As a first timer at We Are FSTVL, I was an open book. Almost a week later, I am now an undoubted fan and am already thinking about what I’m going to wear next year.
Based in Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Upminster the festival opened its doors to roughly 70000 people, this Bank Holiday weekend just gone. The two-day sold-out extravaganza is obviously a fan favourite and a fairly big festival, however, We Are still manages to keep that smaller festival feel, with the stages being close together giving it an intimate vibe.
Gutted to have only attended on Sunday, I made the most of my time there to make up for my absence on the previous day. After a quick 20-minute train ride from East London, we hopped in an uber (we were too impatient to wait for the very efficient and did I mention, free shuttle bus to the festival) and entered the former WW1 airfield without a lot of fuss.
Upon being given our VIP wristbands, essentially, we made a beeline for the VIP area and we were not disappointed. It’s almost like a slightly muddy, countryside Ocean Beach Club-esque type vibe – if you can try and conjure up that image in your head? Ha!
There were deck chairs with branded umbrellas and cushioned seating areas for our comfort, exclusive food stands with braid and glitter bars, an additional stage and not to mention a bar with significantly shorter queues than those in the main venue. Most importantly though – I’m going to sound so sad here lol – were the toilets. They were clean, fully functioning little cabins – WITH ACTUAL SINKS! (and proper soap and mirrors – honestly, I’m very easily pleased).
I have a grim story or two about festival toilets, so I was in my element. I highly recommend a VIP upgrade, the perks make it so worthwhile!
After getting a few drinks down us, we made our way to the Love Juice Tent where we caught the man of the moment, Ed Mason doing his absolute thing on the decks. He has been making waves all year and now, is the perfect time for all his summer tracks to get us into the proper swing of things.
After a little more exploring the site, we ended up cutting some shapes in the Desperados House, screaming our heads off on one too many fairground rides and almost vomiting up all the cheesy chips we had consumed, on said rides.
As the afternoon progressed and the fantastic weather persevered, we set up camp at the GRM Daily stage in preparation for Yxng Bane, N0T3S and Yungen – an epic line up.
Yxng Bane really set the precedent and there were back to back bangers for the next thirty-odd minutes. His music catalogue is hefty, but aside from that, I must mention his stage presence. He has such an aura about him, such a confident but laid-back swag – he really knows how to engage with a crowd. He sure was a hard act to follow and definitely my festival favourite.
With over 300 amazing acts across the weekend, breath-taking custom-built stages and amazing eatery options (there was even a great selection for veggies and vegans) I can only image how We Are FSTVL will top this next year.
If you, like me, are an eager beaver, early bird tickets for 2019 are already on sale at www.wearefstvl.com.