Still buzzing from the phenomenal experiences at the We Love Summer stage at Daisies, I got a strange sense of excitement when someone told me to go have a look at We Love Summer’s website for details on their season opener – before things were released on Facebook. As I hoped – We Love Summer was returning to Blue Rock! My first ever WLS, and still my favourite to date, was at Blue Rock and walking out of last year’s ‘Final Blue Rock’ was slightly emotional, but the trek (somehow I always forget there isn’t a path on the right, through the top bushes, and end up bundu bashing) down this weekend felt idyllic.
When we got to the entrance I was surprised the queue was so long, but this could be attributed to them actually checking every entrant’s ID, a day festival first for me. Impressive. Once we got through the ID check, the ticket processing was quick and we were in and ready to get festive! Well, we’re talking about security, post event I saw countless updates about stolen phones at the event – a common occurrence these days and the result of a believed pickpocket syndicate; who were apprehended by event security resulting in the return of some stolen items. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of what Vacation Club are planning to do to thwart these guys from affecting events in the future.
Now onto the event, WOW – it’s clear these guys know how to throw a party! We Love Summer has grown over the years to include a great variety of activities that supplement the usual stage focused mentality of electronic music events. These range from the obvious wakeboarding/watersports – expected at Blue Rock, to salsa on the beach – a nice nod to the Feastival’s salsa area, beer pong – always a party favourite, an open-air cinema and more. Pretty much if you wanted a break from dancing there was bound to be some activity to entertain yourself with – or, if you’re deranged like some mates, you could climb down the wall on the side of the dance floor and take a midnight dip in the water (thankfully there was a solid bonfire for them to dry off at). Special mention has to go to Lipton and their #StopTheSelfie activation – great concept and provided another appreciable alternative musical source, but it was no Future Frequency Festival stage, the highlight last year’s event for me. And honestly, hats off to Liquid Rainbow for probably the best-run bar I’ve seen at an event – I often got served from the second row as there were ample, extremely friendly, bartenders.
And finally, most important – the music. Saturday’s event was a showcase that house music lives on – in all its various forms. I was surprised, a good thing, to see a very Friday Night Feast reminiscent line-up to start things off. And they did not disappoint – from the get-go the performers had the crowd grooving to their unique styles – a mix of house, old school, funk and just about everything else in-between. Pillowtalk, ya didn’t – that set was something else! It’s always humbling to witness an experienced DJ control and sculpt the dancefloor energy and he provided a perfect transition into a WLS favourite – Strange Loving. From this point on I honestly can’t choose a favourite set – all the artists played their own unique takes on house music (with a few techy elements featuring here and there) and from the fan feedback – the selections were greatly appreciated!
In a festival scene riddled with choice, a different outdoor (or two) every weekend, it’s incredibly pleasing to see an event staying true to their roots – with one goal – a party that screams summer loving ebullience.