There may be many heavyweights in the battle royale for the dance festival crown, but as far as scorching summer line-ups go, few can compete with the mighty new incarnation of Glade Festival. The event once described as the "Glastonbury of dance music" has been rebooted and emerges with a new identity in 2009, at once familiar and better than ever.
This time out, Glade moves to the new bucolic environs of Matterley Bowl, near Winchester, for a bigger, better, louder, longer musical explosion spread over four days from 16th-19th July. Expanding the remit more than ever before, Glade will see some of the freshest names in techno, breaks, dubstep, funk and reggae descend to create audio Armageddon.
"The last venue was fantastic but we were having problems with late night sound levels like most dance events in the UK," explained event founder Nick Ladd. "Now we've moved to Matterley Bowl, the old Homelands home, and you can say what you like about Homelands, but one thing it did have was fucking loud music late at night.
"We're pretty confident that we're going to have the loudest late night sound levels of any festival in the country."
But of course, a sick soundsystem would mean nowt without good music rocking it, and in this regard, Glade's got summer sewn up. In a UK festival exclusive, indefinable, techno-tinged dance kings Underworld, top the bill, accompanied by Get Physical's electronic maestros Booka Shade, Timo Maas and Santos (as Mutant Clan), dark master of uncompromising electro Dave Clarke, Detroit innovator Juan Atkins, and Adam Freeland appearing alongside his full band Freeland, previewing tracks from his epic new album 'Cope'.
"I'm playing with a three piece - the drummer, vocalist and myself," Freeland revealed. "The vocalist is also playing bass and I'm doing synths and backing vocals. I think we'll play stuff from the first album and stuff from the new album, and then some of my remixes, which I've reworked.
"I've DJed at Glade before, and I thought it was a really great festival. I'm sure that it will live up to it! I know that a lot of my friends are going anyway, and that most festival goers, it's the one they choose."
"One act that I'm really excited about is Freeland," enthused Ladd. "And we've got Bloc hosting the techno tent, and in there we've got Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, Adam Beyer and Dave Clarke. So that's definitely a money shot for the techno fans!"
Also appearing will be some of the finest breaks acts in the land, in the grand Glade tradition, including Plump DJs, Krafty Kuts, Rennie Pilgrem, Deekline and Wizard, Koma & Bones and The Freestylers, as well as the biggest players in the increasingly huge dubstep scene, including Benga, Rusko live, Digital Mystikz and Starkey.
And if that's not enough, why not explore the wealth of world music, wonky and funk - with Femi Kuti, Nitin Sawhney, Hudson Mohawke and Finley Quaye.
"In terms of the diversity of the festival, that's what Glade is all about. The whole point is we're not just a bunch of soundsystems in a field. We're a proper festival," opined Ladd.
In a special tie in, DJmag have hooked up with Glade for an exclusive special offer. Sign up for a one year subscription with DJmag, and as well as receiving 12 issues of the mag, and five free CDs (including our now-classic Richie Hawtin, John Digweed, Benga and Rusko mixes), you'll also get £15 off your Glade ticket. Simply sign up via Subcription.djmag.com first of all, and you'll get a unique code to input when purchasing your Glade ticket, entitling you to the money off. It couldn't be easier.
Tickets for everyone else are priced at £125+BF and are available from gladefestival.com
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