We went down to Kent to see what this years Winter Social had to offer…
With a hugely impressive line up The Winter Social had a lot to live up to. The excitement on the way down was palpable; the bar was to be raised once again.
The team behind The Social events seem to get it right. There is an understanding that the music is the focus here – the sound system (Funktion One) was colossal throughout the day. On entering the gawping ‘Meadow’ space you can see why artists would love to play in this venue. It’s ‘warehouse’ style perfectly pitches sound and the dazzling light displays around it.
It is an assault on the senses.
Andrea Oliva‘s stock has risen hugely in the past 18 months and he was a big draw here. Snaring the punters away from the warm spring air into the dark abyss of the meadow. His huge anthem ‘Scream’ sounding gigantic as it burst its way out of the speakers.
The next arrival was Eats Everything and there was something of a gear change midway through. The crowd swelled and was becoming feverish as Eats laid into them, his energetic style establishes a connection with those below. Making excellent use of the visuals (Pat Butcher morphing into Donald Trump was particularly amusing) Eats then unleashed ‘Flash’ onto the mob – it was outrageous. The piercing bass line barked across the Meadow and left those around us mimicking the iconic cackle.
From this point our time was split between the Meadow and the smaller Techno infused Barn. Steve Lawler‘s entrance was hugely impressive shuffling through some engaging tech house – consistently one of the most reliable names for any festival. However, it was Dense & Pika who stole the show on the day; dimming the Barn into near darkness before blinding the building crowd with strobes and a melodic techno that got everyone moving just that little faster.
Then we were on the home stretch and Alan Fitzpatrick once again asserted his position as one of the best in the game powering through an arresting set. We took a breather until echoes of ‘We Do What We Want’ came flooding in sprinting back to the Barn we witnessed an adoring crowd chanting back at Fitzpatrick.
As the day came to a close Sven Vath ended the festival on triumphant form his vinyl selections shaking the huge crowd. Finally, Hot Since 82 went B2B with curator Nic Fancuilli at fitting end to a festival which has consistently got it right. If you didn’t make this one be sure to get a ticket for summer (click here for more information).
Words By: Tom Wiltshire