Everything's Gone Green - Coloursfest'09

Summer Festivals Special

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Everything's Gone Green - Coloursfest'09

Far from staying in and saving, the economic downturn just makes some of us want to party. David Pollock finds that Coloursfest’09 are the perfect hosts

These straitened times seem to be treacherous ones for festivals, but the last thing we need to get us in the mood for summer fun is a story about another call-off. How about a bit of feelgood news instead? ‘We’re already up 700 ticket sales on where we were last year,’ says Ricky McGowan, promoter of Coloursfest, ‘and it’s the same with our Colours night at the Arches, it’s as big as it’s ever been. I don’t know if it’s because people are so depressed they just have to get out the house, or whether they actually have more money because they’re not going on that extra holiday or buying a car this year. They’re getting out there and enjoying themselves, though.’

Of course, you can’t do commercial dance music on a budget, particularly not arena trance of the kind headliner Ferry Corsten, aka System F, will be bringing with him to the party this year. A showcase for the Dutchman’s third album under his own name, Twice in a Blue Moon, Corsten’s set will be a big-budget spectacular of the kind we’ve come to associate with acts like Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk. ‘You won’t see anything like this at another dance event in Scotland,’ says McGowan proudly. ‘Lasers don’t really work in Braehead, but we’ve got an LED wall, confetti cannons, gas cannons – no one will be disappointed, put it that way.’

McGowan certainly seems happy with the way Coloursfest ‘09 is shaping up. The 10,000 capacity event is spread over six arenas, with the main one – a team-up of big Scots clubbing brands Colours and Inside Out – presenting Showtek, Markus Schulz and the ever-popular Judge Jules. Gatecrasher are behind an outdoor stage with Dave Pearce and Matt Hardwick at the top of the bill, Meganite’s arena features Mauro Picotto and Ricardo Ferri, while Tidy will be presenting Alex Kidd and Lab 4.

For fans of the styles Coloursfest specialises in, it’s a strong and varied line-up, with the old school rave crowd catered to by Back to the Future (with Ultra-Sonic, Art of Fighters and Hyperbass), while the more commercial Streetrave (featuring Rozalla, Alison Limerick and K-Klass) celebrate their 20th anniversary here. With more than 50 artists appearing and a projected 10,000 people turning up, McGowan is as happy not getting any bigger as he is not being forced to downsize by the economy.

‘We’ve got a perfect venue, with some nice scenery around and great outdoor and indoor stages. That’s perfect for us, when you consider how changeable the Scottish weather is.’

Coloursfest is at Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Sat 6 Jun.

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