for tINI’s set. Waifs & Strays also made their way to see tINI. We spoke to the Bristol-based duo before their set and they told us how they’ve become quite accustomed to Eastern Electrics. “We played here last year at The Star of EE pub – it was really fun, the crowd were wicked, really responsive and now we’re back playing the same stage this year.”
The only negative we had with EE was that the line up was full of so many great acts, we found it hard to pick which stage to pump our fists to. Route 94, Waze & Odyssey, Ellen Alien and Art Department all played at the same time, so choosing which one to go and dance to wasn’t easy. In the end we headed back to the main stage where Art Department got down with their deep house selves. “The crowd were really cool, we had fun tonight” said the Canadian techno/house Legends Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White. “It’s great to see Kerri [Chandler] play after us. We’re going to go check him out.” As did all the DJ’s we spoke to; Maxxi Soundsystem and Waifs & Strays also expressed interest in the headliners set on the main stage, so who we’re we to not listen. Ending a spectacular day, Kerri Chandler’s set was an immense showcase of dance music and why it’s so infectious.
As the sun set on Eastern Electrics, the crowd headed south to London and The Coronet Theatre in Elephant and Castle, where Kerri Chandler, Maxxi Soundsystem, Route 94, Tania Vulcano, Monika Kruse and Voyeur kept the party pumping well into the early hours.