Noisily festival, oh how we’ve missed you…

Noisily festival, oh how we’ve missed you…

by mintyhit / Jul 22, 2022 / 0 comments
Thursday, 7 July 2022 to Sunday, 10 July 2022

Photo credit to Nick Caro

Noisily festival, oh how we’ve missed you…

Three years is a long time. A lot can happen. People change their careers, homes and even create more people. Very little is a constant… apart from the apparently overwhelming desire to go nuts and smash it to some of the best of the UK’s alternative electronic music in a woodland setting.

How delighted I was to see not only a new batch of ravers bewildered by the beautiful woods and pumping sound systems, but also so many of the same characters resurrected from previous years. Some, much like myself, were looking a little greyer and more gnarled, but were still full of the same spirit that makes Noisily one in a million… and I don’t say this lightly. You simply won’t find a crowd like this at any other festival. They are fun, friendly and outrageous, without ego. The Noisily family quietly adheres to a code of inclusion, generosity and kindness without the need to enshrine it as a written principle.

Sure, there are some signs of deterioration on the site. Some of the structures and platforms have suffered from the lack of annual maintenance that usually accompanies a yearly festival. But given this will be the final outing in Coney Woods, leaving things as they were with a view to investing in the new site is entirely understandable. Thankfully the most important aspect of the festival (aside from the aforementioned revellers), the audio visual elements, were once again sublime. The Noisily stage in particular is an audiophile's happy place: super-clear, immersive and at times emotionally euphoric. The fidelity was matched with an huge array of lights and enough frickin’ lazers to leave me gawping at the spectacle.

It really was good to be back in front of the Noisily stage and hard to contain my excitement when Lize opened the festival with outstanding melodic techno to set the tone of things to come. That same day we had excellent sets from Tom Real, Audley, OC and Verde. There was no let up for the rest of the festival, with a constant stream of quality from the likes of Beth Lydi and Andreas Hennenburg, Atlanktik, Carbon and a grand finale four and a half hour set from John Digweed.

The Treehouse had a quite different vibe, less refined than the other stages but still with a fun jump-up attitude. On Friday we indulged in a smorgasbord of bass music from the likes of Tengu, Atomic Drop & Dirty Au Pairs, Gaudi and Deekline, to name a few. I spent a good deal more time here over the weekend trying to sweat out every drop of moisture in my body dancing hard to variety of Glitch, D&B, Dub, Neuro, Mashup and everything in between from artists such as Staunch, Skeptical, Trojan Sound System, JFB and many others.

A visit to the Liquid Stage confirmed that it once again looks and sounds amazing. Gone are the massive stacks of Funktion 1 speakers which would usually be a cause for concern but the smaller and more technical looking stacks certainly sounded the business to me. I think one word to describe this stage might be “relentless”, and stomping here in a sea of dust and psychedelia is a right of passage for any Noisily goer. Standout sets included Allaby & Bedders, Evil Oil Man, and of course Simon Posford (Shpongle, Younger Brother) to close in a rare and perhaps final public appearance.

Regrettably I couldn’t be everywhere at once and I am sure I missed a lot of great things happening at the Mind Body and Soul field, Parliament of Funk Stage and at The Nook. One more honourable mention goes to the Leisure Centre that provided what can only be described as a Bass/DnB/Gabba-infused assault on the senses… this is a stage that has incidentally transformed itself from a gazebo and a PA system into a full-on eye-watering monster over the years and, complete with a suitably uneven dance floor, has become an absolute wonky belter.

For Noisily in general I feel the dark times are over and the future is bright. It is an incredible shame that due to urgent forestry management to address a disease threatening the Ash tree population the current site will no longer be fit for the festival. The good news is that the team have found a suitable new wooded glade for future years of sweaty raving, so onwards and upwards. If I were a betting man I’d put good money on the next chapter being even better than the last.

See you all there!

James Hough

Rating out of 11: