Manchester has long had a famous and thriving music scene, from the Hacienda, on to acid house, the Warehouse project and everything in between, but only now is it getting its own boutique festival, and rightly so. Hide&Seek is doing things right – quality acts in a lush, escapist location with a cosy sized crowd and big focus on all the important things.
That location is Capesthorne Hall, a stately home set in 100 acres of picturesque Cheshire countryside just outside Manchester. It’s got rolling green fields, lush forest and for this weekend, four big stages. They all have killer sound systems in that deliver the music as intended all day long.
Sadly, things start with rain, but not long after the sun comes out and everyone cheers. For us we started in the Stretch Tent which was warmed up nicely by local lads Sharples who dropped heat like Sylvester / Patrick Cowley – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) and John Davis & The Monster Orchestra – Kodak Theme.
Ten Tree Stage was also warmed up by a local crew nicely with some more trippy sounds, but it really swelled much later on when Prasela stepped up to lay down some sleek, heavily detailed minimal that sounded great on the system, then later on Nicholas Lutz came on with his sauced out breaks and house sound and drop Marc Pinol’s Clef III to a rapturous reception.
The cosy vibe of this festival is what made it special – the crowd was welcoming to each other, and not afraid of getting stuck in with some serious dancing. Never more was that true than for Jamie 3:26 who attracted maybe the biggest crowd of the weekend, with feel-good vibes aplenty. Heavy on the classics, he dropped Laid Back – White Horse, Steve Silk Hurley – Word Is Love (Mousse T Remix) and DJ Brando – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in a truly colourful and extended set that made up for the fact that a couple of headliners couldn’t make it in time after delayed flights from Croatia.
Other standout sets came from Frenchman Shonky who delved deep into vocal house jams that got everyone going wild. It made for one of many great moments in an impressive debut for Hide&Seek, which is surely one of the key small underground gatherings in the UK already. Heres looking forward for next year.