After cancelling half the festival last year due to weather it was only right that Creamfields was blessed with the best weather for years on its 15th anniversary.
Despite the Met Office issuing a weather warning for Cheshire on the Saturday it was clear that the ravers were in for a sunny weekend, the first time in over five years!
After the problems in 2012 Creamfields had to do something to put festival-goers minds at rest, so with the addition of £500,000 worth of improvements including matrix signs throughout the festival and camping sites, changes to the line up and general information messages were conveyed to the masses. This along with a social media team both on the festival site and behind the scenes revellers were kept up to date with last minute changes.
Not only was Creamfields blessed with great weather this year organisers introduced new FX towers, placed around the two stages. The new South Stage, (now the biggest) with three massive screens on either side of the stage and FX towers was the size of 6 x 4 double decker buses, a huge imposing structure in the Cheshire countryside.
Saturday was the longest day of the festival with the music starting at 2pm running through until 4am for those who could last that long in the tents.
AVICII stole the show on Saturday on the South Stage starting five minutes early and opening with his UK number one hit with NICKY ROMERO, ‘I Could Be The One’. Throughout his performance the huge pyrotechnic display really came into its own with coloured flames, fireworks, streamers, lasers and confetti shooting up from the stage and FX towers, totally immersing the ravers.
AVICII knew his crowd well and seamlessly mixed his own hits into others such as SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA’s ‘Reload’ and even a bit of ‘Fool’s Gold’ by THE STONE ROSES.
AVICII ended his set playing ‘Wake Me Up’ and simply saying, “Creamfields, thank you so much, you were amazing”, to which the crowd roared with appreciation.
After the outside performances finished at 11pm attention turned to the tents. Steve Angello (one third of the former SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA) performed to a packed ‘Size Matters’ tent, named after his label. It was surprising how busy his tent was considering he was scheduled to play another set on the South Stage on Sunday, but needless to say the crowds were immensely happy with this set, which started with his remix of ROBIN S’ ‘Show Me Love’.
He then continued to keep the tightly packed crowd delighted with many of the hits from his SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA days, including the ever-popular ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ to which the crowd belted out the chorus as he faded the music.
In stark contrast to Steve Angello’s packed tent, full of special effects and streamers, Eric Prydz played to a relatively empty dark Pryda Friends tent, which at times only had a few lights to penetrate the darkness. Despite the contrast in tents the revellers who had chosen Prydz over Angello were not disappointed and roared with excitement as the Swedish DJ, famous for ‘Call On Me’ and ‘Pjanoo’ played FAITHLESS’ ‘Insomnia’.
Sunday’s entertainment kicked off at midday with lesser-known DJs getting the party started to thousands as they basked in the late summer sunshine. Sunday was definitely the stronger day with Steve Angello and former ‘partner-in-crime’ Sebastian Ingrosso, Tiesto and David Guetta all in the last few hours of the festival.
It was late afternoon/early evening when the bigger names began to take to the stage with HARDWELL commanding the attention of thousands on the South Stage. He isn’t known for many singles in the UK, however this didn’t matter as he is obviously a master on the decks, playing ARMIN VAN BUUREN’s ‘This Is What It Feels Like’, UNDERWORLD’s ‘Born Slippy’ as well as hits from ELLIE GOULDING and CALVIN HARRIS, AVICII, FAITHLESS and the former UK number top ten single, MACKLEMORE’s ‘Can’t Hold Us’.
All in all HARDWELL’s set was surprising as it included so much commercial/chart music, but the audience definitely appreciated it, bouncing throughout his 1.5 hour set.
It’s never good when one of the headline acts tweets, “The plane , the plane,The plane is on fire!!!!“ only a few hours before he is due to take to the stage, but that’s exactly what DAVID GUETTA tweeted as he was forced to find an alternative plane to bring him to northwest England in the eleventh hour.
With GUETTA's set due to start at 9.30pm festival organisers quickly arranged for AFROJACK to play an extended set, to the crowd’s delight, and Belgium brothers DIMITRI VEGAS & LIKE MIKE returnED to the North stage for the second time that day to fill in until DAVID GUETTA arrived.
Meanwhile SEBASTIAN INGROSSO and ALESSO were delighting crowds in the ‘All Mixed Up’ tent which appeared to have a one-in one-out policy reminiscent of two years ago when SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA were in a tent that was bulging in all directions.
As 10pm came and went it was looking dubious as it whether the French superstar DJ would indeed appear in time. Indeed when STEVE AOKI took to the stage with DIMITRI VEGAS & LIKE MIKE just after 10pm the crowds were wondering if they were actually going to see the ‘One Love’ DJ.
All was not lost though, as GUETTA tweeted he had landed at 10.10pm, he finally appeared on stage at 10.37pm.
With only 23 minutes left of his set and a strict 11pm finish time it was straight in with his latest hit ‘Play Hard’ saying to the waiting crowd, ‘Is it too crazy to be here?’.
Similar to his set last year the lighting rigs on the stage came to life moving into position as the stage and surrounding FX towers erupted with fireworks, streamers and lasers to Guetta’s significantly shorter set.
As Bruno Mars’ ‘Locked out of Heaven’ played out across the fields huge display fireworks erupted behind the North Stage. They continued for ages for something that could only be likened to New Year’s Eve or 4th July celebrations in the USA.
Ending with his smash hit ‘Titanium’ that was the end of another fantastic festival, made even better by the weather and lack of mud! Rarely has there been a Creamfields where you can be ‘safe’ wearing trainers rather than wellies, but trainers were definitely the footwear of choice on Sunday.
Creamfields early bird details go on sale this Friday 30th August 2013 so be quick to get your hands on some before they sell out, check out www.creamfields.com for more information.
This year was also the first year that Creamfields has been streamed live online through YouTube, the highlights of which can be watched online now and over the coming weeks at www.youtube.com/creamfields
Check out photos from this year's Creamfields right here>>
Words: Anna Sky Hulton
Top and Bottom photos: Marc de Groot