Ste Knight

One Tribe Festival 2017 – NextFest Review

One Tribe Festival is a bit of a pseudo-newcomer on the festival scene. Pseudo, because the organisers have built upon the Audio Farm foundations over several years, since they first started out in Islington Mill, Manchester, and developed an already working formula into something quite remarkable.

The entire festival was geared towards raising funds and awareness for a charity known as the Green Paws Project. This incredibly worthy cause works hard towards creating a better existence for maltreated animals in third world countries. The Green Paw message was entrenched in the entire festival. All food was vegan, meaning zero animals came to any harm when we were being fed (the falafel store was particularly good). Even the plastic cups weren’t plastic, they were made from cellulose. Talk about reducing your carbon footprint while you enjoy yourself!

Photo: Kris Humphreys

One Tribe was only a small festival; 2000 capacity in fact. That isn’t to say the festival felt empty. It felt…perfect. There was always room to throw your most exuberant shapes, even when the bigger acts were pulling large crowds into the tent. There was so much choice that everyone had something to occupy themselves with at any one time.

The music programme was literally on point for the entire five days. We had all manner of genres represented, from dub, through to acoustic sets, swinging past psy-trance, techno, and house on the way. For a festival of its size, the roster was incredibly impressive. We were treated to sets from techno dons DJ BoneSlam, and Juan Atkins. All present will agree that these three acts pulled out all the stops and gave us a festival to remember in terms of techno, and they illustrated exactly why they are at the very zenith point of their game.

IllumiNaughty were present over on the decks at the Trip tent. They brought with them a selection of DJs who offered festival goers high-impact, energetic sets that beckoned all present before them to shed their inhibitions and fling their arms skywards, as thunderous, rolling kick-drums joined hands with throbbing, hi-octane basslines. Any form of music that can keep you dancing non-stop for four hours is alright in my book!

There is something quite special about dancing around to electronic music surrounded by nature, and this festival provided just that in the form of their Forest Stage. Hosting acts such as Darren 808Radioactive ManLone and D.A.V.E the Drummer, our connection with nature through the primal beat was never ending when enjoying what this particular stage had to offer.

One Tribe‘s ambient tent, The Nest, offered respite from the energy-expending music present on the other stages. Dub, ambient techno, and psychedelic beats nourished the souls of anyone in need of rest and relaxation. With a cup of rum-chai in hand, this was the perfect location to sit and collect one’s thoughts after going full pelt at one of the many other stages at the festival.

Photo: Kris Humphreys

The Depth of Bass stage did exactly what it said on the tin, offering a selection of bass heavy music, from breakbeat and jungle, to less chaotic affairs such as dub and dubstep. Highlight of this stage was certainly Manchester’s Dub Smugglers, who shook Cholmondeley Castle Estate to its very core with pounding dub rhythms and deep, cavernous percussion.

All in all, One Tribe Festival was a roaring success from the get-go. Getting our wristbands was literally no bother at all (15 minutes anyone? You don’t get that at Glasto, do you?!), the facilities were kept clean and well stocked with accoutrements, and the bar and food stall staff were friendly (at bars the never held more than a five minute wait). If you want to know who is in the running for Best New Festival, then our money is on these guys. Roll on 2018!


This review came from Ste Knight, regular NextFest contributor and editor of The Waveform Transmitter.

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