REVIEW: LED festival - deadmau5 live

The London Electronic Dance went back to basics this year. The inaugural two-day festival last year featured the likes of Goldfrapp and Friendly Fires alongside the dance staples such as David Guetta. LED this time around, the first festival of 2011 to tear through the East End’s Victoria Park, was a much purer affair.

Rather than a two-day party, peppered with some high profile names, it was more of a headline concert. Most of the thousands of dance heads in attendance were there for just one man – deadmau5. The Canadian house icon returned to the capital for his only English festival appearance of 2011. And the hype he has created was clear in the many mouse-shaped helmets and glowing ears on show.

Mice aside, a definite highlight of the build up was Skrillex on the second stage. His heavy dubstep went down a treat inside the sweaty tent, leading to what I would have once called ‘moshing’ - but would not dare to any more.

In contrast, Calvin Harris appeared to have better places to be. His set on the main stage came and went without much commotion. It was a long way from the summer vibes and dancing crowds he is known for.

As everyone waited for the headline act to arrive, complaints about sound and volume could yet again be heard. I thought it was an improvement on last year, but the conflict will continue between the interests of revellers and residents nearby.


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Deadmau5 still managed to get the dancing going as fans tried in vain to sing along to the myriad of beeps.

LED falls short of the delirious atmosphere and non-stop onslaught of the summer’s best festivals. Its organisers did better this year by doing what they know best and focusing on their chosen audience. And hopefully it will be a good basis to build on.

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