The first Retro-Trax Festival was held last weekend at Bath Racecourse and all those that chanced the weather were repaid with two days of glorious sunshine to enjoy the festival’s line-up of over 150 DJs,MCs and Live P.A.s from the early days of 80s and 90s Dance Music … with each arena’s daily line-up reading like a flyer from just one of those night’s – back in the day…
We were treated to 4 tented arenas covering the spectrum of Dance/Rave music; House, Old Skool Hardcore, Trance/Progressive/Techno and Vinyl Heaven.
Ratty & Tango, Kenny Ken, Dream Frequency P.A., 2 Bad Mice, Mark Archer (Ex-Altern8), Vinyl Junkie, DJ Squirrel, DJ Skie whipped up the Old Skool Hardcore Arena on the Saturday followed by Vinyl Vera, Shock C, Barrington, Nebula 2 live, Pilgrim, Rat Pack, Nookie, Rachel Wallace P.A. ( who stole the night for me personally), Top Buzz and Slipmatt on the Sunday who kept the old skool flavas rolling for all the dedicated old skool ravers.
The funky vibes kept the House Arena pumping from start to finish over the weekend. With the likes of John Kelly, Greg Wilson, Alison Limerick P.A., Allister Whitehead and Chris BAM BAM Westbook putting on a classic Acid House performance to end the night on Saturday; and not forgetting Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body -the godfather of House, Ce Ce Rogers, Stero MCs and Sunscreem who stole the House Arena on Sunday.
Techno heads and Trance lovers had the delights of CJ Bolland, Alex (The Orb) Paterson, Colin Dale, Dave Angel, Frank de Wulf, Maria Naylor P.A., Oliver Leib (L.S.G.) BAM BAM (techno set) to tickle their taste buds over the weekend in the Trance & Techno Arena.
The Vinyl Heaven Arena hosted talent from across the country playing strictly vinyl only with live P.A.s from The Bounce Collective and Matrix Club Remix and DJs Hotwire, Swifty, Soldgie, Nicky Allen, Vinyl Doctor and Lousie +1 to name just a few.
Over 1800 festival revellers made their way to Bath Racecourse over the two days to enjoy a well laid out festival site with camping and car-parking close to the Racetrack’s Fairway where the festival was held. On the fairway parade, there was the 4 Dance Tent Arenas, a couple of bars, eateries, festival stalls and shop as well as enough WCs for there to be few queues. The festival staff, security and medics were very friendly and professional and made for a great atmosphere amongst the festival goers. There were a few teething problems as with any first festival, but in general everyone I spoke to had a brilliant time at Retro-Trax.
The Dance Tents where spaced out enough so the music didn’t overlap however this being Retro-Trax’s first festival in Bath, they were governed by strict noise regulations and the only complaint about the music really was that it wasn’t loud enough in any of the tents late at night. The Festival co-organiser Ian Kenyon said he had worked with B&NES Council to make sure the noise wasn’t excessive throughout the festival, however the local residents of Bath had continued to complain to the local authorities and police which lead to all of the soundsystems been made to turn down continously on both Saturday and Sunday, with some of the DJs being booed because of how quiet it was, this was not the DJs or soundsystems fault unfortunately; and the festival organisers have stated they will be looking for a different venue to hold next year’s Retro-Trax Festival because of noise issues.
So we were treated to a very special weekend of music from our heros of our dance music scene, enjoyed by all the festival goers who I’m sure were left with great memories of the sun shining over the weekend having the time of our lives dancing to the old skool flavas. A massive shout out to the Liverpool Crew and everyone else that made the journey to Bath Racecourse for the first Retro-Trax Festival – we are already looking forward to next years event.
For a little taste of what is was like, watch this!
For more information see our Retro-Trax Guide.