Highest Point Festival 2023: Friday review

Day two of Highest Point Festival featured Nathan X, Sub Focus, Girls Don’t Sync, Bastille and more. Check out what we thought of the sunny fest in Lancaster.

Skiddle Staff

Last updated: 14th May 2023

A cracking start to the day (bar the hangover and sleepy eyes), Friday at Highest Point met us with blistering heat, sunshine, and lots more people eager to get down to the hottest sounds from their favourite artists. 

First, we rested our muscles that ached from the previous night’s non-stop dancing, perching on the hill in front of Ashton Memorial in a sea of picnic blankets with the sun beating down. Delights filled the air with groove-laden, festival-ready tunes that helped the crowd shake off their hangover and get on their feet to original tracks and a few pop classics like ...Baby One More Time and ABBA’s Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!. Of course, people ran to the front and danced like no one’s business. 

Wandering over to The Waterfall, JoJo & Jnr Jahvis’ set could simply not have been better for a festival. The sun was intense but hidden away behind the trees, rocks, and the waterfall itself, which was decorated with rubber ducks, much to the fascination of a small boy. Reggae and dub vibes naturally led to a free-spirited, hippy atmosphere with smiling attendees bobbing along and flowing the energy through their bodies.


Only a few minutes later, it was time to head to The Dell to see DJ Paulette of Hacienda fame give a conversation. To say we were buzzing to be able to get from the mainstage to The Dell and the drum and bass haven The Sundial is an understatement.

Tall trees towered over the benches beneath as punters laughed, chatted, and sipped cold drinks. DJ Paulette chatted with The Dell host Chris Hawkins about her career, upcoming book, and her Flesh residency at The Hacienda, with her deep adoration for music and the clubbing scene beaming through her face and voice throughout. It was an absolute pleasure to see her in action in The Woods later that day following her mention of how she was pressured to continue playing music she didn’t want to. Here, she was in charge. She did what she wanted, she played what she wanted, and she was completely in her element. 

Shortly after, Gordon Raphael, the producer of Is This It, arguably one of the most influential indie albums of all time, took to the stage to speak about his time working with The Strokes, his favourite works, and how new bands still recognise him today from his photograph on the seminal album. 


The next minute, we got a message telling us to get down to Nathan X, hearing that they were absolutely smashing it with the crowd going wilder than wild. The Sundial may not have a roof, and that’s most likely down to Nathan X blowing it off. The natural-born performer blistered through an unrelenting set of pure drum and bass and dubstep bangers before Emily Makis took over, keeping the most screwed-up bass faces you could ever see on everyone's faces with her angelic vocals over the nastiest tunes. A scorching lineup for the DnB stage, AMA was next, and she came possessed. Each track switch was met with an almost deafening roar of approval from the gun-finger-slinging crowd.

It was clear the crowd was in love with Freya Ridings and her huge, sensational voice over indie pop numbers. After just under an hour of pure bliss, the young artist left the stage, relinquishing her hypnosis on the crowd for Friendly Fires to take over soon. 


Stopping by at Girls Don’t Sync, they were on top form as always, blending an array of electronic genres including house, UKG, bassline, and so much more. Popping out from behind the decks, they stood before the crowd, throwing their hands in the air, dancing, jumping and singing along. Wholesome vibes all around! 


Weaving our way through the hundreds of fans eagerly awaiting chart-topping pop band Bastille, we saw a stage stacked with two drum sets, keyboards, guitars, and backing vocalists at the top of the three-tier set-up. Now ten years after the release of their debut album, the group played the album in its entirety. The screens behind singer Dan Smith brought a nostalgic atmosphere as clips from the band's early tours. Smoke flooded the stage and out through the crowd as he belted Things We Lost in the Fire.

Finally, we sunk back to the sweaty, hedonistic, and most importantly carefree vibe at The Sundial as the crowd well and truly lost it for Sub Focus. His MC was impeccable, feeding off the crowd and giving it back to them, getting every single crowd member involved in every single track. There wasn’t even one drop that wasn’t met with the most ferocious roar of approval. After a stunning set, Binx took over and kept the good vibes going strong. It may seem daunting to take to the stage after a huge name like Sub Focus who smashed it, but it seemed most, if not all, the crowd relished Binx’s set equally as much. 


As the crowds began to pour out, we wandered back to the entrance of the park to catch a taxi. Crowds poured out, gushing over the acts they’d seen, with one or two maybe a little more red than sun-kissed. All in all, the weather was stunning, as were the tunes, the crowds, and the summery decor at the festival. 

It seems Friday may be tough to beat but looking at the lineup for Saturday, it just might surpass our expectations yet again. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover 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.








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