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Review - Future Music Festival 2008 - Sydney

Author: Memphis Raines, CBF Sid/3D World
Thursday, 13 March 2008
For a number of years now, the Future Music Festival has easily been the festival of the year for me. It's always had the 'fresh' feeling about it and, in this time of carbon copy festivals, this one has always been a bit different, possibly due to the fact it use to be called 'Two Tribes' and offered mainly the harder, more underground genres music genres. Slowely, however, the Future Music Festival is beginning to look more and more like all the other festivals.

Arriving at about 2pm in the middle of the racecourse, I was extremely amazed at the smooth and quick entrance into the event. The major difference from last year was immediately obvious - the middle of the racecourse was now in use, along with the same areas as last year, all joined by a 200-metre two-way bridge over the track. Capacity, I would say, had been increased two- or three-fold.

Early on, Carl Kennedy entertained the masses as the venue slowly filled, dropping some classics such as Fragma's 'Toca's Miricale' and it was not long before Roger Sanchez took to the stage. The house master delivered a great set and seemed to be playing exactly what the sun-drenched crowd was after. But this was all warm up music for me, the day belonged to the one and only Sven Vath, a proven great showmen and performer. Vath's storming techno set was a perfect escape from the inundation of electro and house, and the crowd showed their appreciation.

Vath, who had obtained a drumstick from previous performers Datarock, proceeded to dance for the crowd while having a bash on the drum kit nearby, all while mixing perfectly and ending his performance with, fittingly, Supermayer's 'Two Of Us'.

It was then back over to the main stage, trying not to trip on the massive clumps of uneven grass, in time to take up a vantage point front and centre for the undoubted master of progressive, John Digweed. Digweed's set would have to be classed as perfection. Two hours of progressive and tech which had all the connoisseurs in awe. Tracks such as 'Age Of Love' and Phoenix's 'Rise Up' were highlights for me, but it had to be his closing track which brought it all together, Bedrock's 'Heaven Scent', a perfect end to a flawless set.

The time then came for the Chemical Brothers, but trying to meet up with other friends for the performance was futile and phone lines were down, an all too familiar occurrence at large festivals these days.

The Chemical Brothers were a great spectacle, the visuals were utterly amazing and I'm sure some will be having nightmares about that evil clown, but these visuals overshadowed the music for me which apart from their main hits such as 'Galvanise', 'Hey Boy, Hey Girl' and 'Block Rockin' Beats', was sub-par and to be expected.

However, credit must be given to Future Entertainment for the organisation of the amenities - toilet lines were minimal or non-existent and drink lines were also small - which was a comfort at such a massive festival.

It seems every year the festivals get bigger and bigger, but this is not always best. Feedback for this event has already pointed out that last year was a superior experience. The sheer size, amount of people and distance between stages were major disappointments.

But this was made up for by a superb array of music - from trance to progressive and techno to electro - something other major festivals seem to ignore.

(taken from sister site, 3D World)