At around 5.30pm we arrived at the 'fields', quite impressed with the speed of entry and loudly thanking the rain gods for finally easing off. Unfortunately a few of the big names like James Zabiela, Lucien Foort, and Nick Warren had already taken their turns on the decks, but with line-ups this big you just have to resign yourself to missing some class acts.
By the time we’d strolled around and gotten our bearings in the massive venue, located the various tents and outdoor arenas, found the fun park, and scoped the various stalls selling food, whistles, t-shirts and herbal highs, the ever impressive Lee Burridge had taken to the decks in the amazingly well fitted out Global Underground tent. The arena was literally pounding, outfitted with a mind-blowingly huge speaker system.
As we stumbled outside once more, bass sounds still coursing through our veins, we were amazed to spot blue sky starting to show through the clouds. Not only did the sun show itself but the night turned out to be almost entirely rain free. This brought much needed light to the outdoor stages and provided an amazing sunset. Unfortunately it was still a tad on the chilly side throughout the night, hovering around the 11 degrees Celsius mark. Gotta love England in ‘summer’!
In terms of artists, when it comes to festivals the scale of Creamfields you can never have too much of a good thing. Top class DJ’s covering the entire spectrum of music played throughout the day and night . Running around the paddock like sugared-up kids in a candystore, we checked out Kosheen (Live), Armin Van Buuren followed by Ferry Corsten, while Lee Burridge danced on the GU stage as Sander Kleinenberg controlled the decks in the tent.
At the same time Burridge was jumping around with Sander, Ferry Corsten was blowing the enormous and fairly packed OUT Passion tent away with his style of uplifting trance. Upon dropping 'Punk' Ferry had much of the crowd 'dooo do dooot doot'ing to the sounds of his very own banging trance tune.
Like much of the 30,000 strong crowd, one of the main reasons we were at Creamfields was to see Underworld Live. As the clock struck 8pm, the Underworld duo took to the 'Creamfields Live Outdoor Stage' and loads of people swarmed the area, keen to hear their first performance in two years. The excitement levels were constantly rising as they performed huge track after huge track, mixing between their well loved classics and some of the new quality tracks - Dark and Long, Cowgirl, King of Snake… what more could you ask for!!!! By the time Underworld's full hour and a half were over we decided that the time and effort it took to get to Creamfields was already more than worth it... and it was only 9:30pm!
A 30 minute break after Underworld was needed on the Live Outdoor Stage so that the stage could be transformed for Faithless. As the sun went down the huge lights shining in every direction from the arena drew loads and loads of punters, like bugs to a street lamp. By the time Faithless took to the stage there was one hell of a massive crowd waiting. Faithless put on a hugely impressive performance as expected, having stated only a fortnight back that their Creamfields gig would be the last for 2 years, giving themselves time off touring to work on production.
We left Faithless early, and headed towards the Cream Future Trance tent where Paul Oakenfold was stepping down from the decks. It was 10:30pm, time for Tiesto to take over the arena and as expected he performed like it was his final gig ever (although it wasn’t – had you worried, though, didn’t I?). Pulling out some well loved trance anthems together with some great new stuff he once again proved why he scored the title of 'Best Club DJ' at recent industry awards.
Paul Van Dyk followed, but at that very same moment big things were unfolding in the Global Underground tent. As the clock hit midnight Sasha took over the decks and delivered a mammoth set, featuring tracks from his new album, Airdrawndagger, not to mention dropping Xpander and one of Underworld’s classic tunes into the mix.
Taking up after Sasha’s performance would not be an easy task for the guest performers of the night in the GU tent, but the Deep Dish boys hammered it home prog' style with a big 4 hours – a perfect way to round out a brilliant night...
As the festival wound down in the early hours of Sunday morning, we joined the several hundred people stumbling around the carpark trying to remember where they’d left their cars (note: try to remember where you park at large festivals – saves painful searching in the freezing cold later), crashed out in the car for a while, and drove off as the first rays began to shine over the fields...
Mon / 26 Aug 2002