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Tiësto at Victoria Park: Reviewed

Reported by Adam Symbiosis / Submitted 12-08-09 15:30

One man events – with support acts – are usually reserved for superstars. Of course Tiësto is no ordinary DJ. London’s Victoria Park played host to the world spanning artist and HarderFaster sent reporter Adam Symbiosis along to enjoy the show.

When it was announced that Tiësto would be doing an event in Victoria Park, East London, I was excited. Probably not so much that Tiësto was playing as I’m not his biggest fan – the times I’ve seen him before have failed to spark any kind of interest for me - but rather that there was to be a large dance based event right on my doorstep. No worrying about packed tubes, getting the right train or even struggling to get back in the morning. It sounded perfect. All we needed now was some sunshine!

On the day the gods of trance smiled down on us and glorious blue skies and dazzling sun covered London’s favourite local park. Not surprisingly, considering there were 23,000 + people in attendance the queue to get in was already stretched around the block even before the party had started, in fact and credit to the organisers, there were portaloos dotted along the line of the queue, for those poor waiting souls. For me there was a pre-party at a friend’s house round the corner so off I headed for a bit.

We finally got back in around the four-ish mark and in time to check out some of Australian act Sneaky Sound System. Singing along to the Wolfgang Gartner remix of their link up with Tiësto, I Will Be Here, despite the fact we were some way from the main stage enjoying a jug of Pimms, the song came through loud and clear, impressive considering sound restrictions placed on other events.

The site also played host to a number of other tents including the House Rules tent and Last FM. The tents while all normal festival size were in no way full, but this was in some ways to be expected as the show had always been sold on the fact it was Tiësto and guests. Walking around the site I bumped into many, many people I knew and many, many people I didn’t know yet and so with all the stopping and starting and jokes and pictures it took me the better part of an hour to walk round the compact site.

But, as mentioned before, it was all filler for the main show and at just gone half six, that show kicked off. Again the sound remained clear and crisp as tracks like the Tristan Ingram and Black Russian Festival Edit of Going In For The Kill was pumped out across the massive crowd. A great vantage point to see the show, for people with disabilities and photographers, was the raised platform right in the middle of the park and this was another important touch provided by the organisers. No doubt because of this plenty of able bodied people who missed out on buying Golden Circle tickets were constantly attempting to get up on to it. I wasn’t too sure if I felt more sorry for those desperate folks or for the bouncers constantly vigilant and fighting to remove them!

Up at the front of the arena, wedged in-between the main stage and the rest of the crowd was a separate area someone described to me as the sheep pen. Those lucky – or maybe loaded - enough to have a gold wristband enjoyed the extra space at the rear of the area or the up close encounter at the front, not that they were really close as our man lorded over his subjects from his stage on a stage 15 foot above the ground.

His marathon four hour set continued with Sex On Fire by Kings Of Leon. Now despite a bit of history here between me, a certain Craig Gunn and an Undercover Brother, I absolutely love this track. It’s not for some with it’s almost cheesy character, but it almost summed up the set so far, accessible to all, interesting and diverse. My reservations of seeing Tiësto had evaporated and as I continued to bounce around talking to more and more smiling faces and Eric Prydz’s Pjanoo played in the background, I along with thousands of others saw a glimpse of what millions of people around the world think when they say Tiësto is one of the world’s best DJs.

Of course that statement is relative and someone might argue with me that his set was commercial in the extreme. It’s what sells tickets however and was absolutely perfect for the event itself. The visuals on the stage were nothing short of eye popping either. A 20 or 30 foot LED wall able to display words, visuals, white-outs, in fact it seems anything the VJ wanted. To top it off Tiësto’s platform was fronted by the same LED technology leaving a seamless visual expanse across the whole back of the stage, with the DJ floating somewhere in the middle.

Treated to the Tiësto mix of Silence, a handful of people decided to try and ruin the event for everyone else by climbing up onto some of the speaker struts. Of course this meant they had to shut down the music and wait for them to come, or fall, down. This obviously didn’t please most people and beer cans, water bottles and jugs rained down on them from all directions. Finally down the music could continue with tracks like, the Tiësto / Calvin Harris link up of I’m Not Alone, Barber’s Adagio For Strings, Coldplay’s Circles and the Richard Durrand remix of Madagascar.

In all I was blown away by the day. An electric atmosphere enthused by the amazing tracks. No one wants to hear classics all the time but conversely no one surely wants new and challenging music constantly (there was always the other tents if you did in any case). Quite simply this was the best one day festival I’d been to in years. But could there be improvements? It could have been on a Saturday so more people could have come free from the shackles of work. The fireworks at the end were a damp squib and could have been so much more but now I’m really nitpicking – nitpicking with my fingers crossed that this fantastic day is repeated in a year’s time.

Photos courtesy of the HarderFaster archive. Not to be reproduced without permission.
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Other Features By Adam Symbiosis:
Godskitchen Xmas Party: Reviewed
The Big Chill: Reviewed
Lilly Allen: Reviewed
Digital Society May 2009: Reviewed
Losing The Music? Sign This Petition!
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: Menthol Taz on 11th Aug 2009 13:11.11
Thanks Adam, sounds great, will defo make the effort to go next year then.

From: bear grrrr on 13th Aug 2009 11:37.50
Great review. Covered what was indeed an awesome day.

From: Meena on 19th Aug 2009 12:12.51
I had an awesome time but I felt sorry for anyone outside the Gold Circle because because I thought the sound was really weak out there.

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