Audio Farm presents One Tribe Festival 2017 review

Helen Giles headed down to Cholmondeley Castle Estate for a weekend of big beats and basslines.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 22nd Aug 2017

Image: One Tribe (credit)

‘In the Universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.’ This quote from seminal poet William Blake describes perfectly what the Audio Farm promoters have work so hard to achieve with this year’s installment of One Tribe Festival. 

Situated in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, with the impressive Cholmondeley Castle standing majestically in the distance, this new chapter for the Audio Farm team hoped to capture the essence of oneness with a collection of music, workshops and imaginative performances, whilst raising money for a variety of charitable organisations, including The Green Paw Project, which says so much about the organisers’ values, as well as portraying the ethos of the event.

As well as this, the festival boasted an incredibly diverse selection of music, including house, techno and psytrance spanning across 5 different stages, all beautifully decorated with no detail spared. 

Whilst arriving and setting up home for the weekend, it was difficult not to notice the relaxed atmosphere surrounding the entire festival site. The campsite was buzzing with excitement from both adults and children, who were making new acquaintances and enjoying the unpredictable British weather. Plenty of stewards were on hand to help new arrivals with information for the weekend, and with lots of new experiences to immerse in over the five day duration everyone was eager to get started.

On to the music, and the lack of physical programmes to use as reference meant that you had the joy of perusing the stages at leisure, discovering talented acts that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise whilst also helping the environment by reducing waste and saving the trees.

This however, added to the last minute changes to the set times across the weekend did make it difficult to keep track of who was on there, but at the same time encouraged an atmosphere free from schedule boundaries. The variety of music on offer as well meant that there was something to cater to everyone’s tastes, with a mixture of DJ and live performances. 

The Friday saw Dan Eds entertain the Forest stage crowd with funky old skool genres in the afternoon getting everyone dancing, singing, and all warmed up ready for the evening, while over at the Depth of Bass stage DJ Zom-B sent the soothing sounds of liquid drum and bass soaring through the summer air, with people sat on top of the hay bales at the back of the open air arena relaxing and taking the atmosphere in, before Brotherhood later on in the evening took it up a notch with vibrant disco beats, with an energetic audience grooving to every nostalgic melody. 

But a huge musical highlight from the evening came from the IllumiNaughty and Further Progressions Records crews who were jointly responsible for hosting the Trip stage over the weekend. Both teams of promoters worked hard to create a hard music cornucopia, filled with neon décor and the heaviest psytrance and hard dance sounds you could imagine.

Nanook got pulses racing under the incandescent light with his techno-infused, high energy set that pounded the night time airwaves before live performances from Cimi and E-Clip shook the tent to its core, along with the relentless stomping from a rowdy audience fully embracing all sounds heavy. This stage was the perfect to let go and dance all of your cares away and fitted in beautifully with its outdoor surroundings.

As the campsite began to wake on the Saturday morning there was a calmer feel to the air, with a number of holistic workshops and activities available for the more spiritually minded amongst the festival. While activities for the younger attendees celebrated the great outdoors through craft, for those needing a place to recuperate the yoga classes and sound baths provided a much needed release from the stresses of life. 

The arena dramatically fills for the third day of the festival, as day tickets successfully sell out. Wandering around the stages, the reminiscent sounds of acid house lure us in to the dark depths of the Forest stage, where Darren of 808 State had filled the woodland area with a crowd geared up for an evening of dancing, to a set that brilliantly articulated the essence of the 90s, and no set of his would have been complete without the iconic ‘Pacific State’ subtly added in amongst an impressive set list, reminding everyone of how influential the Madchester era really was for the music industry as a whole. 

The Depth of Bass stage was taken over for the evening by Soul:ution, who brought with them a host of talented DJs and performers for a night of all varieties of drum and bass. Doc Scott, a producer who has played an integral part in the evolution of this genre over the years, brings it back to basics with an old skool set filled with jungle basslines and filthy bass kicks that set the crowd alight.

Over at the Trip, IllumiNaughty resident Matt Lickess is taking the audience on a psychedelic journey will with energy and drive, while The Akasha Experience, who form part of the Shanti Planti crew, provided the perfect uplifting accompaniment to the hypnotic fire performances by the Nest stage, involving fire breathing and hula hooping. 

But the most impressive takeover of the evening came from the Meat Free collective, who were tasked with looking after the Home of the Drum stage. Based in Salford, these 4 talented DJs, all incredibly successful in their own rights, certainly know how to put on a show as the arena was jumping from start to finish, exuding the soul filling sounds of house and techno.

Lucy Ironmonger added her own unique twist to these genres, with underlying acid house and nu-disco themes woven intricately around a thumping techno beat, creating an abstract performance that demonstrated an extremely high level of technicality and creativity. Another highlight from this stage were duo Blasha and Allatt, who went in dark and hard from the get go and attracted one of the biggest audiences of the weekend, relentless in their delivery and evoking a sense of freedom as people danced away their cares, completely immersing in the hypnotic techno rhythms. If this takeover is anything to go by, this group of friends and fellow artists are destined for big things in the music industry. 

With One Tribe reluctantly drawing to a close, more incredibly talented artists descended into the festival arena on the Sunday, with festival goers making the most of their final hours in the beautiful surroundings.

The Depth of Bass stage continued to keep the good vibes flowing with the nostalgic sounds of early drum and bass, complete with an appearance from the legendary DJ Hype in the early hours of Monday morning, while the Trip stage continued to motivate the crowd by pumping out the frantic sounds of psytrance, with Hollowood and Miss Kiff providing stand out performances during the Sunday night.

The Home of the Drum stage hosted an array of live band performances across the final day of music, and underground electronic dance-pop group from Manchester, Age of Glass, stole this particular stage with their flamboyant demeanor and vibrant sound that encompassed a multitude of different electronic genres, getting everyone in the mood to groove.

The musicianship between the members of the group was exceptional, and their stage presence had the audience hanging off every note. With show stopping performances such as this, it won’t be long until these guys come from the underground and into the spotlight.

Reflecting on the event in its entirety, the Audio Farm team have created nothing short of a spiritual haven that promotes unity, spirituality and love for everyone and everything, with a music schedule so eclectic you were discovering something new every day. From the music to the workshops, and the impromptu performances scattered around the arena, it really felt like you were completely free from the confines of day to day life, a place where you could be yourself completely and not worry about being at a certain place at a certain time and enjoy brand new experiences.

It was great to see a festival so focused on bringing people together and promoting charitable communities, and throughout the weekend there was nothing but love and happiness exuding from everyone and everything. One Tribe Festival has the potential to grow organically into a beautiful community, and after such a successful year this year it can only mean great things for the future. 

Festivals 2017