The festival vibe keeps rising at Drum&BassArena HQ. So with London Elektricity’s thoughts and advice on playing at a festival still fresh in our minds from Friday, we’ve checked in with the one and only Andy C for his tactics when playing al fresco… He should know, this summer sees him playing at well over 30 international festivals. And by the time you’ve read this, he will have torn Glade festival a new hole with his epic Alive show over the weekend.
“Festivals are wicked,” he grins. “There are so many artists there, you get to catch up with a lot of people and get inspired by other artists, so the party vibe is in full effect back stage, just as much as it is on the raver side of the decks. My job is to carry that party vibe through.”
Andy C’s Essential Festival Advice:
Fools rush in: “You’ve got to get into your stride with these things. People want to party, they want to have a good time. And if it’s in the UK then it’s probably raining, so you’ve got supply the full circumferance of happiness!”
Think about non D&B fans: “You have to go into it with that frame of mind. You’ve got such a big audience there and a lot of other genres to compete with. Drum & bass is a bit leftfield for about 30/40, maybe even 50% of them. So careful with your ‘heads’ selection; don’t rinse out all your dubs unless they’re so special they’ll work with people just on the first listen. Do the music justice – persuade the non D&B loving crowd.”
Then gently persuade them: “Everyone wants to party, everyone wants to have a good time. I like to test the water, survey the crowd and identify those pockets of crew who are out there and know exactly what I’m up to. If I’ve got them dancing initially, then it’s about making it spread. You can see a lot of people trying to suss out the tempo and beats so it’s a case of trying to win them over… And you’ve got to do it within three or four records!”
But don’t compromise: “It doesn’t have to be big vocals or funky stuff, though! Let’s face it, people at festivals want to get down and go absolutely nuts! People expect it to be a vocal or musical track that switches the crowd over but in my experience it’s not. For example, when Chase & Status made Smash TV I told them that would be their biggest tune for festivals. They were like ‘sure?’ and I said ‘trust me’. You play that anywhere – club or festival for that matter – and it will always, always kick off!”
Whether it’s a traditional Andy C DJ set or one of his mind-blowing Alive shows, the Ram badman is unavoidable this summer. If you’ve not checked out Alive, here’s a cool interview we ran on D&BTV a while back.
Catch Andy alongside long-term cohort MC GQ on Saturday August 25 at Creamfields this summer! Full details here