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Award-winning, We Are FSTVL returned for its third successive year this weekend, bigger than ever and booming electronic dance music across the countryside.

The two day event in Upminister, Essex, brought in crowds from all over Europe as festival goers were offered 150 artists across 15 stages on Saturday and Sunday.

A short commute from London, We Are FSTVL has been dubbed the Best New Festival in 2013 and Best Medium-sized festival in 2014 at the UK Festival Awards.

Festival goers had high hopes this year would continue to amaze, and it did just that. Crowds began to gather early for the 10:30 start, with queues of over two hours in the morning.

Weekend and Saturday day entry tickets had already sold out by Friday evening.

Excitement has been stirring for weeks as the rabble awaited some of the most prolific electronic acts from across the world. The main stage proved to be where it was all happening, with house dominating throughout the day.

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The fun, fast and friendly atmosphere made for an intense day and evening. Leaving revellers sidestepping and shuffling on a sea of nos canisters, plastic bottles of beer and broken sunglasses.

The Main Stage continued to be graced with the best energising dance acts including the likes of Gorgon City, Hot Since 82, MK, Monki, Solomun and Secondcity, among others.

An exhausted Seth Troxler flew in from Berlin, to perform his hour and a half set. Followed by superstar Carl Cox’s penultimate performance, wowing the horde with his anthemic mix of house and techno, alongside an impressive light and fire show throughout, finishing with a brilliant fireworks finale.

However, the festival left a few with higher hopes. The outdoor stage didn’t prove as eclectic an arena, with the sounds of thumping house far better suited to a club environment, the open space proving to take off the edge of the bass.

In relation to the Sunday line-up, Saturday failed to satisfy some with its lack of electronic dance music accompanied by vocals. Constant repetitive beats proving to not be the taste of some.

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The Used + Abused stage, an impressive aircraft hanger venue, featured the likes of Noir, Oliver Dollar, Sam Divine and Masters at Work. Steam and confetti cannons filled the air as rammed revellers remained dancing to the flashing lights until the end.

Thankfully, drum and bass pumped through The What Hannah Wants stage, featuring the prolific DJ herself, alongside Cyril Hahn, Redlight, Friend Within, My Nu Leng and Waze & Odyssey.

The Defected in the House stage presented Loco Dice, Adam Beyer, Tale Of Us, Yaya and Enzo Siragusa.

The VIP area allowed ticket holders to enjoy an additional stage with exclusive performances by Mark Knight, Wankelmut, Weiss, Shiba San and Dosem in the ‘VIP Village’.

Only in Essex would you find GHD stands and an outdoor spa lurking in the VIP area. In regards to this area, it failed to overly impress with its exclusivity meaning an additional stage (Toolroom Live), an outdoor spa, and access to viewing stands at the Main Stage.

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Although an amazing weekend for the majority, the lack of space for camping proved disappointing to many who faced ‘chaos’ leaving the site once the festivities concluded.

Many reported struggling to find travel back home, of shuttle buses not being efficient and of an immense difficultly in getting taxis home, with many opting to walk along the dark roads the 2.3 miles back to the station.

Although mental and a tad exhausting, Saturday proved to be a non-stop party, filled with renowned acts and a consistently upbeat atmosphere.

We Are FSTVL should definitely be in the running to receive further rewards at this years UK Festival Awards.

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An indoor playground for electronic enthusiasts, Everywhere Festival, the largest multi-venue dance

event in the East Midlands returned to the clubs of Nottingham for its third successive year on May 3rd.

With an eclectic selection of artists and DJs, the tastes of many were catered for with dollop

presenting acts to satisfy the most passionate of electronic, house, techno, grime and garage lovers.

 

Alongside hardened veterans of the electronic and dance scene such as chart-topper Route 94 and

Leeds’ Hot Since 82 performing at Forum, came newcomers such as garage and grime goddess Flava

D adding a sense of rhythmic bass to Rescue Rooms.

 

International talent came from Cyril Hahn at Rock City and Motor City Drum Ensemble at Stealth.

Rescue Rooms set off Everywhere 2015 with a day party from 2pm, switching at night to a line-up

with an urban edge, with Melé concluding the evening with a bass-fuelled set, contrasting the

infectious house and techno pumping throughout the other venues.

 

It was Rock City’s main hall that attracted the largest crowds of the evening, as the masses crammed

themselves onto the dance floor and along the balcony.

 

Redlight gave a sterling performance, driving anthemic beats throughout with popular hits such as

Gold Teeth & 9TS ensuring the crowd continued to beat the air throughout his set.

 

“Notts was sick,” he said upon posting a picture of the audience after his set to his Instagram

account.

 

Followed by highlight of the evening Hannah Wants, who kept the masses of 20-somethings

shuffling on their feet with her cleverly driven DJ set, a seamless mix of renowned original work such

as Rhymes and clever remixes of old-school classics such as Renegade Master.

 

Her bold determination towards the end of the night left many a sweltering and heaving mess.

Aggravated bar staff and bouncers tried to stay optimistic as dawn approached and sweat began to

drip from the booming speakers upon the waning crowds.

 

Stealth offered a wind down from the smoke machines, flashing lights and visuals, as the survivors

swayed to the beats of Chunky, Paleman and Loefah, proving a more calming finish to the evening.

With bass pumping through the mind, bodies and souls of revellers for eight hours straight, most will

still have a ringing in their ears today.

 

For the partygoers of the Midlands, it is a good thing that it is a bank holiday weekend.

As seen originally for the Nottingham Post in print, and online for the Summer Festival Guide.

Cross Country Style review

Another post on equestrian style for all you country chic and fashionable girls.
I came across the Cross Country Style website and found a host of traditional and beautiful designers to appeal to your inner sporting star.
Summer Liddesdale Quilted Jacket 

Now this was the first thing to catch my eye. I have always longed for a Barbour quilted jacket. I would usually have opted for the black but after seeing the Summer Liddesdale Quilted Jacket in blackcurrant I instantly fell in love, wearing a splash of colour always brightens my mood and day. Barbour is a classic brand and the tailoring offers a truly beautiful fit. There is also lots of contrast with the quilted and corduroy collar fabric mix and its lovely lining. The popper fastenings are engraved while the logo is beautifully stitched into the deep pockets, there is even an internal one for valuables! A wonderfully versatile jacket.

Lansdown Club Polo Shirt 

The Lansdown Club Polo Shirt is also wonderfully detailed with its cream and mustard contrast trims and large ‘look at me’ logo. The cotton shirt features the Lansdown Polo Club shield and appliquéd number four. Its variety of flattering stripes, also gives it a nice womanly fit.

Sherwood Forest Melbury Horse Print Women's Wellington boots

I have to admit when it comes to festivals or walks I am a Hunter girl through and through. Saying that, these Sherwood Forest Melbury Horse Print Women’s Wellington boots are just adorable (oh and Cross Country Style sell a huge variety of Hunter boots also so no need to worry!). They are made of natural rubber and are reinforced throughout, the gusset has an adjustable strap for comfort and style with the addition of a secure metal buckle. I love the horse print, it is so cute and makes these boots so much fun to dress up or down, depending on the situation of course! Be it a manic festival or long grueling walk.

So, what do I think of Cross Country Style?

Eskeez Super Thermal Leggings

For the evening chill I spotted the Eskeez Super Thermal Leggings. Now the word ‘thermal’ may sound off putting to most, but these work their magic in cold and even warmer conditions. Of course, thermals are designed to keep you warm but these lovely fitted leggings are not just for intense sports and the biting cold. These stretchy wonders, offer a comfortable fleece inside and are tapered at the ankle to avoid any damage (who does not detest baggy leggings?). Plus they are coated with a durable water repellent, drying quickly so you remain snug.

Daisy Crew Neck Sweater
However, back to my beloved Barbour. I could not resist the summer rose Daisy Crew Neck Sweater. This cable knit jumper in its soft summertime shade is just beautiful. The crew neck is flattering and it can easily be placed within your bag (along with the leggings of course) for the evening. It is simple and sweet, featuring a small metal Barbour badge at the end and long cosy sleeves.

Which of these items are your favourite? What brand do you opt for when going for country wear?

Stephanie xox

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