I attended Junction 2 festival for the first time last year, and it is safe to say that it has quickly became a tradition for me now. It’s now one of those annual events that I cannot miss, because it was literal heaven to me.
My first initial thoughts of Junction 2 before attending was that it was an event under a bridge which tended to feature heavy techno. The lineups always blew me away but being from the north, it took until 2018 for me to finally attend the event and I am just disappointed I never went sooner.
I actually won tickets to the Friday day of J2 (thanks again) as I originally only planned in for the Saturday. I’m so glad this happened because not only did I get to see an amazing Bicep set, I got to experience two days of easily the best festival I have ever been to. Here’s why…
More Than a Bridge
When I first arrived at Junction 2, the atmosphere is insane from the second you join the queue to enter. The entry process was one of the easiest I had ever encountered and unlike other music festivals, as soon as you show your ticket you are right in the middle of the madness.
Junction 2 is made up of two main stages, the bridge and the main outdoor stage – the bridge was insane and featured the heavier techno acts which was definitely done right. The outdoor stage had the likes of Tale of Us performing and with the sun shining, it was amazing. As well as the main stages, there are lots of hidden gems like a tent stage, a warehouse and even a hidden stage in the woods for a more intimate scene.
Each of the acts set the scene for each venue perfectly. Amelie Lens made the warehouse a heavy scene and offered a simulation of nighttime with the blacked out venue; Richie Hawtin lived up to the techno reputation of the bridge stage and Tale Of Us/Maceo Plex created a lighter vibe in the outdoor stage to match the sunshine. There really was something for everyone, and it exceeded my expectations completely.
The Best Crowd
The crowd makes or breaks an event. Like it or not, the thousands of others attending the event will have an impact on how much you enjoy it – I cannot fault the crowd at J2.
A slightly older crowd, it was clear from the offset that everyone was there for the music and to have a good time. This is really important to me, because i think it sets the whole atmosphere for the event. Watching Tale Of Us B2B Maceo Plex in the sun is one of my 2019 highlights, and its the people who contributed to that.
Everyone was in the moment (even the security guard who went viral for having a little dance during the festival). This kind of atmosphere and crowd is rare today, sadly, but J2 smashed it. People were just nice, there was no mishaps and there was even a conscious effort to make an effort with others – it felt like you were at the event with the thousand of other people there, truly amazing.
J2 organisers have done it right in increasing venue sizes but leaving the capacity the hell alone – other organisers take note! With a lineup so strong and a huge reputation in the techno scene, you would expect J2 to be bursting with people. I can hand on heart day I never queued once for a drink or to use the toilet and I always had plenty of room in the crowd. J2 organisers have even announced that 2020 will see more stages but the same capacity, which I give them major props for – if only every event favoured the enjoyment of their clientele above the money they could make.
A Lineup Of Dreams
Of course, the first thing that intrigued me about Junction 2 has to be the lineup. They kill it every year with the biggest names in techno, and when the 2019 lineup announced that two of my all-time favourite DJs (Richie Hawtin and Adam Beyer) would be playing, I had to book tickets.
Just look at that. Junction 2 is known for some legendary techno sets and I had to see one for myself. The highlights of which definitely included Maceo Plex b2b Tale Of Us, Richie Hawtin and Bicep. If you’re into your heavier techno, J2 is a must as it’s seldom to find such an amazing lineup at a UK festival – this lineup looks fresh out of Berlin and is a treat for London!
The first acts for 2020 have been released and, of course, it includes Adam Beyer. Other acts include Ben Klock, which would be something truly amazing on the bridge stage. I for one am very excited for J2 2020 – tickets are available from as little as £35 here.