Now in its twelfth year of operation, The Garden Party has established itself as a staple event in the Northern clubbing calendar, and is central to the development of Leeds’ rich dance music scene. Having previously hosted the likes of Jackmaster and Bicep, the day-long hedonistic haven always draws the very best DJs from around the world while accommodating home-grown talent in the Ibiza-inspired terrace.
No queues, friendly door staff, and an incredibly efficient walkway system through the terrace and inner club - The Faversham’s organisation was commendable. Combine this with its creative décor, reverberating sound system and 6-hour long mixing master class from Eats Everything and Fort Romeau, The Garden Party offered a perfect day-party experience, and a continuous smile could be seen on most in the forever-grooving crowd.
Bristolian favourite and Radio 1’s most recent resident, Eats Everything, was a clear highlight. Taking centre-stage at 3pm after Hamish Cole opened proceedings, for the first hour he swapped tech house for a slower, more disco-influenced sound. Having been accustomed to quick tech-intensive transitions and groove-laden bass from many previous mixes heard live or on Radio 1, to witness a house master flirt with a variety of genres was incredibly refreshing.
However, as the Edible creator’s set progressed he began to gradually integrate his infamous basslines into the highly vocal groove beats. A notable classic that he decided to throw in was ‘LFO’ (Leeds Warehouse Mix) which was named after its creators who had met studying in Leeds in the early 90s. This was a fitting tribute to the occasion and a track at the heart of Leeds’ dance music roots.
His three hour set soon went in an instance, creating an absorbing atmosphere for when Fort Romeau entered the terrace. The London-based DJ is quickly moving up the ranks in the current underground house and techno scene, and his set certainly delivered. Opting for a tech house-inspired sound, he kept the crowd moving through the sun-setting ambience, thanks to his song choice and mixing expertise.
Having only been released two days previous on Base Culture records, Fort Romeau dropped Sebo K’s brilliantly produced ‘Brock Wild’ – which will undoubtedly rise on upcoming Beatport charts. Mono_Cult resident, Matt Long, finished proceedings. Unsurprisingly, many left after Long’s techno set drew the day event to a close. Compared to its terrace party environment The Faversham’s main room is somewhat a downgrade, and after 10pm much of the crowd dispersed towards the many after parties taking place in Hyde Park and Headingley that night.
The next edition of The Garden Party returns to Canal Mills for the second year running on May 28th. This huge sell-out event is the talk-of-the-town with some tickets being touted for a ridiculous £50 on social media. However, for anyone who can’t make it there is an option to re-sell the ticket back to Skiddle or sign yourself up to our waiting list here.
Canal Mills plays host to the in-demand American house duo The Martinez Brothers who headline the open-aired Hangar, energetic tech house pair Solardo and young producer Mall Grab play through the night in the main room and Denis Sulta features in Art’s House. The Garden Party is one of the best events in the North and the second edition is certainly not to be missed, see you in there.