Tucked away in the heart of East London for it’s second year on the trot, the Haggerston Park hosted Found Festival in London represents a mass celebration of electronic music on a small scale.
Jumping off the tube at Hoxton, there’s a five minute walk to the location. It’s a small, inviting site; an insular hub, completely cut off from the rest of the capital. The place is crawling with East End hipsters, all in ubiquitous festival uniform: big Nike trainers, little shorts and the obligatory undercut, leaving everyone looking like Gazza and Chris Waddle circa Italia ’90. And so we take our place in the rakish crowd for Found Festival and settle in for the day.
It’s raining of course, and after a momentary respite in the shelter of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party tent we feel bold and face the downpour to head to the main stage for Ejeca’s set. The crowd need a bit of warming up; his brand of deep house and disco washes over the field inconsequentially until “Music Sounds Better With a 303” gets thrown in and people start to wake up a little.
The weather may have threatened to ruin the party early on, but the sun comes out to dry the soggy throngs around two, and the day starts properly. A winning combination of heat and Red Stripe soon melt away any traces of inhibition. There are no dirty looks thrown if people’s shuffling isn’t up to scratch, and there’s a complete lack of anxiety or tension in the crowd, something I’ve never experienced before at festivals like this. Today, everyone is involved, and equal.
The day’s momentum grows and grows, and when Chicago’s DJ Sneak takes the main stage around 7, the crowd is putty in his hands. He delivers the standout set of the day; an hour of solid gold, four to the floor excellence from the self-professed ‘house gangster’.
The headline slot is arguably an unenviable position, as Frankie Knuckles was due to top the bill, before his tragic early death this year. I certainly wouldn’t fancy having to replace him. The honour goes to London’s own Damien Lazarus, who steps up to the mark and closes the day with an impressionistic blend of house and techno. The pressures of filling the ‘godfather of house’s sizeable boots left no mark on his mesmeric set, which forms a neat contrast with DJ Sneak’s no nonsense set up.
It’s a fitting end to the day’s play. At the close, we join the Gazzas and the Waddles spilling back out into East London, and we can’t help but feel a little spoilt. Looking out across a sea of sunburnt shoulders, we’re already looking forward to being amongst them next time round.