2017 was the first time Lost Village opened its gates after entertainment group Global - also responsible for the likes of Festival No.6, Field Day and Printworks - took the reins of the boutique electronic arts event. From starting out as the brainchild of DJ duo Jaymo and Andy George, it has quickly developed from a small, fairly unknown gathering to one that features on many ravers’ bucket list, testament to the quick changing of hands that has happened.
With this in mind, it’s easy to see why Lost Village is now part of this established group. Serving up a music festival 2.0 it featured a much-loved mixture of fabulous foods, bars that serve much more than your average warm tinny and a choice of T-shirt, headdress, kaleidoscope and jewellery making workshops to keep eager hands busy throughout the day.
Moderat saved their last UK live show for the Village, joined by a performance from hip-hop legends De La Soul to round things off. With bookings like this, there’s an extensive mixture of sounds to explore here, hand picked from the biggest names in the business.
Highlights for us included hearing Call Super spin Tobi Neumann’s warped, iconic remix of Dinky’s ‘Acid In My Fridge’ in the Abandoned Chapel Stage, while Max Cooper effortlessly weaved together a standout set feat. Aphex Twin’s ‘Window Licker’ , Darren Emerson’s remix of Matador’s ‘The Resort’ and Rival Consoles’ ‘Looming’ , finishing off with some relentless jungle tracks on the main Burial Ground arena (though we would have lost our minds even more if he had been allowed to play somewhere deeper in the forest).
Hard-hitting techno aside, plenty of party classics such as Armand Van Helden’s ‘You Don’t Know Me’ were also heard numerous times from the various party tents that were scattered throughout.
While its line up features the cream of the crop, we couldn’t help but long for more of the smaller names to join them, introducing some grass-roots artistry to the festival or perhaps some crisp, minimal beats to break up the multitude of disco tracks, old-school acid warpers and techno tunes that were heard. However, with most nights finishing at 2am, early for many electronic events, its licencing hours meant each stage could only welcome a handful of names each day – so we applauded the diversity that was squeezed in throughout.
The subject of licencing laws was just one of the topics touched upon at the fascinating talks held in this year’s newest arena addition, The Institute of Curious Minds. Here, it was a pleasure to delve deeper into clubbing culture, listening to Nina Kraviz showcase her passion for the industry and Greg Wilson bust myths around what really happened in The Hacienda, amongst other conversations held throughout the weekend with names such as Bill Brewster and Nightmares on Wax also taking to the stage.
But it was the panel discussion with Fabric’s Andy Blackett, Mark Adams of Vice Media and Chair of London’s Night Time Commission / everyone’s future favourite Prime Minister, Philip Kolvin, that stole the show with their Clubland: Against All Odds discussion. Covering everything from the trend of daytime parties to ‘sweating the assets’ of the UK’s nightlife venues and simply the joy of raving, it made for an empowering and inspiring discussion for those that live and breathe clubbing culture.
Its professionalism was something we admired about Lost Village last year, especially the custom app that notified guests of when and where their chosen artists were playing, and this aspect continued to impress us. However, by choosing to rely on technology to guide people all weekend, better mobile power facilities or Internet access would enable them to benefit more from this clever feature.
While some organisations take pride in their DIY element, Lost Village felt clean-cut and planned to perfection in certain ways. For example, something unique to the festival is its storyline, which a tribe of actors with detailed costumes and props retold to guests who bumped into their path. There was no programme of events or similar to ensure you heard the whole tale, so the puzzle was hard to piece together yet it was a delight to watch it unfold. Of course, Lost Village is a music festival at its core, but touches like this make it a unique experience that reflects the growing trend for clubbing with an ‘extra touch’.
After taking a glance at Facebook reviews, its clear that everyone had a different experience an Lost village, yet ours was one filled with fun characters, inspirational thoughts, admiration for the actors and sore feet from the dancing that occurred. With gems such as the industry talks, Sunday evening lakeside fireworks and a one-of-a-kind setting and production efforts to explore, we’d urge other curious clubbers to visit and see how their own adventure unfolds.