Those who have visited the Royal Bath & West Showground in the daytime before will recognise it as an expansive indoor arena situated in the picturesque West Country; a venue known for hosting grand country shows, markets and fairs. But anyone hoping to purchase antiques, browse vintage clothing or sample local cheddar next weekend might be rather disappointed and a little bemused.
On October 28th Westfest returns to transform the showground into a unique Day of The Dead musical utopia for one night only. Formed by Slammin Vinyl in 2004, the UK’s biggest indoor dance music festival has become an integral part of Halloween celebrations in the south west, consistently bringing an onslaught of bass music from some of the biggest and heaviest artists around.
Taking place across seven arenas will be an eclectic mix of brands from all corners of rave music – from adrenaline-pumping drum and bass courtesy of One Nation and slick grime bars from The Blast and Bodynod, to rave culture origins in Hardcore Heaven and wavy basslines supplied by Garage Nation.
The three times winner of Best Festival at the Drum & Bass Awards has solidified its reputation as an event boasting high-end production values, and this year is set to be the biggest and most ambitious venture to date. Expect dazzling light shows, mesmerising visuals and extravagant designs.
Ones to watch: SASASAS
Last year they came and they conquered – putting on one of the most intense and exhilarating sets in Westfest history. From Stormin MC running across the front of stage demanding mosh pits, to more rewinds and catchy bars than you can count. It can’t be understated what this supergroup has achieved in the short time they’ve been together. Consisting of DJ Phantasy and Macky Gee on decks and Shabba, Stormin, Harry Shotta and Skibadee front of stage on microphone duties, what started as a one off special showcase in 2014 at London’s now-closed Area nightclub has developed into one of the most exciting and entertaining acts in drum and bass. From playing at festivals like Let it Roll and Rampage, to hosting their own party on a moving London bus (aptly titled Drum & Bus of course), the chemistry they create on stage is next to none and has also been transferred into the studio with their debut EP primed for release later this month. Now with their own catchphrases and a dedicated clothing line, SASASAS have become more than just a music group – they have become a brand.
Ones to watch: Drumsound & Bassline Smith
This year seems to have been the year of the LP for many drum and bass producers. High Contrast, Fred V & Grafix, Wilkinson, Bcee and Makoto are just a few high profile names to have released new albums. But the prospect of Drumsound & Bassline Smith’s Wardance is one that has raised the eyebrows of many artists and fans alike. Their unassailable style of hefty basslines blended with mix-cutting drums and stylish vocals has led to the trio gaining major admiration in the scene. Not only do they have a well-respected underground reputation and their own record label in Technique Recordings, but they have also found success in mainstream radio avenues without endangering their rave-destructive credibility. 2017 has already seen Drumsound & Bassline Smith release the incredible ‘Odyssey VIP’, a track that has been bouncing around dance floors all over the world, and more recently they premiered ‘Come With Me’ – the first track from their upcoming album and one that carries even more explosive capability, already peaking at #1 in the Beatport Drum and Bass Chart. With the majority of Wardance very much under wraps, now is the perfect time to see the trio in order to exclusively preview the soon-to-be released album carnage.
Photo courtesy of Westfest
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