LWE’s debut festival: Junction 2 review
London Warehouse Events – otherwise known as LWE – is well known for putting on consistently stellar line-ups and parties. Most famously, its quarterly parties at the grade 1 listed venue, Tobacco Docks. For 2016, it has upped the ante by curating its first ever festival, Junction 2 – which took place 4th June. Aptly named with its placement under a motorway bridge.
The buzz around the festival was incredible. The tease of the location of the festival was announced just a mere few months before the big day. Only being told that it was a zone 4 location until then. The unveiling of Boston Manor Park proved that LWE were going to be pulling out all the stops for this party, as it hunted a location that has never been used before for an event of this magnitude.
The location epitomized the contrast that the city of London embodies. A mixture of industrial, urban structure combined with the serenity of nature. LWE gave you a chance to get lost in the magical, decorated forests – breaking you away from the thrashing techno that was being bellowed from the Funktion 1s. There was a treat at the end of the winding leafy paths, when you were greeted with an area of scrumptious food and cosy hammocks to lose time in.
Drumcode, The Hydra and Closer were the curators of the festival, each having their own, very different, stages. Drumcode was the main stage, situated under the motorway bridge – an industrial setting fitting perfectly with the mechanical sound that the label embodies. The Hydra was the most serene out of the three, with a simple canopy that blanketed over you – as Electric Minds constructed the line up for the day. The Closer stage took inspiration from the infamous Berghain, with the warehouse structure and as you danced your way into the tent, it was dark with a simple line of LEDs lined up down the middle of the ceiling. It was the favourite of all stages.
Each stage was constructed with a stellar line up. The Drumcode stage was of course, headed up by techno’s power couple Adam Beyer and Ida Engberg. Joining them was the label’s heavyweights, Alan Fitzpatrick, Pan-Pot, Carl Craig presenting Modular Pursuits Live and Boxia. For The Hydra, Electric Mind’s creator Dolan Bergin pulled out all the stops, filling the line up with the finest selection of whimsical sets from ÂME (live), Dixon, Move D, Mano Le Tough and Mr.G (live). Last but not least, The Closer stage was brimming with some of techno’s greatest with Ostgut Ton’s Marcel Dettmann, Nina Kraviz, the noisy duo that is Dense & Pika and Scuba.
For its first ever festival, we were completely blown away by how smooth everything ran. Festivals tend to have a problem with queues. However, even though the site was quite compact, you were waiting no more than 5 to 10 minutes to buy a drink, the toilets took at the most 15 minutes and we managed to get through security and tickets within 15 minutes as well. How did they manage to get it so right on their first go, when festival’s that have been running for 5 years plus fail so badly? You could wander from The Hydra to the Closer stage within 5 minutes, yet surprisingly the sound didn’t travel and get mixed in with each other. Everyone was there for a good time, you could happily groove with the people around you. There was a family vibe. Close to the vibe that you get when you’re in Dekmantel.
Our favourite set of the day would have to be, Dixon closing up The Hydra stage. One very emotional, beautiful moment was when he dropped Acid Pauli – Nana, with everyone either hugging their friends or with their hands up in the air screaming with pure euphoria. Dense & Pika clanged away – a bit too much – as all the sets then afterwards had appalling sound. A shame as Nina Kraviz was afterwards and her song selection was one of the best I have heard from her. We only went to the Drumcode stage briefly to see Alan Ftizpatrick and the only fault we came across throughout the day was that there weren’t enough speakers running down the underpass of the bridge. If you were dancing from the middle backwards, the sound didn’t travel very well. You couldn’t feel the gas-fueled drops that Drumcode are renowned for.
The general view of Junction 2 from everyone that went was that it will end up being one of the best festivals of the summer. The lineup is what you expect from an LWE event but the organisation and the amount of production that went into the event just pushed it beyond everything we expected it to be. We are certainly excited for round two!
Here are some the tracks we heard at Junction 2:
- Mouth To Mouth (Dense & Pika remix) – Audion
- Planet E (Dense & Pika Remix) – Tiga
- Acid Pauli – Nana
- Well (Robert Hood Remix) – Gary Martin
- Mim Suleiman – Mwaitoma (prod. Maurice Fulton)
- Paddy’s Travel – Jerome C
- Higher Level (Bicep Remix) – Isaac Tichauer
- Each Other – Bambounou