All images courtesy of Rob Jones (@hirobjones @khroma collective), with the exception of the last one which is courtesy of Brynley Davies.
Surrounded by water, forests and hills, the festival site is an asset in itself. Look to the right of the main stage and you’ll see a glorious lake, and if you’re in the mood for a dip there’s another one more hidden. There’s something particularly special about dancing near a body of water, and when combined with We Out Here’s vibrant stage design, you’re able to truly immerse yourself in its world. The site is easily navigable and includes a talks tent, chill-out zones, and plenty which are dedicated to repose; meaning we’re able to savour our energy for Thursday night’s stacked programme.
The excitement is palpable. Tonight Masters At Work will take to the mainstage, Parris and dreamcastmoe will shake the trees in The Woodland.. But all our giddiness is made still by a particularly poignant performance at Lush Life. John Glacier takes to the stage. She leans against the mixing desk whilst performing songs taken from her 2021 SHILOH album, in between – and sometimes during – taking puffs on her vape. Her spaced-out demeanour and crystalline vocals have the crowd eating out the palm of her hand. Later on, George Riley would continue the theme of young London talent, pulling a sizeable crowd with her futuristic iterations of soul and r’n’b. She’s a natural performer and has us singing along to last year’s collaboration with Anz, as well as more recently released material from her forthcoming album.
As the sun sets, deciding where to spend the rest of the evening is no easy feat. We bounce between stages, beginning at the Main Stage where house legends Masters at Work delight the crowd as they skillfully blend tribal house with less anticipated selections like Champion’s ‘Lighter’. Playing a rapturous 4 hour set, we’re taken on a real journey even when dipping off to see Koreless’ awe-inspiring esoteric live set, and to The Forest to catch a Ransom Note takeover which compiles some of the most exciting names in dance music. Vanessa Maria brings her rhythmic selection of UK Funky, Kuduro and Afrohouse which features a cameo from her Dad who gets on the mic to hype up an already-ecstatic crowd. Next emerging talent Mirasia steps up to deliver her take on global club flavours, before Tim Reaper takes things up a notch, playing his signature high-energy concoction of old and new school jungle.