Lost Village Festival Provides Weekend Of Electronic Escapism
Last weekend 4500 revellers travelled deep into the Lincolnshire countryside to party for three nights at Lost Village festival. 'The woods are waiting' was the phrase that had been used in the run up to the weekend, but as I first walked into a very open camping area it dawned on me that perhaps my tent wasn't likely to be nestled in a glade under a canopy of trees like I'd hoped. However saying that, it wasn't a let down as all three of the main stages were within the woodland and as the weather turned out to be pretty fabulous for most of the festival, it was a bonus to have these bits of space uncovered.
The Friday night started off with a special House of Davai Welcome Party with Russian Standard Vodka, featuring the legendary Grandmaster Flash, Crazy P and a special disco set from Jaymo & Andy George. This was predominantly just a warm up for the festival but the crowd got stuck in dancing away whilst sipping on some delicious vodka infused cocktails. Unfortunately the music ended at an early hour of 11pm, which in most eyes is really far too early, but on the other-hand it left punters aching for more and there were constant Mexican waves of cheers throughout the camp site.
Day two was when the festival got into full swing and I got a chance to really explore the site itself. Most of the food stalls, shops and bars were positioned in the themed and spacious Basecamp that surrounded an enticing little stage. This was a bonus stage as it hadn’t been mentioned in the initial line-up and for me it really made the weekend, adding atmosphere and a constant soundtrack of quality music to the hub of the festival.
Wandering into the forest I firstly came across The Ruins, which was by far the biggest stage, with it’s giant canopy covering the crowd. I stumbled across the still relatively new Cristoph playing a set, which ranged from synth drenched deep house to ambient minimal techno with a smattering of airy vocals. Other popular names also played here throughout the weekend such as Dusky, Huxley, Hannah Wants and Heidi along with head liners Jamie Jones; the founder of record label Hot Creations, DC10'S Paradise party and who also topped the RA DJ polls in 2014, then on Sunday, Radio 1's one and only Annie Mac.
Moving on past a delicious looking craft beer tent, I found myself next to the Abandoned Chapel stage in a sunny clearing within the trees. Krankbrother were on and the sun soaked crowd was dancing to catchy house set complete with summer vibes. The Abandoned Church saw an eclectic line up across the two days from the likes of Greg Wilson, Tiger & Woods and Harvey Sutherland, with head liners from duo Maribou State and Leon Vynehall, who’s reputations have only flourished over the last couple of years.
The Forgotton cabin stage was by far my favourite, not just because of the lineup (which included Tale of Us, Erol Alkan, John Talabot, Kolsch and Die Vogel), but also because of the intimacy of the audience and the proximity to the trees and lighting. Four Tet headlined the Saturday night and played through a tasty delight of a set, which included the beautiful 'Angel Echoes' from his 2010 album 'There is love in you'.
On the Sunday I woke up to the dreaded pitter-patter of rain drops on the tent roof, which brought to mind a rather gloomy outlook of the day, imagining hopping from cover to cover. On the contrary, the rain cleared quickly and by the time I was up and in Basecamp the sun was once again blazing down (with lots of pink shoulders appearing!) and the air was warm. Route 14 were there with a double decker cocktail bus from which I grabbed a cheeky Gin, elderflower and cucumber concoction that nicely washed down my tasty squash, halloumi and avocado burger from the breakfast club.
It was obvious that Moda Black, the creators of Lost Village, had done their upmost to break the boundaries of a standard electronic dance festival with effort gone into the festival extras such as Zest Theatre who eerily wandered around the woods costumed up and trying to escape the 'lost village’, which added the fairytale like mystery to the weekend. Hula hoop party's Laura kept popping up across the festival with numerous hoops for part goers to test out or were taught tricks, which certainly brought out the kid in many. The vintage shop Rokit had a fabulous spread of glittery, sequinned and retro garments for festivallers to purchase, along with Hair Barnet next door who created dos with pompoms, dinosaurs and flowers. It was all these extra things that made it feel more quirky, boutique and bizarre which is, music aside, what a festival should be about. My Sunday afternoon pretty much consisted of boogieing and basking in the sun, with the addition of a spontaneous paint (and glitter!) fight which I somehow found myself part of.
The music in Basecamp was so good that it was truly hard to leave, but the time came and moving on through the stages I drifted past a sweet sounding Maxxi Soundsystem, then past more wacky weirdness that consisted of a tea dance with a host of people who seemed to be waltzing amongst the foliage, to what sounded like Billie Holiday. John Talabot played on the Forgotten Cabin stage and did not disappoint. After an incredible Tale of Us set, I wandered back for food and as the sun was setting Jonas Rathsman played a spot on set which included New 'Mjondalen Disco Swingers – Eurodans' and 'Axel Boman- Abba 002'. Both sun kissed tracks will stick in my mind for a long while.
While Annie mac and Leon Vynehall drew the other two stages to a close I once again found myself back at my favourite spot at the Forgotten Cabin, where German producer and remixer DJ Koze was headlining. He played a beautifully colourful set, which started pretty low key with minimal techno and tribal beats that slowly built up with tracks such as his own remix of 'Moderat- Bad Kingdom'. The last thirty minutes were spine tingling and as I looked around it was clear that it wasn't just me who could feel the magic. This festival experience finished firstly with a song by the Ghanaian high life singer 'Ata Kak- Daa Nyinaa', one of the songs found on the 'Awesome tapes from Africa' blog, then moved sweetly into the stunning 'Sufjan Stevens- Death With Dignity'; an appropriate title for not only the set but also the end of a warm, musically rich and friendly festival.
For it’s festival debut Lost Village certainly gets a big thumbs up, and for a dance music festival it seemed to play an eclectic array of sounds. It felt like I was part of the Lost Village tribe and is something really special in the making. Lets just hope it stays that way.
To find out more about Lost Village Festival click here.
Words by Poppy Jones