Would it surprise you to hear that last weekend’s RUN All Day at Motion was their biggest event to date? I highly doubt it.
Constantly growing and adapting, this long-standing events brand has become a truly unstoppable musical behemoth over the years - consistently demonstrating that there is no ceiling to the levels they can reach.
From announcing that RUN would begin also running as a music label after the sought after release of Critical Impact & Break’s ‘Creeper’ with Skibadee, to taking on festival stage takeovers at the likes of Shockout, Love Saves The Day and Hospitality On The Beach - 2018 will surely go down as one of the most iconic years in RUN’s history - one where the events brand really flourished as a true powerhouse of the drum and bass scene.
After the hugely successful inaugural RUN All Day last September, the event returned to a sold out Motion for yet another historic milestone - one signalling the near closure of a summer that has been remarkable for both the barmy weather and drum and bass in particular.
Yet again coming armed with an artillery of massive names, this year’s line-up somehow surpassed the mammoth roster 2017’s event entailed. With appearances from Sub Focus, Dimension, Fabio & Grooverider, SASASAS, Kings of The Rollers and Black Sun Empire b2b Ed Rush, the sheer scope of the line-up was enough to send pulses racing.
For those who attended last year’s event, they will know just how dire the weather conditions were… With torrential rain lashing down and forcing the organisers to set up a large gazebo over the main courtyard arena. Luckily this year was different, and despite being grey and drizzly at times, the weather held off for the most part.
This was ideal because the early part of the afternoon hosted various sets desiring good weather to compliment the summery music - including a Med School Takeover with Anile, Etherwood and Hugh Hardie, and Danny Byrd laying down a rowdy jungle set.
With Danny Byrd posters lining the stoned walls of the crane yard, there was clearly something particularly special about this occasion - the release of his new album ‘Atomic Funk’ after a five year wait. Celebrating it at one of his beloved local stomping grounds, Danny Byrd drew a packed crowd for a nostalgic performance portraying the many inspirations that have influenced his jungle-driven, soulful funk sound.
The jungle theme and packed nature of the crane yard followed suit all day - with security having to manage the volume of people entering the stage due to the persistent hordes flocking in. And it’s no surprise as to why so many were cramming in when the artists appearing included legends such as Fabio & Grooverider, Skibadee, The Ragga Twins and DJ SS.
As an artist who has been around since the early formation of the genre, but hasn’t appeared on a great deal of Motion lineups, DJ SS produced one of the best atmospheres of the afternoon with a special History Lesson - constantly throwing back to classic feel good anthems such as Shy FX & T. Power’s ‘Shake Your Body’ and ‘Feelings’.
With Skibadee on the mic, it was a scintillating combination that put everyone in good spirits - with people in the crowd lifting legs up to the sky to show appreciation for the heavy drops, and even Skibadee looking completely bemused and lost for words whilst pulling bass faces to the cheek-slapping basslines DJ SS was unleashing.
This year RUN had the luxury of a four stage takeover after Motion’s expansion opening up a canal-side stage and the indoor Marble Factory - the latter of which resembled a darkened solace housing various musical gems - including TNA, Critical Impact and the Shadow Demon Coalition.
But the one that drew the most interest was a phenomenal exclusive link up between Ed Rush & Optical b2b Black Sun Empire - a combination of drum and bass giants renowned for their explosive sets.
With a crowd completely covering the entire room and spanning the overhanging balcony, this was clearly one of the sets everyone had been waiting for. Reeling through an endless barrage of heavy neuro basslines and thunderous drum formations, this two hour masterclass combined with the colourful laser displays and energetic crowd led to a truly memorable performance.
Over at the main courtyard area, there seemed to be a constant gathering of revellers all glued to the spot for the majority of the day. But who can blame them with the likes of Hype b2b Hazard, Kings of The Rollers and SASASAS at the helm.
However, it was the final two sets of the night that provoked the biggest reaction with Dimension taking to stage followed by Sub Focus. There was a unique moment during their changeover when Dimension ended his set with the duo’s forthcoming collaboration - a track embodying a beautifully written vocal and a catchy riff melody. ‘If you don’t know yet, then you need to get to know’ were the words of MC AD-Apt.
With the audience’s hands stretched high into the air, and a sea of phone’s lights illuminating the arena, it felt like a fitting nod to RUN’s next Bristol outing on December 1st as part of the In:Motion calendar of winter events - an event that will see Dimension take over the Marble Factory with a specially curated line-up during one stop of his UK tour.
As Sub Focus brought the night to an end, his introduction featuring Wilkinson’s ‘Take You Higher’ provided the perfect build up to a finale closing another successful RUN All Day - one summing up the event brand’s incredible desire to continually improve on every event and provide audiences with a fresh raving experience teaming with the biggest names in the genre.
RUN returns to Motion on December 2nd in collaboration with Playaz, Dimension’s UK tour and V Recordings.
All images courtesy of Alastair Brookes of KoLAB
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