Otherworldly. Diverse. Dedicated. Three words that have epitomised Lost Village Festival for the past few years. This year saw another added to the list: Euphoria.
Relentless in their dedication to production, the Lost Village team continue to out-do themselves. This year they introduced the Airbase stage in place of the Lost Chapel, and what a decision that turned out to be. In the Airbase, the festival gained a new woodland main stage. Fitted out with abandoned aircraft that were at the mercy of revellers, the production team reminded us how to truly detach from a Brexit-heavy reality.
As for the music, it yet again delivered. There is something for most people at Lost Village, balancing live acts such as the endearing and genre-defying Elder Island with Disco, House and Techno stalwarts such as Chaos in the CBD, Folamour and the eminent Richie Hawtin. Add to this an incredibly insightful line-up of industry talks that saw one third of the Belleville Three (Kevin Saunderson) recall his Inner City life, and Lost provides not just an experience, but an education.
It’s often difficult to recall who you saw and when at Lost Village given the winding woodland paths, it all melds into one rapturous, blissful memory soundtracked by the finest in the business. From Artwork’s thrilling disco journey on the opening night – in which Abba well and truly went down – to stormy, bass-laden voyages from the likes of Mano Le Tough, HAAi and Richie Hawtin; evenings seemed to be filled with elation whichever stage you stumbled upon.
If you were lucky enough to make a trip to The Watcher’s Holt stage (home to a series of impromptu secret sets throughout the festival) then you may have been treated to a masterclass in fun from the Chaos in the CBD boys. Fresh from their Junkyard set which closed off with the legendary 1999 (Kaycee Edit) by Binary Finary – a set that saw a number of people play Tarzan and shimmy up the trees – the New Zealanders delivered a couple of hours of acidic bouncers for the early evening. Then enter Jayda G, who amassed a swarm of woodland Villagers to throw down some of the most eclectic, soulful jams heard all weekend. What a woman.
Speaking of eclecticism, Sunday saw soul and funk Sir Killabot, Craig Charles don the Burial Ground to a sunbaked crowd of Villagers, dropping classics such as Sister Sledge’s Lost In Music. Out in the forest, edits pioneer and Lost Village favourite Greg Wilson returned once more to serve up an example in how to mix, mingling classics with the obscure before signing off with 808 State’s triumphant Pacific State.
It was a newcomer to the festival that landed set of the festival however. Blending atmospheric, dreamy house with acidic blurs, thumping techno and a drum and bass skanker to finish, Seoul native Park Hye Jin fused it all seamlessly whilst layering her own rap vocals over the top, epitomised by her enchanting, ABC.
Production, food, comedy, talks, music; Lost Village continues to go from strength to strength. It has a winning, liberating formula, one that draws in crowds from across the musical spectrum solely to experience the entrancing environment. By doing so, Lost Village has a unique ability to open the door for crowds to expand their sonic tastes while providing well-versed music heads with a stellar roster of talent. It entrances, it detaches, it delivers. See you next year Lost Village.
Words: Samuel Asquith
Featured Images: Andrew Whitton