Sunfall Festival 2017

As the sun fell over Brockwell park there really was only one name on everyone’s lips, the legendary Larry Heard making his return to UK for the first time in 20 years. A gradual stream of people from various tents meandered down towards the Sunfall Main Stage to form an ocean of smiling faces as his gentle voice graced the mic. As humble as ever, he shared his delight to be here before unleashing one of the most emotional electronic music experiences I’ve ever witnessed. Getting things off to a sensual start with “Mystery Of Love”, Larry accompanied by long term collaborate Mr White eased the crowd through some of the deepest, most soulful house, washing away any prior feelings of angst after struggling through ridiculous queues and overt police presence at the door.  As the last stragglers started to fill in any gaps, friends were seen all around greeting each other with hugs and kisses after who knows how long apart. The feelings were gradually heating as the duo ramped up a gear concentrating their ethereal acid sounds, amalgamating in fever pitch during a rendition of one of Mr. Fingers most recent releases “Qwazars”. The crowd raised in elevation, elated spirits all round, hands on heads in disbelief, what actually is going on? There was such a smooth and direct flow of the set with generally little time to stop and take a breather, one solid stream the whole time accompanied by lo-fi graphics zooming through the depths of space tying the whole experience together. Moving on from this the last moments of sun were serenaded with a few choicely timed Mr White jams, “The Sun can’t Compare” and then “Aeroplanes” perfectly accompanied by a powerful low flying jumbo jet roaring overhead.

With the crowd suitably warmed up and feeling raised to Larry’s level, the duo took things on a spiritual tip, easing in with Glenn Undergrounds Thank You mix of “Praise”. The graphics followed suit, showing a man seemingly made of juicy fruit pulsing away to the beat. The general vibe from then on was truly religious, some commenting a little cheesy, but I was fully in it. It felt as though Larry was directing us to a higher power with lyrics “Become the light, feel the light!” to an emotional finale tied up with the ultimate classic “Can You Feel It”. What was one to do with themselves after that?! A moment to sit and decompress was much needed, but the herd soon started to migrate towards their night session of choice…

An undoubtedly righteous show, baptised in the deepest font of House, but the day wasn’t an all round fun time. Many a complaint from all manner of today’s methods of communication rang true with the theme of disorganisation and mammoth queues, some 4hrs to get in and 1hr for a beer. A few decisions such as metal gated queue for the bar and increased security searches around 2pm due to overzealous police could’ve definitely been avoided to ease pain, and it is a shame that Sunfall 2017 was plagued with tedious queues, questionable sound in the tents and familiarly overpriced beers…

This was a great shame as there were many stellar acts which went majorly unappreciated towards the start; Peggy Gou dressed in her red top and blue dungarees looking like Mario popping beats like shells, red preferably knocking Goombas out with a 1-2 click getting the revellers moving like they slippin frick banana slip, only a few people in bobbin in this dip.

One real highlight of the billing was the extended set from Theo Parrish, commanding the crowd with sincere g authority and riding through house riddims like a breeze. True vet. Driving into powerful bongo beats rhythms with kick and distant tribal wails dancing the tempo up and down, jogging pitch smooth like velvet.  Jazzy house numbers with wild synths into a sound cut out, the crowd hails “just play records!” While handling it like a smooth don papa he jumps straight into uplifting house getting the crowd straight back to dancing. Again it happens then slides up a gear with a techno slammer, expertly feathering the tempo down to a slow amble the crowd wobbles to the sub bass, literally in the palm of his hand.

The lack of powerful sound in the tents drew me to check the main stage where Romare was just stepping up with his very full and wholesome sound, with little to no bleed from other stages. Roland drum pads hitting very clean an powerful, lowkey jazz sax riding in, very hypnotic. Main stage had an absolute stack of martin audio subs, so punchy you feel it right there in your chest bringing power to Romare’s sound. Very nice array of live instruments all sounded nicely spaced out with room to breath and swirl, real feel good sensations showing how powerful live music is in bringing people together.

My life, my life in the sunshine! Everyone loves it, instant mood elevation, Roy Ayers raises the crowd in an beat. Very soulful vibes bobbin away, he took it at a darling pace while his band were incredibly tight, such power in the bassist you can tell these friends had been playing together a long time. Smooth grooves sliding through the low hanging sun, bass notes verb piano keys chime a soothing breather for the crowd as Roy vibraphones away, pumpin to full disco vibes super loose dancing ensue; tight fruity grooves. Craaazzzzyyy drum solo hype hype hype crowd feels it then the bassist finishes of in a cheeky another one bites the dust riff to close things off. A truly heartwarming live performance!

MCDE follows on this electricity with ease playing his trademark disco funk techno sound playing tracks like Straight Lines’ “Everybody Wants To Be A Star” and Cratebug’s “Acid Train”, he kept the movement flowing through expertly to Floating Points’ Live set, which was phenomenal as always.

Overall the Main Stage supplied many a choice musical experience and made for a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Words by Edward Bowyer for Ticketarena

Have you come from Farr?

Nestled away in Bygrave woodlands just north of London a few miles off the North Circular, Farr Festival manages to create a unique sense of isolation in which you can leave your worries behind and immerse yourself in the woodland vibes. This year was no exception with an expertly curated selection of music, across nine stages featuring the likes of John Talabot, Paranoid London, Move D, Dorisburg, Project Pablo, Denis Sulta, Helena Hauff and of corse the long awaited 6hr B2B2B with Ben UFO, Joy Orbison and Midland.

The festival offered both camping and day ticket options, capping at around 4,500 revellers; it never felt too crowded or busy. Even at peak times you could generally find space to get loose. All of the stages had their own unique charm, scattered throughout the woodlands you could really loose yourself in the mix; I constantly found myself finding little hidden cotches and areas I’d missed before. The campsite was a short way down the hill which provided both an impressive view on the walk back to the campsite, often to the backdrop of a beautiful sunrise, along with a walk up full of anticipation as the woods gradually came into view, the slogan “Back to the Woods” felt fitting indeed.

Group journey past the corn onwards to Farr, Bygrave Woods
cheeky
Flying Farr colours
Flying Farr colours

The Hidden Palace was as the name suggests, nestled deep into the heart of the woods and due to its more enclosed nature compared to other stages played host to a number of intimate standout sets. Funkineven was one hot on the lips of many after a funky lit acid electro set, eluding cool and charisma the crowd loved it when he stopped the music to get his smoke on, one of the many little touches by artists which really help to create a intimate atmosphere. A highlight for me was Tesselate Soundsystem dropping Oh Jabba by O B Ignitt, one of my all time favourites such a treat to finally hear it out. Giles Peterson was another highlight from this stage, a real crowd pleasure. Unfortunately I didn’t get to check out the extended set by A Love from outer space who hosted the stage, but I’m sure that was nothing short of intergalactic.

Farr Festival 2016 - Hidden Palace Stage
“~…Rummaging through a dustbin left by the old tenants, and there she was starring right back into me~”
[Rhys Salt] 2016
Farr festival 2016, blessed at the Hidden Palace stage
Blessed at the Hidden Palace

The FARR sign proved both a perfect meeting spot and even better vantage point, looking out across the rolling fields of surrounding Hertfordshire; It was a real perfect hub for gathering friends and brewing spirit.

Revelers sit upon the Farr sign, looking out over the rolling hills
FARR

FARR sign rolling hills rhys oosh squat

Although this seemed too much for some people, when one of the most savage out breaks of “Get if for the gram” I’ve ever seen killed it so hard, Some people just fully lost their shit shouting crazy, no lie it was fucking ridiculous. I say people but it was really only one person, I’m just so shocked never have I ever met witnessed someone kill tha vibe so hard in my life it is difficult to portray just how astonished I was… see squalling clear 20 plus people out the way to “Get it for the gram” was simply bizzare, so much for peoples ponchos huh… shame because they did look legit.

Girl at Peoples Ponchos move revellers aside to "get it for the gram"
Power to the People…’s ponchos.
Peoples Ponchos @ Farr
Peoples Ponchos @ Farr
Peepin at the people through the peephole
Peepin at the people through the peephole

ensue party people

The Shack Stage at Farr Festival 2016, earlier in the day before the madness ensued
The Shack Stage earlier in the day before the madness ensued
Warm Up stage
Warm Up stage was great during the day, providing lush warm and deep grooves for the afternoon sun. Its a shame this stage didn’t stay on later to float the party people up to the sunrise with some magical melodies and

The Terrace was popping the majority of the Friday night as you would’ve guessed, although I managed to catch first two hours before dashing off to see Move D at the Shack.

Alex and friends @ The Shack for  Move D
Alex and friends @ The Shack for Move D

After an hour of the legend Move D, I had to move on to the late and great Dances Tunnels stage wile out with Dorisburg. Bumped into my buddy Steveo and the Warm Up head honcho Aidan; getting excited for them to host the Terrace stage on Saturday.

Steveo and AidanSteveo and Aidan (Warm Up)  happy times
Steveo and Aidan big love

Hunnee was simply perfect to close out the Friday at the shack, a beautiful selection of soulful music transition through disco, funk to techno and house, his mixing was impeccable, a joy to behold.

 

Come take a trip
Come take a trip
Have you seen the Yo Yo Man ? Farr Festival 2016
The Yo Yo Man, have you seen him?

 

Waves at the Hidden Palace
Waves at the Hidden Palace

Wavelord

The Ran$om Note went deep on the Saturday evening with Paranoid London playing live along with Helena Hauf and finished by OGs Optimo

Ran$om Note stage at Farr Festival 2016
Ran$om Note stage at Farr Festival 2016

 

Dancing @  Farr Festival 2016

 

 

Aj and Steveo @ Farr Festival 2016
Aj and Steveo

 

See you next time
See you next time

 

At the start of the festival I was surprised when my friend steveo described Farr as a boutique festival, but now thinking back I wouldn’t describe it as any other way. The taste is delicious  throughout, great music selection, festival setup, atmosphere were all on point, Only thing is that it didn’t go on longer! The 4am finishes and wrapping up on the Saturday night were a surprise, and a little bit of a shame.

 

Shoot film, stay broke.