Festival Review: Terminal V offers something for everyone in a day full of great electronic

The latest rendition of Nightvision’s Terminal V festival should be remembered as one of the most enjoyable yet. An audience of 13,000 ravers came down upon the Royal Highland Centre to witness this extensive lineup of some of dance music’s biggest names. Luckily, the day of the festival came with ridiculously warm weather, enabling everyone to bask outside in the sunshine and enjoy a new outdoor area of the site, one of many changes from previous years which brought the opening of two new mainstages.

Putting the music aside for a second, one notable addition to this year’s Terminal V was the evidently high production value of all the stages and light installations. In a recent interview with The Student, the festival’s founders said they felt that high-end production has been an important part of Terminal V’s success, and this year was no exception. The heavy strobe lights and lasers from the ‘Area V’ stage in previous years were replaced with a bigger installation of vibrant panoramic LED screens, displaying visuals which changed with the mood of each part of every set throughout the day. The new outdoor ‘Green House’ stage was a beautifully decorated place to throw down to some disco, and the ‘Palms Tent’ – run by the bar/record label Paradise Palms to showcase local DJing talent – was similarly creative in its design with the DJ booth in the centre of the room rather than at one end. The effort that went into making Terminal V a more high-brow event can’t be understated here.

As usual with Terminal V, the lineup was hugely appealing, with Richie Hawtin appearing to be the central headliner. Hawtin’s first Edinburgh appearance in 18 years was a highlight of the festival, making use of the big LED screens on the main stage to produce a set which was as cinematic as it was musical. It was one of those sets which, propelled by a more aesthetic quality, goes beyond being just dance music. Hawtin expertly weaved together his dark pumping techno into an experience complete with its own points of suspense and release.

But it was Patrick Topping and Green Velvet who stole the show. Appearing one after the other in the lineup, the warehouse stage they occupied was rammed full of people from the start of Green Velvet’s set at 7 pm, throughout Patrick Topping’s two hours and right through to the 11 pm closing time after a brief surprise back-to-back from them together. Both hold premier reputations as some of the best party starters in the world at the moment and it showed here as they gripped the crowd with an Ibiza-esque selection of songs. Patrick Topping’s full set has been uploaded to YouTube and can be found here in case you missed it. At the time it felt like the majority of people had come specifically for these acts; Patrick Topping and Green Velvet were far and away the most popular performers there, and that made for two big hectic, sweaty sets from them.

Despite the fact that the day was dominated by two particular acts, it was still a diverse lineup which justified Terminal V’s reputation as one of Scotland’s biggest day festivals. Daniel Avery is another hugely esteemed name in the electronic music scene and played his usual brand of minimal techno to an admittedly tiny audience of more dedicated followers (because – as I’ve said – everyone was at Patrick Topping and Green Velvet). Objekt and Andrew Weatherall both take more leftfield, nuanced approaches to dance music and are enticing names for any electronic music fan to see on a lineup. Helena Hauff clearly enjoys playing in the capital having been brought back for her third successive appearance at Terminal V and has continually enhanced her reputation since the first of those performances. Likewise, Mella Dee and Mall Grab both appeared here a year ago and their solid performances this time were indicative of how they have made waves in the wider scene.

The live sets from Mr G and Philipp Gorbachev were another interesting addition to the lineup, as both artists made use of their own musical setups of drum machines and synths to create something more dynamic and experimental. Mr G was quite possibly the biggest crowd pleaser of the day, spending about as much time dancing on stage in front of the decks as he did actually playing behind them.

Overall, the biggest Terminal V yet was a joy to attend as usual, with something there for both the casual summer partygoer and the electronic music aficionado.

 

Image: Patrick Savalle via Flickr

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