Voted Best Festival at Best of British Awards 2014, South West Four celebrated its 10th year in 2013 — but this one is gearing up to be their most monumental year yet. Every summer, SW4's headline acts — over two days — have become probably the most hyped announcements among dance heads in the capital, if not the UK.
Skrillex makes a return to Bank Holiday Sunday (29th August) after tearing Clapham Common a new one in 2013, and the internet almost broke when they announced Faithless — of 'Insomnia' fame — will celebrate their 20th anniversary with a debut live show at the event on Saturday (30th August).
Elsewhere, there'll be debuts from Basement Jaxx and Martin Garrix, plus a slew of b2b DJ sets from the biggest underground names in the game across 10 stages, including those from Solomun/Âme and Carl Cox/Loco Dice, who'll team up to headline the DJ Mag tent on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Brit big beat hero Fatboy Slim will present a Smile High Club arena, where the likes of Gorgon City/Pete Tong and Green Velvet/Patrick Topping will join up in the booth, while Eric Prydz has also been named as part of a trio of Saturday headliners. You'll struggle to find a more powerful UK dance line-up this summer, let alone London — fact!
Once again, we've got a blinder of a SW4 competition for you to enter (see bottom right) and — because this year's event is going to be so massive — we threw a few questions to Jeff Gray of Lock N Load Events, the event organisers...
What's new for SW4 in 2015?
“For the first time in our history we will be showcasing 10 stages and over 100 artists across the weekend, making this, by some distance, the most ambitious South West Four to date.
The most significant addition will be the introduction of a second, indoor main stage. This will be the biggest structure to ever be erected on Clapham Common, so we’re very excited as to what will unfold in there over the weekend.”
Who have you booked?
“We have a great balance this year between many artists that have been consistently brilliant for us over the years, complemented by an abundance of new faces. The most significant debutant has to be Faithless, an act we have been after for many years, and we’re delighted to bring to Clapham Common.
It’s not every day that one of the world’s greatest electronic acts decides to reunite in celebration of their 20th anniversary, so for them to choose SW4 to host their exclusive homecoming performance makes this the most talked-about booking of the summer.
We’re also delighted to hand SW4 debuts to local legends Basement Jaxx, the boy wonder Martin Garrix, plus Luciano, Dixon, Amine Edge & DANCE, Hannah Wants and Hot Since 82 amongst others.
“In terms of returning names we’re just a little excited to welcome Skrillex back this summer for the first time since his powerhouse performance in 2012. We were blown away by his set then and we’re expecting even more when he closes the outdoor main stage on the Sunday.
Fatboy Slim plays SW4 for the first time in five years by presenting his Smile High Club. This will be the debut of Norm’s new project so we know he’ll be pulling out all the stops. Carl Cox and Loco Dice also return to repeat their unforgettable back-to-back set from 2013.
Andy C plays not one but two sets this year, whilst Eric Prydz will illustrate why he remains one of our most popular artists, with an incredible main stage appearance.”
What key brands are hosting stages this year?
“In addition to our huge outdoor main stage, each day will feature a further four massive arenas, hosted by dance music’s finest.
“On the Saturday Fatboy Slim presents the debut of his Smile High Club with guests including Eats Everything, Hannah Wants and Todd Terje. Maceo Plex will again bring his ‘Dream, Don’t Sleep’ concept back to SW4, this time with special guests Sven Väth, Dubfire (live) and Carl Craig.
2015 has seen The Gallery celebrate its 20th anniversary as the UK’s leading Friday night, which will also be celebrated at SW4 with a stage including Aly & Fila, Infected Mushroom and Paul Oakenfold.
“DJ Mag will feature heavily across both days by hosting a stage on the Saturday headlined by Solomun vs Âme, Bakermat and Fritz Kalkbrenner and then again on the Sunday with Marco Carola, Adam Beyer, plus the Coxy vs Dice showcase.
The Sunday will also see the world’s leading drum & bass label RAM host their biggest-ever showcase in the UK, with Andy C, Sub Focus, Wilkinson (live), Roni Size Reprazent (live) plus many more.
The final two stages on the Sunday will see Maya Jane Coles host a stage at a UK festival for the first time, with Dixon, Mano Le Tough and Deetron (live), whilst Ibiza comes to Clapham Common as Amnesia Ibiza’s Together party showcases Example + DJ Wire, Oliver Heldens and DJ EZ.”
What are you most looking forward to this year?
“The showcasing of two main stages for the first time in SW4 history is going to give the festival a whole new look and feel this year and help elevate us to the next level. Having Skrillex back at SW4 is a major deal and we know that this set will be even greater than his last unforgettable performance at the festival.
However, above all of this, seeing all our friends and family come together for two days in the summer sun is what makes it all worth the blood, sweat and tears throughout the rest of the year.”
How far would you say SW4 has come over the years?
“SW4 has grown beyond recognition in every department from the first instalment 12 years ago. From the line-up to the production values we’re all very proud of the team effort that goes into making SW4 happen.
We have an amazing, loyal crowd who come year in, year out, rain or shine and have been with us at every step along the way. As long as we continue to receive this support the festival will continue to grow for many years to come…”
CLAPHAM YOUR HANDS!
HANDS UP! WHO WANTS TO WIN ALL THIS?
* TWO x VIP weekend passes to the festival
* TWO x VIP passes to the South West More after-parties
* Hotel accommodation in central London
* Travel from anywhere within the UK
* Drinks and food rider for both days at the festival
To enter, send the answer to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday 25th June...
What year did SW4 start?
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