Despite serving as the UK's second city for clubbing for at least a decade, Leeds' appetite for cult nightlife is showing no sign of abating. At the beating heart of it is the Mint brand. After rolling out a warehouse venue for large-scale events in 2011, the city's flagship venue's sucker-punch was Mint Festival, a 10,000-strong one-day event with five arenas last September. And this year, on Saturday 21st September, it promises to be even bigger.
Collating the largest names from all corners of the dance universe to play across five arenas, last year saw Jamie Jones and Seth Troxler on the same bill as Eddie Halliwell, Surgeon and Ben Klock, ensuring that clubbers of all persuasions were catered for at a festival scattered with tents stacked to the rafters with Funktion One rigs. First-time events of this scale are always riddled with teething problems, though. They're inevitable, right?
“Surprisingly not,” Mint Fest's Scott Stalbow admits to DJ Mag, who claims four editions of Cocoon In The Park equipped the team with enough experience to pull it off. “We're always ready for anything that may arise, but nothing [went wrong]!”
Opting for the tail-end of September to stage an outdoor event in the Yorkshire countryside may be a risk few organisers are willing to take, but the rain held off for the entire day and, aside from a slight mix-up involving shuttles back to the city — something Scott promises will be rectified this time around — Mint Festival was an overall success. This year, there will be two extra arenas, and Scott expects about 12,000 through the gates this year.
DJ sets will come from Marco Carola, Seth and Dixon on the System & Louche stage. Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Karenn and Surgeon play for Blacklight. Bitch will host Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and Nervo, while Goodgreef & Digital Society bill Ferry Corsten, alongside Aly & Fila and Jordan Suckley. Meanwhile, Jamie Jones, wAFF and Adam Shelton will do their thing for Technicolor & Distrikt, and Eats Everything, Dusky, George Fitzgerald and Midland are on board for the Circular Arena co-hosted by Set One Twenty and Bigger Than Barry.
“We have kept to similar bookings for each arena best suited to the brand,” says Scott, whose eyes are on one DJ in particular. “I'm a big techno fan myself so I'd have to say I'm most looking forward to Jeff Mills, although I'll definitely be diving into all the other arenas as we're spoilt for choice!”
Just 10 minutes drive from Leeds city centre, the festival is within easy distance of the many available after-parties bound to be taking place in Leeds that night. Keep your peepers on djmag.com for more info mintfestival.co.uk
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