Even after the Muddening of Creamfields 2011 our spirits were not dampened and me and my friends bought fresh tickets ready for this year. Honestly, I think we all kind of believed that it couldnt get much worse than last year and had such a good time previously we were willing to challenge the weather and any potential discomfort it might cause and give it another go. Even with a week to go and somewhat miserable advance forecasts in hand, none of us really believed that it would get as bad as it did.
So just in case you haven’t read the news or live abroad, Creamfields is one of the UK’s biggest festivals for electronic dance music, with about 50,000 festivalgoers descending on a collection of fields in Cheshire for a weekend to see some of the big names in the industry perform live. Unfortunately, this year’s weather conditions were somewhat…more adverse than usual and essentially the entire site became a mire. Not that it doesn’t normally, it’s just that the mire doesn’t usually cause the main stages to sink and force the cancellation of the entire event, which is sadly what happened this year. It rained hard for more or less the entirety of Saturday night, and we awoke to the lovely sight of water and mud in our tent and a now completely saturated campsite. The paths had essentially become rivers of mud and pretty much everyone was perma-damp. What was particularly frustrating was the lack of information supplied by the organisers; I heard stuff on a brief walk from a bunch of people saying that the night was cancelled, but it wasn’t until we actually went and spoke to security that it was confirmed. Our tent neighbours were surprised to see us packing up and we had to explain to them what was going on because they hadn’t heard. I appreciate the difficulty of spreading the word to 50,000 people but a couple of loud-hailers would have done the job reasonably well.
I wont deny that it was pretty disappointing that we missed out on an entire day of music; one of my mates was particularly distraught that he wasn’t going to be able to see Deadmau5 play on the main stage, but we did manage to catch some great acts on the Saturday and still had a pretty good time all-round regardless. Got to see our man Jeremy Olander, Eric Prydz’s protigee who was the first act we saw last year, as well as Ben Gold, Above & Beyond and Gareth Emery, plus a couple of decent DJ’s playing the silent disco on the Friday night. Was all that worth the £150 that we spent on it? Well, yes and no, I think that depends from which angle you look at it from. It was certainly an experience (from every perspective) and it hasn’t really put me off from going again. As we said to each other, the mud, rain and cold were just about tolerable with the prospect of acts on the horizon; while we all felt pretty down on the Sunday morning even before the before the news, we were still looking forward to the acts later in the day. There was a good atmosphere and a very British sense of determination throughout; people were still having a good time behind the steely-eyed expressions and the bitter complaining.
Well, there you have it. While both Leeds and Reading partied on, the Creamfields crowds slowly and squelchingly sloshed their way offsite and home, disappointed and damp, but not without having had a good time first. Roll on 2013, nothing remotely unlucky about that number whatsoever.