Rob Tissera's Festival Formula

Veteran hard dance and house DJ Rob Tissera guides us through the key ingredients to a successful festival experience ahead of hitting Kiddstock in August.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 17th Jul 2015

Photo: Rob Tissera Credit: Adam Butterfield

The hard dance community is not short of its heroes, and Rob Tissera is undoubtedly one of them. His technical brilliance and effervescent delivery have seen him cause carnage on the nation's dancefloors since the early nineties, earning a faultless reputation in the warehouse rave scene before emerging as a talented, prolific producer. 

Signed to the likes of XL, Ffrr (listen to his and Ian Bland's 'The Day Will Come Above')  and Pete Tong's Essential Records, Tissera went on to make a real mark in the clubbing sphere, bolstered by the launch of Kissdafunk, a hugely adored club night and brand based in Leeds. 

Tissera joins a boat load of hard dance greats on August 1st at Alex Kidd's Kiddstock - an entire day of beach-side shenanigans starring everyone from Tidy Boys to Kutski (check the Kiddstock line up here). Ahead of his set in the Xstatic Arena, we thought we'd glean from his decades of experience and find out his formula for an unforgettable festival experience.


What you want from a festival is the very best set of acts and DJs who will represent the past, the present and the future. It's also important to make sure that there are no major clashes between arenas. The promoters will have hopefully thought carefully about what times the headline acts are playing in the various arenas so that the crowd can enjoy all of their favourite acts.


It's so important as a DJ to get this right. Personally I always plan my festival sets to include massive tunes from the whole year, rather than playing the big tunes of the moment. I also think it’s important to drop some really massive festival weapons that totally unite the arena. One of my favourites from over the years has to be Underworld's ‘Born Slippy’.

I have about five different versions that I can play in any situation. Red Carpet and Kings of Tomorrow's ‘Alright’ also fits into this category. If these tracks don’t get people going, you may as well give up. Haha!

My favourite moment playing at any festival was dropping the Quake V Rowland & Wright mix of ‘The Day Will Come’ at GlobalGathering in 2003 (listen to it below). There was at least 3000 in the arena - I was doing the last set in the Sundissential Arena. When the track kicked in, it nearly took the roof off the tent. File under ’Spine Tingling’!


Festivals are made for sharing the day with your friends. From the moment you buy your ticket, you can’t wait to spend the day getting absolutely sozzled with the people you’re going with and the new best friends you’ll meet on the day.

What I love most is meeting up with random folks who you end up hanging out with that day and then you become friends for life. It happens all the time - like minded people in the same place at the same time. That’s a beautiful thing.


Photo: Rob Tissera Credit: Adam Butterfield

This can make or break the day in so many ways, but what we ALL hope for is a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. The funny thing is that this can sometimes make the arenas less busy as everyone wants to sit outside. What works best is a day with no rain and it's not too cold.

I hate to ever teach people to suck eggs but i always take wellies, spare socks, layers of clothing, and the cure for failing to bring any of the above mentioned items - Jack Daniels.

My friends and I also always assign a meeting place to come back to every hour for when your mobile phone eventually lets you down like a cheap pair of tights.


I've been on some proper crazy festival road trips in my time and this part of the whole process. The anticipation and the thrill of the chase. Seeing other people at the service station who you know are also going there adds to the buzz.

My most vivid memory of this was when I played at GlobalGathering in 2001. I set off nice and early with three of my very best friends. We stopped to get some food and then ended up meeting loads of people in the services. We forgot about the time like a bunch of fools so we hammered it down to Stratford-Upon-Avon only to find that there were six mile tail backs leading up to the site.

No word of a lie, my best friend Adam ended up having to drive my car on the WRONG side of the dual carriageway to get through the traffic. How we didn’t die or get arrested is anyone’s guess. I then had to run across the fields for the last two miles with my other two mates and my two record boxes whilst Adam parked the car. We ALWAYS leave plenty of time to get there these days. 

Thanks Rob! Head here for more on Rob Tissera.

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