Scottish fans of EDM undertook a pilgrimage last weekend as legendary Ibiza club, elrow, brought their world-famous act on tour, with this date being in the Royal Highland Center, Edinburgh.
Both the prestige of the club and the vast venue promised that a truly unique experience was to be delivered. The line-up looked big and with names such as Richy Ahmed, Jackmaster, Japser James and Mall Grab, the festival feel of the event did make the whole thing seem more than the sum of its parts.
It is however, only loosely that it could be called a festival feel. The fact that the music ran from midday to 11pm did seem slightly discordant with the Ibiza feel it seemed the event was going for. Not at all to say that this didn’t work – but it did feel a lot like stepping between worlds as you moved from the stages inside – with jaws being scraped off floors by beautiful people in neon vests – to outside, with the dreich Scottish countryside, startlingly rural in broad daylight.
With so many tickets on sale, the pressure was sure to have been felt by organisers not only to bring the best talent, but also to make the event as streamlined as possible.
It’s easy to be too harsh on the ease of access at such a massive event. But even so, it has to be said that whatever enthusiasm was felt on arriving at the venue was feeling quite strained after almost an hour of queuing. In addition to this, it’s truly puzzling why the decision was made to introduce a token system for the purchase of alcohol which, not only were separate from the bars, but were severely understaffed and unorganised – it was hard to part with your money after a half hour wait for each drink.
It has to be handed to the crew at elrow though, the decoration and spooky attractions that went into transforming the venue to create a haunted house feel were truly breath-taking. Between huge dragon statues, mushrooms hanging from the ceiling and fifteen-foot Frankensteins roaming the dancefloor, no one could question the value for money. New, surprising and festive turns grabbed your eye at every turn, going all out and truly living up to the expectation the brand has fostered.
It’s difficult to say for sure how good the day was. The event really was for the hardcore EDM fans and Ibiza loyalists, with truly flawless performances. Back to back Jackmaster and Jasper James was one of the most energetic and crowd-pleasing performances you could witness. For a casual club-goer, however, the stress of trying to move between facilities and definitely that of buying alcohol might have put a dampener on the experience.
All that being said, its hard to identify another experience like this, with the juxtaposition between slick Ibiza vibes and the rural Scottish setting making it unlike anything else. Logistics aside, there wasn’t one minute I could say wasn’t exciting.
Image: elrow Halloween 2016