August 31st 2019 was a very special day for electronic music aficionados in the UK, marking the first edition of Manchester’s Hide&Seek Festival.
After a heavy summer of raving and travelling, Kurt Hurst, Josh Baker, Dan Mourino and Darren Ford — founders of the You&Me collective — had been inspired to create something that would match their idea of what a festival can offer. They built Hide&Seek from the ground up; a sold out event of 2500 people, all gathered for the love of music, and we had the chance to follow them in their journey.
At the beginning of the festival, it was impossible not to be amazed by the stunning venue they had chosen. Capesthorne Hall is a sprawling English manor built in Neoclassical designs of the early 18th Century, 30 minutes from Manchester city center, offering to all the capacity of getting lost in four unique stages with four distinct atmospheres in each: Contour, Ten Tree, Stretch Tent and the Dome.
The weather was merciful toward the attendants of the festival — after a bout of rain, the sun came on strong, leaving us with a rural vibe, dancing in the slush like happy children.
Hide&Seek gathered all of the elements to comprise an event that united and garnered smiles from even the most discerning ravers, with a line-up that brought together some of the best artists evenly dispersed on each stage, such as Praslea and Nicolas Lutz and their 3-hour slot each on the Ten Tree, and an extra one for Perlon queen Margaret Dygas.
Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss) impressed as always; incredible brothers in arms, delivering the kind of energy that you need to enter the mood; weapons on weapons, the craziest basslines, with their best smiles behind the decks of The Contour stage — followed by their good friend, Voigtmann, sharing his set with rigor, melting some ethnic vibes before getting serious with solid acid rhythms like Paolo Macri‘s Acid Tune.
Mathew Jonson’s exceptional live set was a highlight of the festival, his plethora of hardware can create the type of vibrations wherein you just have to listen and let your body speak for you.
In the Stretch Tent, Jamie 3:26 and Jeremy Underground raised the temperature a notch with their extended sets mixing house, funk and soul beats worthy of a Soul Train episode, almost making us forget the noted absence of Dan Shake and Francesco Del Garda, who couldn’t make it to the festival due to delayed flights out of Croatia post-Dimensions.
Concerning the Dome stage — the hottest of all due to the sun and the fact that it was a closed area — the Ingi Visions boys Samuel Deep and Julian Alexander who played after UZU, were completely on fire weaving minimal, and house and low-slung cuts.
The first edition of Hide&Seek was extremely well-organized, with two large efficient bars with minimal queuing, plus nice staff and hosts. It was brimming with tasteful tunes and good vibes, that only makes us keen to see what the organisers will bring to the table in 2020.
And if it was not enough, we had the pleasure to see Mr. Gene on Earth playing the Hide&Seek afterparty with Jamie Mannion, Josh Baker and Laidlaw until 5am – a perfect way to end this Mancunian trip.