[REVIEW]: Creamfields 2023 Delivers Another Sell-Out Success

Deep in the heart of rural Cheshire, gigantic open-acres of bumpy English grass enjoy 360 days of solitude… For the remaining annual allowance, Creamfields comes to dominate! This year’s edition, as infamously muddy as ever, saw hundreds of thousands of ravers brave the sodden brown swamps for another eclectic mix of artists, starting proceedings with the usual Thursday warm-ups for campers, before the likes of Martin Garrix, Carl Cox, and Ben Nicky – the latter always resurgently popular among the large hoards of Scottish, Irish, and Northern-British who attend this particular postcode – came to delight frenetic Friday folk on Day 2 of another 4-night Creamfields extravaganza. With the Sunshine holding out for most of Day 3, the biggest dance music festival on U.K shores really started to kick into action on a Summery Saturday, as Scousers & Southerners alike trudged to the Mega Arena for a typically explosive and emotive set from Third Party, whilst over on the heavily trending SHEIN presents Runway Stage, TikTokkers revelled in the delights of Eats Everything, John Summit, and Patrick Topping.

With both main-stages now in full swing, Oliver Heldens delivered on his pre-performance promise of an ‘extra ravey’ set, catering his selections for the rabid Warrington ensemble, whilst Becky Hill and Sonny Fodera did battle on the Horizon, and Arc, respectively, as the final main-stage sets of the night before the two headliners arrived. Calvin Harris, amongst so many of his own, took the biggest share of the audience, as all those with a penchant for Irn-Bru crossed the metaphorical Hadrian’s Wall of the gigantic Creamfields Arch landmark, complete with plastic headphone structures on top, akin to the role played by a cherry on a Belgian Bun. Meanwhile, and at expertly timed segway, the closest mention of a French-speaking nation came from Monsieur Guetta, who – in an attempt to appease any remaining Gen Z’ers – expertly dipped between the commercial, and then heavier ‘Future Rave tones for all those routed into the turf of the slanted Horizon Stage.

As always, with both main-stages now closed off by 11pm, a giant influx of leftover ravers now headed to the nearest tents to pack in for a final few hours of horse-tranquillisation inspired chaos. 99% of whom rushed to the Steel Yard to grab those all-important Insta-stories of an Eric Prydz set which spilled out onto the outside of the arena, and into surrounding areas of the mud-soaked lake-like grass beneath them. It was, however, Sunday, which saw arguably the most even split of attendees across all arenas, as the likes of Solardo and Lost Frequencies kept things bubbling over on the Horizon, whilst Example rolled back the years on the Arc, and Fatboy Slim played host to a stellar selection of guests in his own arena, including LP Giobbi and Vintage Culture. For the tech heads, Kolsch and then Artbat – who surprisingly dropped the Nicky Romero & Third Party power anthem ‘For The People’ – kept things ticking over in the Steel Yard, whilst Mau P and MK both ‘did a Prydz’ and jammed out their own tent to the point of full capacity. The day, though, was of course, pregnant with the impending birth of Scandinavian triplets, who strode out onto stage characteristically and (always fashionably) late. Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso have inhabited this festival numerous times, (both pre, and now post, their 2013 split), most notably back in 2019.

But for so many of those years, when Axwell Ingrosso were playing the festival as a duo (we still need the ‘Behold‘ ID!), and the ever-cool Steve was just a few metres away playing his own solo shows on a separate stage, or in a different tent, fans longed – and clamoured – for moments like this once more. The MAFIA, reunited in their full glory, kicking things off with the mega-mash triple edit which attendees of the ‘Paradise Again‘ tour will already be so familiar with by now. Spare a thought for Camelphat, who drew a typically large chunky crowd here again in their homeland, and Tiesto, as both acts were tasked with the somewhat bittersweet task of competing against SHM and their ‘Can U Feel It/It Gets Better/Greyhound 2.0’ juggernaut. But as the fireworks shot off into the night sky at 11pm local time, and the curtain once again came down on another Creamfields North, the festival’s reputation was once again immortalised as a long-standing mainstay of the U.K dance scene. Whilst the likes of ‘Parklife‘ cater to current trends with multi-genre inclusions and artists from the world of rap and grime, and the idea of flicking mud upon the shins of any attendee of ‘Coachella‘ would most likely result in a full cosmetic meltdown, Creamfields is unashamedly non-prententious, unashamedly British, and above all… Unashamedly ALL about electronic music.




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