REVIEW festival We Are FSTVL

We Are One Underrated Festival

From the minute we arrived at Upminster station early Saturday morning to the minute we left late Sunday night, you couldn’t help but feel the atmosphere that this festival creates. After being rushed into a fast moving queue and onto a ‘shuttle’ (party) bus we were taken a short ride from the hectic Upminster high street and into the vast array of fields and farmland behind the town.

Even with 50,000 fans descending on the festival we never felt that we had queued for anything too long and due to the shuttle bus system, entry to the festival was relatively controlled and quick.

As soon as we entered the enchanted festival gates you could tell that this festival was far more than just a few stages in a field. The five different zones of the festival each containing 2 stages – Ancient Realm, WHSE District, Favela Fiesta, Island Hideaway and Disco Tropics VIP – are dressed in their own unique theme using the stages and various props within the zones.

In terms of music the Sunday hosted a line-up consisting of many names you would expect to see holding residencies in Ibiza this year, compared with the Saturday which fielded more commercial acts with old legends such as Fatboy Slim headlining the day.

In terms of the best sets of the day, on Saturday, Amine Edge & Dance dropped a daytime set to an impressive sized crowd in the midst of the midday sun. We spent most our time exploring the smaller stages with more personality than the main stage and enjoyed high energy sets from Flava D and Redlight on the small tented UKF stage, as well as a technical set from Hannah Wants to finish the night on the MK Area 10 stage.

The Sunday for me was all about Armand Van Helden. The headliner produced the full package on the Defected In The House stage with dancers, a stunning laser show and an old-school high energy 2 hour set that had the whole crowd moving and singing along. Hot Since 82 and Patrick Topping also impressed the daytime crowds at the Paradise stage in the Island Hideaway Zone.

After a long weekend of dance and the occasional drum and bass acts we headed home via the shuttle bus to Upminster station once more, not without stopping for a final bite to eat at the vast selection of high quality food on offer at the festival. With many gourmet pop ups located in the festival we didn’t mind spending the extra few quid in return for some good quality filling grub.

Overall We Are FSTVL is a heavily underrated festival which, only being in its' fourth year, has a lot of potential growth hopefully seeing it become one the bigger festivals of the UK festival season in the years to come. We Are has a very current line-up and an atmosphere that would rival any festival that I’ve had the pleasure to attend.

Avatar f35b5e780ca3afb6d64266b1962884b1243a966e26fbd8992a96ba15c9d5e628


  • Agree, completely underrated festival! I attended this year as well and was buzzing for two days afterward. I think there are just so many festivals in London that this one gets lost in the noise, but such a shame because it is quality.