Party-goers at last weekend’s Happiness Hill were treated mostly to the expected fare: a human-sized doof, cool (and occasionally wet) weather, lots of psytrance, some mind-bending field pickings and awesome friendly vibes.
But, among the usual festival experiences, something really special occurred shortly after dusk on Saturday night.
There were no signs of what was to come as an unassuming young woman by the name of Ellie – wearing a set of plain denim overalls and a bucket hat, and looking like she would struggle to convince the local bottle shop she was old enough to buy alcohol – approached the Love Camp tent (the event’s unofficial second stage), and nervously awaited her turn at the decks.
To say that she “crushed it”, “smashed it”, “killed it”, or any other phrase the kids these days use, would be a woefully inadequate description of what happened next: but, in short, she made the place utterly GO OFF.
Displaying a level of confidence, enthusiasm and audience engagement that most DJs spend years perfecting, if ever, Ellie managed to produce a highlight of the festival that will be long-remembered.
By the time she was deep into her set of psytrance and bush techno mixes (including some of her own tunes), the Love Camp dome was jam-packed and overflowing, steaming hot and utterly heaving with wild dancing of the sort that can’t be manufactured. Even for those – like this reviewer – that don’t really like the style of music she was playing, it was a stunning moment, and almost impossible for passers-by to not get drawn into the atmosphere. Indeed, by the time she was done, she had drawn a larger and more enthusiastic audience than the DJ on the main stage.
After the set concluded to rapturous applause and congratulations, those managing the Love Camp stood around in a state of near shock. Bewildered, one turned to me and said: “Did you see what just happened?”
I did see what just happened, of course, but I didn’t know the full story: It turns out young Ellie was nervous beforehand because this was to be her debut set as a DJ.
So, when you’re looking at the lineups of festivals in the future, look out for this name: Nostalgic. Should any of her future gigs be half as good as the first, you won’t want to miss it.