Highland Swing! | DJMag.com Skip to main content

Highland Swing!

Edinburgh's world beating dance fest

Think dance music and Scotland and many will think of Glasgow, The Arches, and labels like Soma. But that may be about to change with the introduction of Edinburgh's brand spanking new EH1 Festival. The event, which takes place on Saturday 15th August, from 12pm to 6am at the Royal Highland Centre and Showground in Ingliston (five minutes from Edinburgh airport) is set to be the most gargantuan dance event that Scotland has seen and will feature the biggest DJs and acts in house, techno, trance and beyond.

Orbital, Carl Cox, Roger Sanchez, Derrick May, Sander Kleinenberg, Hernan Cattaneo, Fabio & Grooverider, Way Out West, Kevin Saunderson, Above & Beyond, Darren Emerson, Frankie Knuckles, Fergie, Danny Rampling, Inner City (live), Nightmares On Wax and Graeme Park are just a few of the 100 acts promised.

The brainchild of club promoter Ricky Magowan whose long running Colours residencies across Scotland's most prestigious venues - most notably at Glasgow's Arches - have welcomed many of dance music's greats throughout their illustrious history, EH1 Festival is the next logical progression in the Colours success story and a perfect way to celebrate the night's pioneering spirit.

"It's Colours 20th anniversary in 2009," said Magowan. "It seemed like progress to do an event that encompasses all our musical journeys over the years, with a lot of the DJs and artists who've become part of the Colours story."

Alongside Colours, many of the UK's most prominent clubs and promoters have got involved, with Ministry Of Sound, Renaissance, Godskitchen, The Hacienda crew and Hed Kandi all hosting some of the nine arenas. 15,000 festival-goers are expected to descend on the EH1 and according to Magowan, already expectations for the shindig are reaching fever pitch, with the unprecedented prospect of catching the best dance dons all in one place in Edinburgh proving a massive draw.

"The feedback has been phenomenal. We're doing an 18 hour event and we've kept the ticket price £39.50 (in advance till 30th June) which is something which you wouldn't expect to see anywhere in the UK for an event of that magnitude. We've got over nine arenas and over 100 artists. We've got a 10,000 capacity arena, so if the Scottish weather gets bad, people can get out of the rain. It's on the grounds of Edinburgh airport, so you can fly up, go to the party and then fly back!" he grins.

One of the biggest attractions will be a very rare and exclusive old skool set from Carl Cox, who headlines his own arena alongside Darren Emerson, Nic Fanciulli, Kevin Saunderson and Fergie. When first approached to spin a classics set, Cox was wary, but changed his mind when convinced that many old skool heads would turn out in force to witness his peerless passion and DJ knowledge.

"The thing is that when I was first asked to do it, I said no, because 20 years ago most of the people who would be going to the event weren't even born!" reasoned Cox. "I said, how can I play music for the people who weren't there then with the same passion, that I played with at the time? But I was told wholeheartedly that if I played a classics set a lot of the old skool crowd would come out to hear me play. So it's a bit of nostalgia, I don't do it that often, but it's not a gimmick, I still have the passion to play this style of music.

"I've not really played Edinburgh that much, whenever I've played up in Scotland I've normally played Glasgow. I haven't been there for years so I'm quite excited to be going back there for sure," Cox enthused.

Tickets to the EH1 Festival are priced at £39.50 (subject to booking fee) prior to 30th June, and at £49.50 thereafter, from Ticketmaster or Ticket Scotland 0870 220 1116. Further info from eh1musicfestival.com.