Gottwood Festival 2018 – Explaining the Magic to First-Timers

The countdown has begun to Chapter 9 of the great Gottwood fairytale and many of us are making our plans to return to the far away isle of Anglesey. Trying to explain the infectious pull of Gottwood is hard to put into an elevator pitch; it’s greater than the sum of its parts. When questioned by friends you might talk about the scenic views from the coast to the woods to the lake, a comfortably low attendee capacity and zero hassle. This sets the perfect scene for both spiritual freeness and sensory assault. The “Gottwood family” return year on year, each having their own reasons to make the pilgrimage, silk kimono in hand. For those attending for the first time, or just considering it, we’ve attempted to break down the magic to explain why you should pop your glitter-covered Gottwood cherry this summer.

As with any big family, there are always big family traditions. Gottwood is no exception, wearing them on its sleeve. Appearances by the loyal roster of DJs that return year-on-year have become essential rites of passage in the festival’s experience. The all-disco singalong marathon at the Trigon stage by Gottwood’s DJ spirit animal Move D. Feeling the peace and love in the Walled Garden with Hunee. The guaranteed blinder of a set from Ben UFO. Getting old skool hardcore stylee with the legendary 2 Bad Mice. A festival with the exact same DJ’s anywhere else still wouldn’t be Gottwood for this reason.

Alongside beloved regulars is a tasty wave of first time DJs from electronic music’s cutting edge. Last year saw Helena Hauff summon a thunderous storm of electro that stuck with people long after packing up for the train home. She went on to win BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix of the year. This year see’s Gottwood debuts from the likes of Avalon Emerson, who has wowed us throughout 2017 with big releases ( and technically mind-melting DJ sets – listen here to understand.

The Lawn stage, set overlooking the glorious lake, has become synonymous with brilliant live performances. Last year there were stand out shows by Harvey Sutherland, Ross from Friends, and Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra. This year sees an even greater focus on live sets, with appearances from Dark Sky, Romare and electro/acid/IDM veteran DMX Krew.

Whilst Gottwood is praised wholeheartedly for its eclectic line-up, what makes it stand above the rest is the inclusion of some of the finest selectors in minimal house and techno. As the sun goes down and only lazers guide you through the trees, artists like Margaret Dygas, Binh and Enzo Siragusa bring those perfect moody late night grooves to help things get weird in the woods.

The food selection at Gottwood has always been top notch; plenty of variation amongst the crowd favourites (the artisan mac and cheese has saved many a fallen soldier over the years). To top it off, 2017 saw the addition of NEST, a fine dining restaurant floating right on the lake. Trying to sell rich fancy food to 3-day deep ravers, with stomachs the size of walnuts, may seem like a marketing faux pas, but the place was a massive hit. Eating fresh local crab and “Gottwood Fried Chicken” whilst watching the throbbing crowds across the water was a moment of nourishment for body and soul.

Festival + Dogs = Perfection.

Words by David March.


Andrew Weatherall / Axel Boman / Avalon Emerson
Ben UFO / Binh / Commix / Craig Richards / Crazy P (Soundsystem) / Dark Sky (Live) / Dominik Eulberg / DMX Krew (Live) / Enzo Siragusa / Hunee / Jackmaster b2b Grain Job Jobse / Mr Scruff / Margaret Dygas / Move D / Nicolas Lutz / Palms Trax
Paul Woolford / Rival Consoles (Live) / Rodrigues Jr (Live) / Romare (Live) / San Proper / Shed / Sonja Moonear / Special Request / Weval (Live) / 2 Bad Mice / Adam Shelton / Africane 808 (Live) / Aiden Doherty / Archie Hamilton / Ariwo (Live) / Ata / Banoffee Pies / Blackhall & Bookless / Brazdley Zero / Bufiman Cedric Maison Christophe / Dave Harvey / Denney / DJ Nomad / eLDOKO / Febueder (Live) / Felix Dickinson / Geddes / Happy Meals (Live) / Homeboy / Jasper James / John Dimas / Josh Tweek / Krywald & Farrer / Lukas Wigflex / Maxxi Soundsystem / Michael Zitara Neil Diablo / Not An Animal / Orpheu The Wizard / Ralph Lawson / Rich Reason / Robert James / Ruf Dug / Saoirse Subb-An / Tenderlonious & The 22archestra (Live) Tristan Da Cunha / Voigtmann / Waifs & Strays / Willow / Wolf Music + Special Guests & many more…



Comments are closed.