More than 4000 people battled through hail and snow, braved hazardous icy roads, to get to Butlins Minehead last January. Not for a seaside holiday, but for Bugged Out! Weekender. That's love for you.
This year, however, you won't have to. Moved to 7th-9th March to sidestep the wintry conditions and give Johnno Burgess' team more freedom when booking, the new dates will see the flagship weekender for the Manchester-born event - now based in London at XOYO - head back north, closer to its spiritual birthplace, to Pontins, just outside of Liverpool. Those hoping for a Miami-style spring break should probably leave the Bermuda shorts home.
“We are in Southport next year so a different location but on a much better date!” says Johnno. “So that's the biggest change. It should also give us greater scope to book artists as when it was in January a lot of DJs opted to go abroad somewhere hot.”
So far, it's paid off. DJ EZ, Dixon, Carl Craig, Kerri Chandler and a UK live debut from Todd Terje are contributing to what's shaping up to be the best Bugged Out! line-up yet. Party regulars like Justin Robertson, Daniel Avery, Andrew Weatherall and Erol Alkan will also come out in force alongside fresh talent like Waze & Odyssey, Ben Pearce and Monki. Household names like Heidi, Paul Woolford and George Fitzgerald have also made the cut.
"We've always liked having more than one room to programme, so to have so many rooms over three days we're like kids in a candy store when we programme it. We are very careful to make sure there's the right mix of acts playing at the right time,” says Johnno. Spreading the Bugged Out! fun over three days is precisely why people love Bugged Out! Weekender, BO's chief promoter Charlotte Hotham tells us.“As a team, we all live and breathe Bugged Out! so it's amazing to see that others want to do that too,” she says. “You wake up and it's Bugged Out!, go to sleep. Wake up and it's Bugged Out!, go to sleep. Continue for three days and nights. Can't get enough Bugged Out!”
The afterglow from Bugged Out! overload is always remnant on Twitter the Monday after, but the playtime during the event is something that cannot properly be put into words. This year, there'll be even more daytime activities to warm up - and help ravers recover - before the main events each evening.
“Look out for a host of DJs competing on the Go Karts,” says Charlotte. “There'll be some secret little parties going on around the site if you look carefully and you never know, you might even stumble across some hush-hush drinking dens too while you rejuvenate before the next all-nighter.”
Marking its 20th anniversary in 2014, Bugged Out! is still fresh with ideas even today. Winner of our Best British Club Night in 2013, Bugged Out! Weekender is yet another string to its bow.