Something of a dream
Worldwide Festival 2012 - Sete, France

Worldwide Festival in Sete sounds like something of a dream, where sun-drenched revellers dance on the beach to Giles Peterson's eclectic selection of musicians and DJs. Hosted in the beautiful small port town in South-East France, each day of the week-long festival starts and ends with a beautiful sunrise over the never ending Mediterranean coastline after music goes on all night in an old dockyard and begins again on the beach.

At this year's festival thousands of guests gathered in the three diverse venues scattered across one stretch of the town. The beach parties were close enough to the sea to lounge or dance in the sand, and during an incredible disco funk set from Carl Cox on Friday and Simbad on Saturday, festival-goers just couldn't stop and were dancing in the sea under a scorching sun.

Teatre de la Mer, says Peterson - who was a constant presence throughout the festival - is the most amazing venue on earth. It’s hard to disagree: sitting within the ruins of a stone theatre that looks out over the horizon, it’s impossible to imagine a more ambient and beautiful setting. On Friday evening Portico Quartet performed a breath-taking show, their mesmerizing music filling even this most spectacular of stages, while jet skiers skidded around in the background like modern day whales dancing to the music. The Malian band Tinariwen performed an equally magical set the following evening as the beginnings of a storm began appearing in the distance.

Each evening's all night dancing was held in an arena beneath a lighthouse where Fourtet stunned the crowd on Friday. Julio Bashmore, closely followed by Scuba, was the peak of the night which ended only when dawn broke over the dockyard's ships, while Claude VonStroke kept the dancing going on Saturday. Meeting a crowd of expectant fans, the sensational Nicholas Jaar fulfilled all preconceptions and performed a perfect epic build up to Sunday's final sets.

WF is not the typical festival as all decisions about what to see are out of your hands, yet there is enough musical diversity to feel that Peterson embraces the entire crowds' needs, and looking back over the programme you realise you haven't missed anything. His final set on the beach was testament to this; a fantastic combination of samba, reggae, house and funk, dub step and drum and bass, perfectly attuned to the crowd before him and drumming up a sense of euphoria in the dazy crowd. Just going for the weekend is an incredible experience, but plans should already be in place to soak up the festival for the whole week come 2013.

Words and photo by Helen Morgan

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