Not sure why it’s taken me so long to put something up about this. Freerotation was from the 22nd-24th of July at Baskerville Hall set against the beautiful hills of Hay-on-Wye . Yep… that of Sherlock Holmes Fame. And was pretty incredible!
I’d seen a little flyer for it in Bristol 3 years ago and wanted to go each year since, as it’s billed as an Electronic Audio/Visual Festival. It’s essentially a music geeks’ house party, but in a mansion. Rumour has it that the Thomas Baskerville built it for his wife in 1839 as a party house and it’s continued that way through the centuries. So you could be in one of the 3 indoor rooms, dancing underneath genuine golden chandeliers and gigantic mirrors. Most definitely unique.
Resident adviser wrote this, and it’s much better than anything I’d attempt:
‘Freerotation’s main draw is its music—a connoisseur blend of deep house, techno and dubstep—but its cultural makeup is what makes it unique. Due to a members-and-invites-only ticket system, the crowd are mostly devout regulars. All of the staff, from the dreadlocked organizers to the kids selling vegan curry, seem to truly enjoy themselves—even the security and the clean-up crews had a bit of a laugh. Most of the artists hang around all weekend, doing the same things as everyone else: waiting at the bar, bobbing their heads on the dance floor—some even sleep on the campsite. Hunger for profit is replaced by a hippie set of values: people are generous, food and beer are cheap and a general feeling of goodwill prevails.’
To give a glimpse of the lineup: Cosmin TRG, Surgeon, Shackleton, Peverelist, Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, Pangaea, Sven Weisemann, Mono-poly, Move D, Soulphiction and Leif all played and mingled. The music ran from 2pm -7am each day and there were 15 VJ’s who were handpicked and programmed like the DJ’s. As much effort goes in to the visual setup as the music one, so it felt great to be part of it. On the opening night, I teamed up with Fata Morgana and Mashie to make a projection mapped installation in the main room.
On the Saturday I got to VJ for Shackletons’ set, which I think is one of the best sets I’ve done, though, might just be because I was so entranced by the music, it could have just been a blue square on screen from what I can remember. Incredible music!
It’s 1000 capacity which keeps in friendly and family like, on a beautiful site with showers and actual toilets, great music and a strong emphasis on the visuals. It doesn’t get much better than that, so I’m really glad to have been asked back next year!
To top all that (and what has spurred me to post this up 5 months later). DJ Magazine just published an Article entitled ‘Visions of the future’, about ‘Dance music’s current AV revolution’. They covered 2 festivals; Freerotation and Bloc due to their attitude towards visuals. So myself Fata Morgana & Mashie got a little mention alongside the likes of DJ Cheeba, Amon Tobin and Richie Hawtin, so needless to say, pretty chuffed with that one.