If every journey starts with a small step, then Cream have just taken a giant leap to further domination of the festival market, based on the success of ‘Creamfields South’. Already testing the waters of a May Bank Holiday celebration via their ‘Steel Yard’ events in London‘s Victoria – and then Finsbury – park venues via day-long events in 2017, ’18 and ’19 respectively. The likes of Axwell, Sebastian Ingrosso, Third Party, Martin Solveig, Don Diablo, Tchami, Malaa, Eric Prydz, Steve Angello, Tiesto, Faithless, Above & Beyond, and Carl Cox had all played at said Southern celebratons, highlighting Cream‘s ability to pull in the most heavyweight of titans when it comes to dance music royalty, and so, on Jubilee weekend, it seemed only fitting that a new array of electronic royalty were in attendance at the debut edition of ‘Creamfields South‘ between Thursday and Saturday night.
Unlike the traditional annual spectacular held in Daresbury (now re-titled as ‘Creamfields North’), the crowd in this Sunny Chelmsford park was not awash with the familiar Scottish, Irish, and Liverpudlian accents which inhabit the Cheshire version, but instead filled with Essex geezers and London twangs, proving that – when assessing your Bank Holiday options – ‘The Only Way is Creamfields!”. Whilst the likes of David Guetta and Becky Hill inhabited Friday’s celebrations, CULTR were in attendance on Saturday, as glorious rays of sunshine beat down onto a main-stage led by the gruff afternoon beats of multi-talented superstar, Idris Elba. With the ‘Luther‘ actor-cum-DJ followed by Oliver Heldens, the playful ‘Gecko‘ producer once again saved one of his greatest sets for the people of the U.K, even masterfully handling a brief power outage by booting inflatable balls into the crowd like a Dutch Cristiano Ronaldo, before delighting gathered ravers with his new Tchami collaboration ‘Low‘, featuring Anabel Englund. Meanwhile, housey sounds illuminated the ‘Cream‘ tent, with Duck Sauce legend Armand Van Helden leading a stellar line-up which also included Offaiah, Hannah Wants, and Sam Divine.
Catering for just about every musical tastebud via the trance-filled euphoria of Paul Van Dyk and Cosmic Gate, or the heart-pumping D&B tones of Wilkinson and Andy C in the Sub_Aural Arena, it was perhaps the ‘Warehouse’ which played host to the most ‘current’ of musical trends here in England, as tech-house reigned supreme on a rabid group of ravers soaking up the pulsating basslines of Fisher, Solardo, Eli Brown, and Pete Tong. Techno-lovers were also transported to their element, as deadmau5 and Carl Cox headed up a register which also included Amelie Lens, Eats Everything, and Green Velvet. But it was indeed a Scot who stole the headlines, on a weekend when Elizabeth II, and all things English nicked the column inches. If the Queen‘s 70 years of ruling was cause for celebration, it was nothing compared to the 15 years upon which Calvin Harris has sat at the summit of electronic music, rightfully annointing his throne as the modern-day King of ‘EDM’. Pumelling listeners with a dynamic mix of a relentless flurry of his back-catalogue, the Dumfries DJ twisted each gem with a modern-day sprinkling of acid-house and tech-flavoured reworks to put a unique and refreshing take on his mind-boggling number of UK number 1 singles (10) and 27 x Top 10 hits.
Yet, as fireworks started to soar into the sky, it wasn’t one of Calvin‘s own which he chose to soundtrack such a moment, but instead, the hype-inducing tones of Kryder & Benny Benassi‘s ‘ACIIID‘, a fitting finale for a spot in the U.K rave calendar which is now set to become annual. Shortly after the conclusion of the Hylands Park party, Cream took to their socials to announce that Creamfields South 2023 is already in the works, and based on the success of this inaugural edition, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the rapid acceleration of another sibling in the Cream family, making waves as one of the most consistently anticipated events of the year, going forward. For the thousands in attendance here, there was only one jubilee worth celebrating, as Creamfields cemented a spot as the true King of U.K festivals.