Eastern Electrics Takes Over Hatfield House
On the 6th August, Hatfield House was transformed from its famed historical grounds into a hosting ground from some of the most renowned electronic artists. The typically peaceful green had been turned into a platform for ravers from all around to see some of their favourite acts. The area is only a short train ride away from London, which makes it a viable day out for city dwellers. Particularly as the entrance to Hatfield House is immediately outside the station, it is a convenient location for people travelling from all over. After a short walk through the woods of Hatfield, ticket holders approached a decently sized festival site, with massive fairground rides visible from afar. The grounds consist of nine music stages, including the acclaimed Grime label Black Butter Records, The Switchyard stage, and the tiki-themed Tropical Tea Party stage.
Compared to some of the other commercial UK day festivals, EE is relatively compact. Despite this, the layout of the festival is done exceptionally well. Although it is a very short walk from one side of the festival to the other, there still seemed to be a lot of open space to chill and take a break from the high-energy festivities that ran like electric through the site. Between the music stages, there are towering carnival rides and multiple food stalls to choose from.
The VIP area included some quirky extras for those who upgraded to a more glamorous festival experience for an additional £20. This included a VIP stage that had some decent names playing throughout the day, including Doorly. The Main Stage was the central platform for some of the bigger artists of the day like Seth Troxler and Hot Since 82. The dystopian metalworks-inspired Switchyard Stage created a good atmosphere for old-school favourite DJing duo Groove Armada. For a largely electronic-focused music festival, the line-up gave a decent variety; from famed actor and DJ Idris Elba to Bristolian producer Eats Everything. However, a majority of the artists seemed to adapt to the Tech House vibe, which although well received, made the variety of artists seem less significant. There was not much in the way of D&B, Bassline or even Grime, despite the Black Butter Records stage.
A hidden gem of the festival was the Tropical Tea Party Stage, only accessible through a somewhat hidden pathway. This area was home to an intimate and exotic cabana, where most of the accompanying crowd adapted to the theme by taking full advantage of provided outfit booths and snatching up Hawaiian leis that were on offer. The extravagant smoky stage stood out from the rest of the festival, not only because of the theme, but the music too, which moved away from solely electronica. A prime example of this was The Fontanas, who provided a funky and energetic live set. There was a stage dedicated to live bands, as well as a DJ booth next to it that came in to play as the sun went down. The area’s final DJ set of the night was spontaneously accompanied by a passionate bongo-playing stranger who attracted an enthusiastic crowd of happy dancers.
Overall the festival delivered the goods and provided a great day that fulfilled many festival-goers’ need for a big summer event. The location was convenient and EE did well to make the most of the green space provided at Hatfield house. Other than a slight lack of variety musically, there is nothing negative about Eastern Electrics. For a relatively new festival, things are looking promising for the future of this electronic haven.
Site Setup 8/10
Festival Communication 7/10
Attention to Detail 6/10
Creative Content 7/10
Value for Money 7/10
By Isaac Hirsch-Parker/ Kyomi Cheyenne