Sun, Slam and sets at Electric Frog and Pressure's Riverside Festival
- Katharine Gemmell
- 29 May 2018
Strong sets from Leftfield, Sven Väth, Dax J, Jackmaster, Skream, Rødhåd and Dixon at Glasgow's dance music festival
With one of the hottest May bank holidays Scotland has seen in recent years, Electric Frog and Pressure Riverside Festival was already off to a good start. Droves of electronic music fans and people just there for a good time showed up in force, for a line-up that included some heavyweights of the scene.
Saturday started off with Slam's Soma records taking on the South Stage and the Papa – AKA Sven Väth – hosting Cocoon over at the North Stage. Highlights included Dax J at Soma's stage, while Rødhåd and Dixon brought a heavier vibe to Cocoon and were perfect precursors before the main-man himself. Sven Väth seamlessly blew festival-goers away with his enduring charisma and with the seasoned ease in which he spins his records.
Day two saw a large increase in the number of people at the event (one steward said around 2,000 more) for a completely sold-out bank holiday Sunday. This time around, Jackmaster was back presenting his Mastermix stage at the South Stage. As is their right as co-curators at Riverside, Slam played both Saturday and Sunday, feeding off the home crowd and bringing huge amounts of energy to their sets. High points included Fatima Yamaha, with the musical artistry his live sets are known for, and Skream with an absolutely rousing performance that seemed to be the favourite of the day for many. Finishing off the weekend, Jackmaster and Leftfield both came armed with very different sets, with a noticeably younger crowd at the former. But both were equally good finishers and a complementary combo to dip in and out of.
The brand new museum stage indoors was an interesting addition to this year – some might question the logistics of hosting a few thousand lairy folks in a museum with priceless relics of Glasgow's past, but the organisers pulled it off. Dancing in front of old trams and motorbikes was a unique and rather surreal experience, which added an intimate element that outdoor stages can often miss. Local legends Harri & Domenic and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams played the stage on Saturday, and both worked well in this environment, although it would be good to see some bigger names on this stage in years to come.
Aside from the music, nice touches like a braid/glitter/hair stand, food trucks, and a much-appreciated ice pole station were on hand to keep attendees comfortable and get them into the festival mood. In past years there have been complaints about toilets, bars and queues, but this year it felt like the team had smoothed over these annoying organisational headaches. Overall, it was another bank holiday weekend of the good Glaswegian-style fun that Riverside is known for. As DJ Saoirse predicted: 'it was taps aff'.