Festival Review // Arcadia

by HannahSweetnam
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on 08 September 2015 in Features

This weekend went off with a tremendous bang as 13,000 people descended upon Bristol’s Queen Square - the hub of various festivals throughout the year - for its first ever Arcadia Festival.

The steam punk circus rolled out a spectacular performance featuring a sensational light show, daring pyrotechnics and stunning aerial acrobatics. Starting at 5pm, the four-hour phenomenon took place on both Friday and Saturday night. Filling up gradually over the first couple of hours, by half eight the dance floor was heaving and getting underneath the iconic giant metal arachnid was near impossible.

With live music from DJs such as Annie Mac and GotSome, the crowds could not have been more in tune with their surroundings and the Arcadia crew certainly knew how to entertain the masses. Whether the line-up was your thing or not, there was not a singular way of resisting the urge to get on your feet and dance. In any case, you’d be hard pushed to find any space free to sit down!

The atmosphere that surrounded Queen Square on the Saturday night was electric and as you approached the venue to enjoy the final night of music from DJs Monki, GotSome, Annie Mac and Bristol's own Eats Everything, the tunes drew you in, immediately giving you that festival feeling. Helped along by the warm climate, it couldn’t have been a better weekend for the event.

But Arcadia is about more than the music. Bringing together fans of ragga, house, drum n bass and techno alike, the main event is of course the showcase. From bold aerial gymnastics to tightrope gliding spiders, strobe lit dancers to the transfixing Lords of Lightning there was not a single glitch in the flow of this epic performance. Alien dancers, reminiscent of bioluminescent deep-sea creatures hung from the colossus, weaving up and down its huge mechanical legs, as the beast’s x-ray eyes scanned the revellers, and orbs with dancers inside lit up the corners of the stage.

Just when you thought the experience couldn’t get any better, exploding raw electricity into the supernatural surroundings of Arcadia’s arena, the legendary Lords of Lightning came to the floor. Using electrical wizardry to wow crowds, the daredevils conducted electricity through their bodies to create astounding lightning routines to music! Their show was truly unique and made an already incredible performance truly exhilarating.

Despite my doubts that this small-scale arena could never compare to the likes of Glastonbury, I could not have been more wrong. The entirety of the spectacular was choreographed and executed to a tee and the event was designed with the care and attention to truly make Bristol come alive.


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