Moovin Festival: a weekend where people really are moving and grooving, dancing under disco balls with immaculate vibes throughout. Starting in 2016, Moovin Festival hosts the likes of bass, funk, soul, reggae, house and D&B in beautiful countryside surroundings. Located in Etherow Country Park in Compstall, it’s the place to be if you love music and want a counter-cultural feel.
If someone tried to describe a ‘chill’ festival, with all its good connotations, you’d think of Moovin Festival. From the moment you come through the Stockport countryside, there’s a shuttle bus to drop you right outside the festival entrance where you’re welcomed by staff. The stress-free excitement continues through the organised queues and coordinated ticketing where you’re directed to the fields, and that’s where you know it’s feel-good vibes from the get-go. From the moment the festival experience begins, you can tell how Moovin has grown from a small barn party of a few hundred people 7 years ago, to the bank holiday party it is today.
As you walk through the festival it’s clear to see the attention to detail and the efforts made to make this place special. With each stage differentiated with decoration that welcomed the music vibe so perfectly, it’s clear where you should head depending on what mood you’re in. If you’re not sure what sort of music is calling your name, you don’t need to make any rash decisions because the festival is the perfect size, allowing you to explore and check out each stage without having to fight through any crowds.
If you’re looking for a proper dance, where the crowd is constantly good vibes and no one stands still, then ‘Mini Moo’ is the right tent to fit the mood. Alternatively, if you want to sit on a sofa whilst having a beer and chatting to your mates, the Last Resort stage would fit your expectations, with vinyl hanging from the ceiling and plenty of seats for you to have a break from the party whilst listening to good music. The other three tents gave you anything you wanted in between these two. Tent On The Hill, Barn Stage and Udder One were all bigger but somehow a bit more intimate with mood lighting and eccentric decorations.
Across the weekend, there were big names that brought you here to dance. Friday had the likes of Metrodome, Jaguar Skills, Todd Terry and Sister Nancy Meets Legal Shot. There was even a silent disco and a fire show at the firepit on the opening night. Moving into Saturday, the lineup becomes even more impressive with headliners Brokoli, Mike O’Mara, Greg Wilson, Stanton Warriors and Goldie.
On Sunday, the highlights were Craig Charles and Groove Armada, which packed out the ‘Udder One’ stage and enticed you into a whole other world. Away from the mud, rain and grey clouds, you were immersed into an enchanting gig that made you forget anything outside as the tent filled with smoke and coloured lights, booming with thuds of unforgettable music.
First to play was Craig Charles, spinning classics that the audience echoed the lyrics of relaying back to the stage. Dancing to funk and soul, the ‘Udder One’ was a sea of movement as everyone anticipated the next ‘floor-filler’ track. Following that was Groove Armada; a classic dance band that brings nothing but vibrant energy and an invitation to get lost in music. The whole set had the crowd in a frenzy but when it was time for what we were all waiting for, the crowd erupted in cheers… Superstylin played and sent the whole of the Udder One into ecstasy.
Moovin Festival is the place you can go not only for music but also for a wholesome weekend. There are healing fields for holistic treatments, plenty of seating, great food vendors and independent shops, as well as walkabout performers to see in between stages. Of course, the main event is the impressive music acts across five stages, with a variety of genres and incredible sound quality. As well as that, it’s more than your usual festival; it’s about making friends, discovering new music, and seeing local talent, all in a safe environment that cares about sustainability and has a devotion to booking the freshest acts.
At any festival, when day turns to night, you expect the atmosphere to change; with lights turning on to create a warm glow when the sun goes down. So, even though it was expected, it was noticeably a little more magical at Moovin. This boutique-like festival had shiny bunting strung above walkways, neon lights projecting, and disco balls catching the light to rotate specs of silver across the bars and stages. Maybe the word ‘cosy’ seems a bit like a juxtaposition for a festival, but Moovin somehow made it feel that way once the evening began.
Whether it was the authentic stages, the welcoming staff, or the lovely mix of friendly personalities on Whitebottom Farm, Moovin Festival makes you feel completely at home and encourages you to enjoy music the way you want to. It’s a place where you can safely be whoever you want to be whilst dancing until the cows come home.
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