Eastville Park, Bristol
29th April 2013, 11am to 11pm
This weekend a new festival hits Bristol in the form of the electronic music bonanza that is ARC Festival. The weather’s forecast to be great & the price of entry has just been slashed in half (see foot of this post for details) so you’d be a fool not to attend if at all possible. Louder Than War’s Bert Random sets the scene…
Bristol has a reputation for being a magnet for people who are not quite normal, a hazy place off the beaten track where weird lives can flourish, and ARC, a new one-day festival, aims to create a temporary home in the city for strange ravers from near and far. For one-day only five separate audio/visual stages will land in this suburban park for a twelve-hour dance that will shake the roots of the trees that circle this lush green space. Fuelled by the passions of organisers who honed their partying skills in the furnace of Bristol’s monstrous free-party scene, this new venture has pulled together a wicked line-up of current techno, house, and bass music, with live sets from the likes of Clarke representing the new blood, alongside twenty-five-years-in-the-game bleep-and-bass legends The Black Dog.
All-dayers are a tried and trusted way of throwing a party, but ARC stands out from the crowd because of its commitment to the deepest underground electronic music and the attention being paid to the environments: each of the five stages is under cover – three domes and two huge marquees – providing shelter from the uncertain (oh so uncertain) British weather and giving visual and digital artists room to play. “We’ve been touring UK events with the RFID [Recursive Function Immersive Dome] project since 2008 and the queues outside the dome are always insane. We love sharing the joy of total immersion in a 3D environment with festival goers and we wanted to take that to another level in a much bigger space,” says organiser and RFID director Ben Thompson. The RFID is an innovative surround-sound/360-visuals space, and has been hugely popular on the festival circuit, rocking across the UK and beyond, and it’s the template for the larger environments they will create in Bristol this weekend. “ARC is about bringing on board the amazing digital artists we always aspired to work with, and continuing to do something totally unique visually, alongside the very finest music the experimental electronic music scene has to offer,” Thompson says, “What we’ve put together is totally unique and at the cutting edge of audio/visual integration. We’ve been really influenced by the one day festivals we’ve visited around Europe, where thousands of people come out to rave during the day! We think Bristol is the perfect home for an event like ARC.”
So, music like the crisp Swedish techno for the kick-drum purists from Skudge and the off-beat trance and techno of James Holden will be accompanied by immersive environments from digital artists such as Paul Prudence, Desaxis Mundi, and Bouki. And of course being in Bristol, there is a healthy homegrown showing for the diverse and deep musical roots in the city, with sets from Pinch, who will be bringing his unique twist on bass music from his own Techtonic label, seasoned drum-and-bass head DJ Die, and many more
Like Hunter S Thompson said ‘When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro’, and ARC promises to be professional partying of the highest quality: get your dancing shoes on and get to the park.
Ed – Yesterday while browsing Hijack Forum I happened across the news, via the following poster, that prices have been almost halved for this years ARC Festival – and if you’ve already bought your ticket you can bring a +1 in for free! So you really would be missing a trick if you didn’t come along, especially considering the ARC Festival and ravers Gods are playing the game & the weather’s forecast to be great!
Words by Bert Random. More writing by Bert on Louder Than War can be found here.