Highest Point Festival 2024: Saturday Review

Highest Point festival returned for its second day. Check out our thoughts from this Lancaster fest kickstarting the summer in style.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 12th May 2024

After a sun-soaked stormer of a Friday, which saw the likes of Cat Burns, Sam Ryder, and Tom Odell send shockwaves of song throughout the main stage masses; Chris Hawkins and his cast of DJs and acts stripped back live sets get the sundial bouncing as it tracked the day's progression; and Charlie Tee's Unitee stage takeover test the Memorials foundations with her curated squad of bass-fuelled spinners; Highest Point Festival 2024 was now truly underway, and the crowds ready and prepped for another day of sun-soaked partying in Williamson Park.

That made it great that, as Highest Point entered its second day, fistfuls of sunshine continued to beam down on the eager festival goers, with temperatures that would once again make an Ibiza resident jealous. Swap out Cafe del Mar and the San Antonio strip for Williamson Park and the Sundial stage, you’ve got yourself a deal.


Kicking things off on the Saturday of Highest Point, Prestonian indie outfit, The Cases were tasked with opening the main stage, and with a charisma-charged set filled with old-school heart-pumping indie rock, they truly captured the attention of all the festival earlycomers and didn’t let it go; rewarding them with a sonic trip right back to the glory days of 2000s indie sleaze thanks to their addictive guitar licks and mile a minute drumming. Sun-soaked indie tunes, what better way to kick off a festival?

Where those inclined for a sing-along headed straight for the twangs of The Cases, those who wanted to get straight to business having a boogie in the sun made a b-line for the flip side of the Ashton Memorial, where after a day of rumbling bass on Friday, was treating punters to a day of groove-laden house and techno courtesy of the Under No Illusion label.

Will The Apprentice started things off as they meant to continue on the memorial and gave such boogie-intentioned early-comers a boost to their step counter, which went up in persistent steps of two.

Elsewhere at the festival as the crowds began to roll in, Chris Hawkins kept the Sundial Stage ticking on from its massive day previous with some electric sets - featuring crowd pleasing club classics like Nightcrawlers’ ‘Push The Feeling On’ - that would get his faithful warmed up for yet another day of antics on the Sundial.


As the sun continued to rise and bake Williamson Park in a splendour of rays, Gabriella T & Jasmine T brought the ENERGY at the Waterfall, soundtracking people entering the festival and capturing them into their stage, to sing along to their awesome array of attitude-filled recreations of rap & hip hop classics old and new.

The good vibes continued on the main stage with George Lawson, who juggled between jangly feel-good indie anthems and hard-hitting guitar-stricken tunes on his return to his hometown. Following the young artist was a man who mixed the sounds of old with the beats of new, and that man was Beatles Dub Club. The mix artist added an extra twist to the classic Liverpudlian rockers’ legendary catalogue. ‘Love Me Do’ turned into a dub edit evoking a fine Caribbean summer's day, and you can bet we were lapping it up as were the crowd on the hill who got up for their first boogie of the day.

Speaking of boogies, as all this was happening, over on the Memorial, AMK was providing the stage's faithful with beats aplenty, with the Scottish DJ and producer providing sun-soaked house with vibrant flecks of disco that echoed through the smoke and lights, featuring some wicked deep cuts from artists like Dodi Palese. keeping the groove locked firmly in place, James Organ succeeded AMK, and the Liverpool tech house star had the two steps in perpetual motion with his deep-cut selections.



After a livewire set of their signature electronic rock soundscapes, Lancaster locals LOWES returned for the Saturday for a stripped-back acoustic set on Chris Hawkin's Sundial stage. For a band so electronically charged they don’t half strip down to acoustic well - undoubtedly helped by the angelic vocals of Evie Plumb, but the guitarist Luke (who was donning a stunning semiacoustic guitar) provided an arresting backdrop that allowed it to shine. Strumming through reworkings of their hits old and new, as well as covers of MGMT's 'Electric Feel' and Imagine Dragons 'Radioactive' the set was a true festival highlight and the crowd who came to bask in the sun and listen along were in firm agreement. 

For those who wanted some main stage action, proud Yorkshireman and singer-songwriter ADMT crossed the border into Lancashire to show them what he’s about. His opener established his Yorkshire and Northern pride while the rest of his feel-good catalogue touched upon mental health, troubled relationships and making it through to the other side.

During this, Saturday saw the Beatz Cooking food van turned party pad host a collaboration between iconic dance/club brands in its Funkedemis vs Lovedose takeover, serving up bangers as tasty as those from the sausage van next door. North West-based tech house DJ George Aeron and duo DiscoMonz were on the hill as the festival really started filling up. 


Perhaps one of the more surprising names on the festival billing, the duo puppet star of Cbeebies Hacker T Dog and BBC Radio 1 star Katie Thistleton were up next on the Sundial, and wow was it a moment. From the get-go, Hacker was on top form, and his mega-mix, which was a quickfire run through classic bangers got people moving, especially when cotton-eyed joe came on and everyone was dancing on top of the sundial. Plus, after handing out Hacker's favourite food Meat Paste, the dog puppet sang an impromptu song about the beefy spread which had everyone laughing and singing along. A cracked and crazy show of the very best kind. 

Cutting back to the shapes being thrown at the memorial, as the aforementioned cracked on across the other stage, the dancing was intensifying with every passing minute under the Ashton memorial. Us Two, a brotherly duo from the Midlands, lit up the stage with some groovy minimal house, with selections from Kellie Allen, Todd Terry, Sam Curran and even a reworking of Primal Scream; Hayley Zalassi followed up, with the Scottish DJ, keeping crowds on their feet jumping towards the sky with some addictive two-step; then George Smeddles, the UK based house DJ picked up exactly where Us Two and Hayley Zalassi left off and kept the groove in motion. 

Simultaneously, The Waterfall remained a haven of good chill vibes for anyone wishing to switch up the chaos of the other stages. Amongst them were Daddy1Love, one of the many pervaders of utterly soothing reggae and dub.


And now for something completely different over on Sundial for the New York Brass Band. A somewhat misleading name, given the York in their name refers to their proud North Yorkshire roots, while their music captures the vibrant bombast of New Orleans. Pop classics are delightfully spun into jazzy and triumphant covers, not least capped off by the fifth different interpretation of ‘You’ve Got the Love’ seen this weekend and a Creole-flavoured Diana Ross number. As the altered ‘I’m Coming Out’ echoed across the Lancastrian skyline, only good vibes were felt amongst the warm evening air.

Then, back over on the main stage, the moment many in the crowd had been waiting for then finally arrived. After having a wander through the crowds and up to the memorial, taking pictures with fans along the way, Gok Wan took the stage and got every single person in the crowd and on the hill up on their feet. Getting everyone bouncing with his selection of impeccably mixed 90s dance bangers, Gok's presence on stage was second to none. Plus, he announced that it was officially the return of "Lan-biza" the brilliant moniker he had for the city last time he came, and with the weather and the tunes, you can't really blame him, can you? 

As the day began to fade, and the sun began to make its descent behind Morecambe Bay, providing spectacular views, Caity Baser took to the main stage, and her infectious pop bangers captured the hearts of voices of all those in attendance from the first note.  Her care-free self-aware pop, crammed with Gen Z Easter eggs and witticisms, emanated fun, with Baser always being in on the joke. Plus, as predicted, Pretty Boys was absolutely incredible.

Over on the Memorial, Smoke shot into the sky and strobe light flickered behind Liverpudlian house legend Yousef as he delivered a massive hour-and-a-half set. Known for putting on immense events with his Circus label and events, Yousef is no stranger to unleashing an intoxicating mix of house in all its many shapes and sizes. True to his career, one that’s taken him across the globe and back, his curated set offers shades of house music throughout Europe (one of the tracks played even gave a sneak peek for who’s yet to come with Carlisle legend Ki Creighton).


Then. It was time. Busted.

The Essex noughties pop-punk icons, drew the biggest crowd of the whole weekend, and it was no surprise as to why. With a set filled with classics from opener 'Air Hostess', to 'What I Go To School For', 'Crashed The Wedding', and an awesome cover of Hanson's 'MMMBop' the crowd were in jubilance and the words to every lyric were being sung back to them from a nostalgia-filled audience. The set was filled with jabs about the pronunciation of Lancaster, A distressed bug on stage that Matt Willis hilariously threw into the crowd, and a refusal to go off stage and pretend they were done, passing the encore by and hitting straight into closer 'Year 3000' which, as you can imagine, went royally off. The first time the band had played in Lancaster, and they made sure to leave their imprint firmly on all in attendance.  

After the pop-punk extravaganza, those who still wanted to dance the night away clamoured around the Memorial for the final act of the evening, Sarah Story. The current host of BBC Radio 1’s Dance Show didn’t let up until the witching hour, offering an assortment of barn burning house to close out the festival.

Highest Point, once again, you were magic. We hope to see you again next year!




Read our review of Friday at Highest Point Festival - HERE



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.








Header image credit: 

Festivals 2024