MiNT is a brand fast growing in Leeds, and the success of it has been noticed globally, having past been placed at number 22 in the worldwide top 100 clubs (DJ Mag) and won DJ Mags award for Britain’s Best Small Club (MiNT Club). Since the clubs refurbishment it has expanded to the just as popular MiNT Warehouse and as of last year, MiNT Festival. The festival takes place a few miles out from the city centre at Lotherton Hall, and this year boasted 6 stages hosted by both local and internationally renowned clubbing brands. These included System & Louche, Blacklight, Bitch, Bigger Than Barry & Set One Twenty, Teknicolor & Distrikt, Goodgreef & Digital Society and Jungle Jam & Detonate. Having sold out this year it was looking to be even bigger than last.
Arriving at the festival at around 2pm it was already busy with people from many parts of the country. We headed straight for the Blacklight tent to see the Detroit legend Jeff Mills hammer some hard ones from early on. His mixing was flawless and apart from one unavoidable needle jump it was perfection. The combination of smoke and lighting from behind the booth provided the crowd with a view of an eerie silhouette which contributed greatly to the militant style of music. He finished with a beat-less 5 or something minute outro which rounded off a great start to the day.
Next we headed over to the System & Louche tent to catch the last half of Enzo Siragusa playing on his own birthday. Slowing down from Mills’ 128ish bpm techno it was a stripped back yet still bassy serving of the minimalistic house style the Fuse brand and Enzo are reckoned with. Interacting well and playing with a smile on his face, it looked like it was a happy birthday for him indeed!
After watching half an hour of Dixon’s synth heavy, more progressive techno we opted for a change of location which led us to the Teknicolor & Distrikt tent to watch Adam Shelton play to a packed out mass of raised arms and cheering voices. As I wandered in he was mixing in a popular vinyl only cut from Italojohnson which led into a cascade of drum lead, chunky house which caused the crowd to erupt with an awesome energy.
It seemed a shame to leave however, walking into the quieter Blacklight tent once more our choice was not in vein as Surgeon was continuing on with some tremendous techno. Words from the crowd led me to the conclusion that this for the majority of the techno heads, he was the highlight of the Blacklight line up. He was playing a constantly rolling serving of mean music which had every last one of the punters moving. I couldn’t quite see onto the desk, but it looked like he was playing partly live with a 909 which added to the impressiveness of how on point his performance was.
Heading back to the System & Louche tent I saw Seth Troxler who was shortly into the penultimate helping of tunes that many know are consistently on form. Having seen him three or four times I had my usual expectations and I have to say it was possibly my favourite time seeing him. This consistency as many of you will be familiar with has earned him the place as the world’s number one DJ (RA). His mixing was exciting and his signature two finger flick was a welcoming sight to dance to. One notable moment was a remix of The Prodigy’s ‘No Good’. As everyone knows tracks that are regarded as ‘classics’ are hard to remix, but this one whoever it was from, was great fun.
Before the last act we quickly raced back around the arena to check out the other tents, and whilst some had become fairly quiet the music in every arena was provoking great atmosphere amongst the crowd, whatever the size. One last stint in the Blacklight tent which saw Marcel Dettmann playing a slightly tamer than usual set (from what I saw) led us back to the S&L arena for the last hour of Music On head honcho Marco Carola.
At the back end of a summer in Ibiza with a weekly residency at Amnesia, Marco Carola’s parties have been said to be the best in Ibiza this year, and having not seen him play before myself, I was very excited. From what I had heard I was expecting a show to remember and I wasn’t disappointed. When I bounced in, the lows were filtered out, and I managed to reach where the action was just in time for the bass to whip back in causing an uproar of noise. CO2 cannons and an intense light show were what helped along what was my favourite set of the day. As the other tents finished a little earlier than this one it was now full to the brim but not uncomfortable, and later as he smashed out Technasia’s massively supported I Am Somebody he started to draw his set to a close. Over the last few tracks fading out and back in to get some cheers from the crowds meant the noise and atmosphere in the tent was constantly at a high. As the final track was played and the music stopped I was left wanting more!
This was the first time I had been to the festival and it had been a great day. Making our way to the shuttle buses (which proved to be one hell of a challenge) we headed back into the city where there were several after parties if you wanted to keep going. Having sold out this year it is obvious that MiNT festival has caught on massively, and in my opinion things can only get better!