Mega as always, despite it's own best efforts

Global is reliably one of the friendlier festivals out there, whether its the chemicals, music or the diverse demographic present, and this year was no exception. Right from the off the tripped out bonhomie on display was a joy, complemented with fantastic beats from the most surprising of sources. Unfortunately too often this was despite, rather than because, the efforts of festival organisers.

The key challenge was the Main Stage. Dance music is born of the clubs, and the outdoor stage has always struggled here. There was some effort made to rectify the obvious problems – the sound system was massive, and the screens across could be used to great effect by those willing – as the always-interesting Beardyman proved. But the key to Global remains the tents.

And just packed with gems they were. Roska & Jamie George lit up the Rinse tent on a Friday that avoided feeling like a warm up to the main event – the same applies to Above & Beyond in their own Group Therapy tent, although the venue is yet to be found where their tunes aren't exhilarating. The ultimate cap-off to the night had to be Ms Dynamite though – there was already a lot of love in the room but she proved why we've missed her so much – although her all-too brief set was more evocative in the old material, which is understandable.

Saturday continued the good surprises. Caps off to Silver & Prophecy, their double-length set had a helluva lot of hostility when the masses learned of Tempah T's unexplained absence. But come the end, when the crowds had stayed, they'd stood down the hecklers and it was a high point of the weekend. Ben Gold had won over people (including us) who'd never heard of him before earlier in Godskitchen tent – the best aspect of Global was the unexpected sonic joys. Unfortunately the same can't be said of the weekends headliners Pendulum and Tinie Tempah – more on that in the 'headliners' review HERE

In terms of big names, this weekend belonged to two acts – Chase and Status and Carl Cox. Bizarrely they clashed with each other on the schedule, which fortunately didn't matter too much – the Chase and Status crowd would've filled two Metropolis tents, so at our mid-field viewing position we were already halfway between them and Carl Cox anyway. Happily, both were sublime – again, more on that in the 'closing acts' review HERE.

Okay, so there was a strange schedule, shoddy sets and leaving the festival was hell – anyone for four hours queueing in a car park? But the music was fantastic overall, and little can reassure faith in the human spirit like a weekend spent with Scouse skinheads, Essex hippy-chicks and London public school types dance together in harmony. Global Gathering; mega as always, despite it's own best efforts.

Words by Colm Field

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