High Lights (Saturday) review: a day of eye-catching talent

We sent Jordan Foster to the Saturday of High Lights to check out Carl Cox's huge headline set and more.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 4th Jun 2024

As the festival’s inaugural edition, High Lights was a real step into the unknown on a warm but overcast day in Barking Park. The festival was split into three days, with a swathe of best-in-class house and tech names forming eyebrow-raising bills. Saturday’s concoction - from the dark post-sunset Ibiza tones of Franky Wah and SYREETA, to the brighter new-age melodic electronic of Jasper Tygner and Prospa, was arguably the most appealing option of the three.

Based on the fringe of East London, the festival site was a compact and easy-to-navigate park, characterised by two stages – Monument and Installation. The latter boasted particularly impressive production values, with two huge overhead beams running from the stage to deep into the crowd – quite literally high lights above heads.

One of the first sets to oil the crowd’s cogs was delivered by North London’s Jasper Tygner. To much disappointment, the festival changed the producer’s billing from ‘Live’ to ‘DJ’ just a couple of days before the event with no explanation. Nevertheless, Tygner wheeled out a fantastic smorgasbord of bouncy underground electronica – ranging from his own burgeoning material to a selection of hidden gems. A generous dose of tracks from criminally unknown euphoric-trance pioneer SWIM were unleashed. The swirling Jamie XX-esque crescendo ‘Years On Years’, was followed by the Aussi’s booming ‘Nights (The Same)’, with crashing synths that rippled through acres of forestry.

Another to catch the eye was Prospa. The Leeds duo produce a breadth of dance music – ranging from the bright and sunny electro-pop of ‘If You Want My Loving’ and ‘Heartbeat’ to the more after-hours vibes of earlier hits ‘Voyage’ and ‘Prayer’. Every DJ has their own style, some opt to largely avoid playing their own tunes, whereas Prospa rightly boasts theirs at the heart of their sets.

Closing things off on Monument was 2024 social media sensation Fish56Octagon. Gaining online traction like nobody’s business (with now just shy of half a million followers on Instagram) Fish has gone from making viral content on watches and cars to bitesize clips unearthing dance music gems old and new – all while donning his trademark dad dancing. His set was pretty much all guns blazing throughout and included his own mashups of a string of classics – most notably a scintillating version of Black Box’s ‘Ride on Time’. The expert content creator is proving there really is no ceiling to online virality in this day & age. His summer 2024 tour includes some of the most notorious raves and venues around, from Creamfields to Ibiza’s Eden.

As the day nosedived into night,  pulsating lights beamed around the site and Franky Wah took control of the Installation stage in what amounted to a rumbling set of restrained rhythms and haunting vocals. Wah’s sets are all about the pounding, deep builds of dark minimal house and nothing personified that better Adrian Richter’s ‘Raubzug Hfty’ (GSG9 remix) – a muscular track he dropped with a relentless, thumping beat, twitching synths and echoing industrial noises which ebbed and flowed throughout. 


The headline name of Carl Cox, aka the king of dance music, needs no introduction. He added established stardust to a line-up filled with promise and ascension. Cox has no problems tweaking his sounds to fit any arena and in this case, his set followed on from where Wah left off – with a selection of pounding deep cuts under the now pulsating stage lights.

It wouldn’t be remiss to expect a brand-new festival to have teething issues with sound, crowd flow and logistics – but this flowed like an event with years of experience under its belt. The focus on the creation of a premium and glossy outdoor dancefloor more than paid off - it promises to continue to be a highlight of many festival seasons to come.


Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.







Festivals 2024