On Saturday we were lucky enough to head along to the inaugral Electric Fields event at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries. The line-up was a preverbial who’s-who of emerging Scottish talent; an eclectic collection to boot!
The one-day event was billed as family-friendly, had overnight camping for those who wished it, and boasted a relaxed atmosphere. Sure, this ‘festival’ was not of the scale of other established events, but still, upon arrival that relaxed feeling was obvious.
We parked up and headed into the field where there was a small funfair, one long bar along the “back” which faced out to two small stages which sat alongside each other. There were some benches set up down each side creating a live arena where most of the action was to take place. Off to the side beyond the stages were some food stalls (admittedly not a great selection), an acoustic stage, and some benches for a picnic area. Off in the distance was a DJ arena which we didn’t venture to, however it was quite popular.
The really impressive thing about the proceedings of the day was that the acts playing alternated between the two stages with only a five-minute gap between them. This meant that there was almost non-stop music from 11-ish in the morning until 11-ish at night. Compare this to a normal festival which has terrible clashes, and long walks between stages, here you could stand slightly further back, beer in hand, and turn yourself about 30 degrees to watch either stage without being at the very back of the arena!
The performances were mostly top-notch, finger-on-the-pulse, sets from the likes of Fatherson, Vigo Thieves, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Stanley Odd, Prides, Honeyblood and Vukovi as well as some other smaller bands who varied in quality. I won’t review each performance or give blow-by-blow accounts of setlists, however across the day we were treated to a superb line-up of bands you will likely hear lots about in the coming 12 months, and the crowd loved it.
The icing on top though was this line-up coupled with the chilled atmosphere, the very family-friendly attitude complete with families having picnics and more than a few prams being pushed across the field to watch music together. From our perspective it was a huge success, I hope for the organisers it was also and this is a regular annual day out.
We for one can’t wait to head back to the gorgeous surroundings of Drumlanrig Castle, and next year you should too!