Secret Location, Kent | August 10th
You’re entitled to expect a good dose of intimacy when attending any festival pegged as ‘boutique’. However, when standing by the bar at Jack’s Festival, it’s a little disarming how many people are asking each other; “So, how do you know Jack?” While Jack and Crack have never crossed paths, he seems to be a guy who possesses a great deal of ambition, passion and an incredibly good eye for detail.
The latter quality became apparent as soon as you entered Jack’s domain. Dressed for the occasion, the woods at the heart of his first festival stand draped in a magical menagerie of vibrant strings, twinkling lights and floating balloons. These sit high above collections of tawdry sofas that host a disparate mix of tranqued-out fairies, wide eyes and likely lads.
Stumbling out of the woods, the magic seeps into the clearings that house Jack’s stages. First up, the Cola Wine stage embraces a broad but honest policy that focuses on good time party music. This is personified by a jump-up set from Krafty Kuts, whose cranked out bass and breakbeat rhythms did exactly what you’d expect; get things jumpy. On a completely opposite plain, the Jowika stage, deep in the woods, focuses entirely on jangly, guitar-based roots with acts like The Special K’s providing tripped-out pop sounds under a dense canopy of twisted branches.
Walking out into a final clearing, you’re presented with the festival’s most ambitious tent. Curated and created by two of the UK’s most promising dance-floor promoters, The Flux and Wolfstock tent clearly holds the best of tonight’s woodland debauchery. Firing things up under its hot pulsating lights, Bristol’s Huxley injects a heavy dose of festival bounce into his sassy deep-house collection, with Audiojacktaking things a little deeper and darker with their lynchpin bass weight.
This lays the foundations for the revered Andre Lodeman, who builds smooth, intrepid selections to create a genuinely hypnotic musical adventure. As Lodeman brings things down to a simmer, refreshing ice blasts signal the arrival of the equally brilliant Deetron and Kink, who bring back the hot and heavy at 3am. Deetron’s sumptuous sub levels peak with nu-school classics such as Inspector Norse, leading the way for Kink to deliver an incredibly accomplished live show as Jack’s patrons revel under smouldering lights.Whilst the Flux and Wolfstock tent is undoubtedly the strongest link in the festival’s chain, you can’t take anything away from the passion, variety and the unrivalled sense of ‘intimacy’ delivered across the event.
Definitely keep an eye out for what good old Jack’s got planned next.
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Words: Matt Riches