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It’s hard to say how much I was looking forward to Luminosity Beach Festival. For several years I’d wanted to go and been told how good it was by friends who’d been. I’d seen the line-ups and listened to downloads of recorded sets and thought just how perfect this festival always seemed to be. But it had always been held in June, when we’re in Australia, so I just hadn’t been able to go.

So the news this year that the date had been shifted to late August was music to my ears. And with the Future Sound Of Egypt 300 party the night before, it promised to be one hell of a weekend. Especially when we discovered that we would be joined by friends from the USA, France and Australia, as well as from England. And the only worry was the inevitable clashed between two stages, both offering a line-up of the best trance, with not a hint of trouse in sight!

We arrived for the first day at around 2.30pm. A short delay, while we were fleeced €5 for our weekend toilet wristbands, and we were inside the small beach club, called Fuel, and faced with a choice between the end of Sebastian Brandt‘s set on the Papaya stage, or seeing Matt Darey on the Caribbean Beach stage. We opted for Sebastian Brandt, as we wanted to catch Arctic Moon, who was playing immediately afterwards.


We were enjoying the great setting and the relaxed crowd and exploring the small festival site and after Arctic Moon’s set and the beginning of Matt Bukovski‘s, we tried out the other stage, where Paul Oakenfold had drawn a large crowd. Now Oakey can be a bit hit or miss these days – last year I loved his set at Ministry Of Sound in August and was distinctly underwhelmed by his Four Seasons set at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. We didn’t really stay for long enough to make a fully considered judgement but as we weren’t immediately grabbed, we headed back to the Papaya stage for James Dymond, who we’d seen recently in London and were very keen to see once again.

Sure enough, James Dymond played a fantastic set and really got me in the mood to enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening. He was followed by a back-to-back set by Manuel le Saux and Ferry Tayle. I’ve never heard either of these two play before, but have heard good things about both and, sure enough, they were fantastic. Displaying a real enthusiasm for the music they were playing and the dancing trance fans in front of them, they played a brilliantly uplifting set, without getting too dark or heavy for the early evening time-slot they had.

We moved across to the main stage for John O’Callaghan and the vibe was now electric. At the front of the stage, three steps were filled with people dancing facing the crowd rather than the DJ and this contributed to the atmosphere generated by people with a truly shared taste in the music being played. We snuck right to the front and loved the set from beginning to end, but we left at the end, missing John Askew in order to take the opportunity to see Angry Man and curious to see if we could work out who he is!

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Well he was wearing a black mask and black hoodie, so we couldn’t tell who he was. The theory that he was John Askew was easily disproved by the fact that Askew was playing the other stage at this very point in time. I liked the idea that he was, in fact, David Guetta – but the skill with which he mixed tunes like Adam Ellis – Napalm Poet (Angry Man Remix) into Paul Oakenfold – Southern Sun (Angry Man Remix) was enough proof for me that this wasn’t true either! In fact, it was a really good set and possibly the best of the day for me.

With just 90 minutes of the first day left, we had to choose between Bryan Kearney on the main stage, or Sneijder and Will Atkinson on the Papaya stage. We’d enjoyed Sneijder so much at Futire Sound Of Egypt 300 the previous night, and knowing that Bryan Kearney would be playing the after party the next day, we opted to stay put. Although they were billed as playing back-to-back, in fact they took it in turns and the first 45 minutes was from Sneijder, who delivered a set in true uplifting 140 style. We were curious to see Will Atkinson and he played a great set to bring the day’s proceedings to a fantastic close and leave us hungry for more the next day.

There followed a long wait in the cold wind and rain for our pre-booked taxi to take us back to the warmth of our hotel and a few hours winding down before a good night’s sleep in preparation to do it all again. The first day of Luminosity had been so good and the fact that there was still another day left me with a warm glow as we drifted off to sleep.

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