Equinox Festival 22-24 September 2017
I was pleased to be able to go to this great little festival in Lincolnshire. This was the second year of 'Equinox' organised by a core group of people that used to be the main crew at Alchemy festival. After the organiser of Alchemy disappeared with the following years ticket sales money in 2015 the rest of the crew picked themselves up and created their own event.
Last year it had been on the previous Alchemy site but this year they found a new (hopefully permanent) home for the festival. What a magical site it was, split onto a few levels this old quarry site is a perfect festival location. A firepit and dance music tents at the bottom followed by the main arena on the next level leading out to the camping areas to one side. To the other side was up another level to stewards camping with great views of the sea. The main stage had a flat area in front of it but then a bank where people could sit and watch the bands without having to strain to see.
After spending the whole weekend on the site I can see there may be some adjustments for next year. The fire show was in a small corner by the entrance (maybe the council demanded it that way?) which was a little odd although actually the worst bit was that everyone stood up and there was a very small viewing area and so I didn't get to see much at all. It was a bit wet and so I understand why people didn't sit on the floor but maybe something could be put in place for next year where people can either sit down or there is a much larger viewing area.
I think the stewards camping area should have been used as part of the main festival as it was up another level with views towards the ocean. The stewards camping could have easily been with the crew camping. Personally I would have put quiet camping and the healing area up on that level. I'm sure the organisers themselves after spending the weekend there and hearing what people say will maybe change things around a bit next time.
There had been a great deal of work put into the toilets which were brilliantly built and painted but one small fault was there seemed to be a lack of urinals and so every toilet I went into over the weekend had wee on the seat. Sorry guys but your aim seems off at the best of times let alone after having a few drinks and wiping a wee soaked seat with the last tiny bit of tissue paper is not my idea of fun! I think next year what is needed are more urinals and in obvious places.
There was a few clothes stalls, my favourite being the awesome Wobble & Squeak who have lots of beautiful clothes inspired by geometric patterns but there was also some other nice clothes, jewellery and other bits on offer around the site. There was the usual array of food stalls which I didn't really look at or sample as brought all my own food as I always do but it all looked good with plenty of choice.
The main stage was Wango Riley's Travelling stage which was the Crispy Disco stage in memory of one of the crew who passed away a few years ago. On the same part of the site there was also the awesome Soundscape stage as well as the Grass Roots stage which was bicycle powered. What seemed a little odd was there was also a massive marquee which was the biggest driest area on site which didn't seem to have a huge amount going on. There was DJs in there playing music and a small cafe but it seemed almost a bit of a waste of such a huge dry space.
On the lower level near the firepit there was a geo-dome playing drum and bass (well whenever I went past they were) and then the sunrise stage playing psy-trance (again that's what they were playing the few times I went past). I didn't go down to this area much as not really my sort of music. I thought it was a good idea to have it more separate from the live music stages.
There was some great music on offer over the weekend and sadly I just couldn't make it to everything I wanted to see. I missed Dub the Earth, Funke and the Two Tone Baby, AOS3, Inner Terrestrials, Sporadics and PAIN for various reasons over the weekend. Thankfully I have seem all once or twice this year already!
Music I did see (and of course really enjoyed) included a double dose of good friend Cara, with a solo set as Cara Means Friend on the bicycled powered grass roots stage followed half an hour later with a set from The Defekters on the Soundscape stage. Later that night on the same stage I saw Back to the Planet play a blinding set.
The following day I caught one of my new favourite bands Bolshy on the Soundscape stage who I really enjoyed and then Subhumans who are an excellent band but a little too full on punk for my taste! I took in some of the set and then had a wander around while all my friends were dancing their socks of to them.
The festival closed on the Sunday night with Lee Scratch Perry. As the main headliner I wonder how many people bought tickets because his name was on the bill. I've seen him a couple of times before and I do love a lot of his music but as a live act now I find it all very much the same not to mention rambling on about god between songs. Next year I would prefer to see someone like Zion Train or Dreadzone as the main headliner but then of course I am biased as they are two of my favourite bands!
All in all a really great festival, the biggest and most expensive I would ever go to but worth it and worth the long journey there. The organisers have worked really hard to make this a good event and despite the fact that I feel they are still on a learning curve with this new festival all the ingredients are in place they just need some slight adjustment!
Below are a selection of photographs from the festival.
Toilets in the campsite
Wango Riley's stage
Soundbooth, shed, tractor?
Club Intensity... aparently!
Equinox at night
Looking towards Soundscape stage
Cara Means Friend
Back to the Planet
Lee Scratch Perry
Awesome lazer at night