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Review: Lost Village, UK, 27-29th May

A festival with an 'ethereal woodland theme'? Count us in.

The UK music festival market is undoubtedly saturated. This is particularly true of dance festivals. A steady supply of artists is satisfying a seemingly endless demand and this has led to some justifiable criticisms that line-ups are becoming monotonous. Festivals have to offer more than adequate music to be viable. Lost Village was no different and a lot of thought has gone into justifying the festival's ethereal woodland theme. The undead stalked the dancefloors and trees came to life, there was lakeside archery and we even had time to make a dreamcatcher with a friendly hippy lady before Ben UFO.

However, there is an awful lot to be said for doing the basics well. A nice location, a carefully selected roster of DJs and proper sound systems are all completely essential. Lost Village's second outing comprehensively delivered and offered much, much more besides. The music itself was impeccable. There were some particularly nasty clashes over the course of the weekend and the choice between DJ Koze, Kink and Henrik Schwarz was an agonising one, but the proximity of the stages and quality of the artists on each meant that this wasn't much of an issue. We were able to zip from the impeccable stylings of Roman Flugel over to the Lookout just in time to see the elusive Fatima Yamaha hammer out 'What's a Girl To Do'.

Seeing DJ Koze's headline performance in the forgotten cabin was spellbinding, as was Mano Le Tough's the previous night; a set which he rounded off by playing Midland's latest jam 'Final Credits'. The production was excellent and did full justice to the wonderful noise pumping out of the speakers. A special mention too for Heidi, who was solely responsible for pulling me from the Saturday evening shakes. The main stage had a different atmosphere to the more intimate woodland stages but her trademark jacking house was right at home.

The festival has room to improve of course, but this added to the charm. There is a steep learning curve to be navigated and it can often take promoters a few tries before they find their feet. Many of the staff were just as puzzled as the punters as to which stage was which and who was supposed to be where. But this relaxed atmosphere was a complete blessing. It was entirely refreshing to be able to attend a dance music event that was as liad back as this. Everyone inside the small Lincolnshire woodland was friendly, well intentioned and interesting to speak to.

There's no doubt that Lost Village will grow in size and popularity as the word spreads, and like all good things, Ibiza included, it can become a victim of its own success. But if the festival can stick to its roots then there is no reason to doubt that next year will be even better.

WORDS | Jonothan Coll PHOTOGRAPHY | Lost Village

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