Chelmsford’s Hylands Park was absolutely buzzing this weekend as the first-ever Creamfields South festival kicked off. The event, which kicked off on Thursday June 2, saw thousands of revelers flock to Essex to enjoy some incredible electronic music.
Being a huge fan of electronic music myself, I was thrilled when I heard that Creamfields would be hosting a festival right downstairs from my house – what better than seeing world class DJs and having only to travel 20 minutes on the road? Now I have to be honest, I made a very adult decision shortly after it was announced in 2021 not to go and save my money for more important things.
Then I went to a party with friends and of course bought a ticket the week before around 12am. It cost us £93.50 each for a standard day ticket, which I would say is pretty normal for a high class festival.
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We bought tickets for the Friday (June 3) where artists like David Guetta, Fatboy Slim and many more would be playing. After finishing my 3pm shift, we headed into an absolutely lively evening.
‘Will it be worth it?’
We took a taxi to the festival from central Chelmsford and were dropped off just outside to avoid getting stuck in traffic. However, we weren’t quite prepared for the walk to the entrance, but since it was warm and we were excited, we really didn’t mind.
However, we weren’t prepared for the sequel. As we rounded a corner towards the entrance, we saw a huge herd of people standing behind doors. Unfortunately we then found out that we also had to join that crowd to get in.
We had purchased our tickets online which indicated we had to collect them when we arrived. Now, to me, that doesn’t make much sense – if we had bought tickets online, why couldn’t we show them on our phones and have the QR codes scanned?
Instead, we had to wait in huge, sweaty crowds for nearly an hour and a half to pick up the physical copy, only to have the QR code on them scanned. The organization seemed poor, but it was not helped by people agitating against the staff and hurling abuse at them.
At the end of the day it wasn’t their fault and as we grew impatient ourselves we realized we just had to wait. We all wondered a lot if it was worth it once inside.
Eventually we had our tickets in hand and headed through security at the entrance. My friend however received another blow as he had to throw his bag in the trash as it was too big. Creamfields insists that bags should not be larger than a page of A4 paper and this is for legitimate security reasons.
We must have looked hilarious as we shoved all of her items into my own little bag. Then we were greeted by the impressive sniffer dogs who catch anyone who brings drugs to the festival. We said hello to them as they sniffed us – the gold lab gave us the all clear and we were finally in!
It’s time to open some cans
We entered right next to the main stage which is at the bottom of a hill so we got a great view of the crowd standing around enjoying Jonas Blue as he played. We walked around this area nicely and almost thought for a second that was it, and there was nothing else to see.
Of course, the festival extends further with six more stages. We got to the arena around 5:45pm and there were already a lot of drunk campers who had definitely pushed too far. I didn’t want to join them, I must say.
Anyway, we decided to buy ourselves drinks to start the evening. The bars throughout the evening were fantastic – there were no queues, it was exceptionally fast, it was just the price that made me want to cry.
Expect high prices for food and drink at festivals, but I was still shocked when a can of cider and two cans of beer cost me £18. We opened them and continued walking.
An electric feeling
We peeked into each of the other six tents to enjoy some of the lesser-known DJs. We stayed up and watched a DJ called Kolsch for about 30 minutes which really got us in the mood before heading back to the main stage to see what Becky Hill was doing on her set.
I’m not a huge Becky Hill fan, but her set looked and sounded impressive from afar. It was now nearly 7:15 p.m., so of course the food was in order.
Personally I wasn’t hungry but my friend ordered some noodles from a fantastic chinese food vendor and wow they looked good! I had a small piece of his dish and can confirm it tasted as good as it looked. I quickly started to regret my choice not to eat but it was too late, I had to go back to the main stage to see the legend that is David Guetta.
If you haven’t heard of David Guetta, he’s a world famous French DJ and producer and he’s worked with other big names including Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj, Kelly Rowland, Ludacris, Justin Bieber and Sia. He started his set at 7:45 p.m. and it was supposed to last until 9:15 p.m.
We jumped into the crowd, not too far from the stage and enjoyed incredibly good music. The other festival goers around us were in good spirits and overall it was great.
In a completely random and unforeseen turn of events, I managed to bump into my best friend who doesn’t live anywhere in Essex (and failed to tell me she was coming) and it didn’t only got better. Before too long it was then time to rush to our next set – Eric Prydz at 9pm.
He is another well-known DJ who is best known for his songs “Call on Me” and “Pjanoo”. We danced and raved until 11 p.m. and by the end, my feet were killing me! His set was electric and the sound of the bass flooding my body was amazing.
A drunken decision that was the best I ever made
To answer my previous question, the queue and ticket price were 110% worth it. I had a fantastic time and it was so good to be back at an event where I didn’t have to worry about Covid.
Like everyone else, we now had to exit the arena and return to Chelmsford. We decided it would be easier to walk rather than wait hours for taxis and so we were home within an hour. By the end of the day, my FitBit told me I had taken 30,000 steps!
I was absolutely bowled over but boy, was it worth it! Luckily, I had received a press pass for Saturday (June 4) to enjoy more music and report on everything from the festival and I couldn’t wait.
Looking back, the drunken decision to buy the Creamfields South ticket was potentially one of the best I’ve ever made. Apart from the chaos of trying to get into the festival itself, the organizers have done a fantastic job and like many other people, I really hope they make the festival an annual event.
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