Electric Fields is a relatively new festival with a difference. Only in its third year and held in the grounds of the stunning Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway, it boasts not only an impressively diverse line up and two huge headliners, but also manages to be small, family friendly and one of the places to be this summer.
Electric Fields’ reputation is already impressive. Whenever it’s mentioned it’s raved about by those in the know. After such a build-up it certainly had a lot to live up to and left some nerves pre-event that it would struggle. Could it be so new to the scene yet good enough to please everyone?
The site was small and at first glance looked like it may not be too exciting, but with several tents set apart from the main stage hosting a broad range of up and coming talent, often local, and always of a high standard the excitement was there for the taking.
Highlights included WHITE who burned through an energy-filled set. It would have easily worked on the main stage, but instead had the Cruickshank Tent buzzing with hints of Nirvana passion and a large chunk of 80s Bowie. Fat White Family’s angry performance fully charged the crowd, and the talented Be Charlotte gave a polished set. This rising talent from Dundee must have added to a growing fan base.
With The Charlatans and Primal Scream ending the Friday and Saturday night respectively the build up throughout each day was slow but natural. People moved around at their own speed, not rushed, and able to get access to whoever they wanted to see. The audience was a total mix of young and old, families and friends, which made for a different sort of feel, but one that’s made the likes of Latitude so popular and seems set to do the same for EF.
Both headliners were fantastic, as was to be expected. Neither let themselves down as they took the crowd through a series of songs known to most but enjoyed by all. Anthems were sung into the night where the mixed crowd finally became one and the festival experience was complete.
Everyone in attendance could easily have come away with their perfect moment from the weekend and they’d all be different. For this reviewer, the Bowie/Prince disco almost brought a tear to the eye as hit after hit reminded the crowd what we’d lost. The other and easily the best festival band seen to date was the high energy antics of Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5. Words can’t describe the joy of watching a crowd “cross the road” in front of the main stage. This fantastic band demand instant allegiance.
So did Electric Fields live up to its reputation? Yes it did. A happy crowd left the campsite having enjoyed a chilled and vibrant weekend of talented acts able to be enjoyed by a wide demographic. Building the energy at the main stage during the day is the improvement that is most needed. But running for two days was a great success and the venue, though gifted with some amazing weather on the Saturday, is perfect and looks like it has the capacity for expansion.
Electric Fields now has an even bigger reputation to live up to. The way the whole event was put together you can be confident it’s here to stay and has earned its right to be one of the anticipated events of the summer for years to come.