It may be a cliché, but this weekend’s Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside Festival really is shaping up to be something special. Now in its second year at Glasgow’s iconic Riverside Museum, the event is set to host 5000 revellers over two days, welcoming the likes of Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Julio Bashmore and Robert Hood to the banks of the river Clyde.
With a line-up which celebrates the best of international and local talent, this year the festival can exclusively boast two stages hosted by world renowned techno imprint and party, Cocoon (who will be implementing their full festival production), as well as a much talked about live performance from Siriusmodeselektor. The addition of a locally programmed Sunset Stage, Void soundsystem, street stalls and the best crowd in northern hemisphere are all pretty big plus points too.
With only days to go until the first beat drops and the summer begins, we caught a quick chat with Soma label manager and festival promoter, Dave Clarke, to hear about the final hours of preparation and why Glasgow should be proud:
SynthGlasgow: This year’s festival is fast approaching so we'd imagine you’re pretty frantic at the moment. What is the final week of preparation like before the event kicks off?
Dave Clarke: The final preparations for the festival are gruelling but ultimately exciting for all of us in the team. The DJs will be arriving from all over the world in just a few days and it really is unprecedented to see such an epic line-up over two days in Glasgow. We're really looking forward to 5000 people each day descending on the Riverside for a big celebration of electronic music and club culture.
SG: The Riverside Museum is a magnificent setting for a festival; what changes or additions have you introduced this year? The Sunset Stage sounds very appealing…
Dave: This year is the biggest yet, for sure! The addition of the Sunset Stage has allowed us to be even more creative with our booking policy with some interesting performances planned there as well as on the other two stages. We have been able to include a lot of local talent on the bill and we've introduced a hospitality area on board the Tall Ship which will also feature local DJs.
SG: Cocoon will be hosting two stages with some huge international names. What does it mean to you to have one of the biggest dance brands in the world involved?
Dave: We couldn’t wait to announce Cocoon earlier in the year; they are an international phenomenon and Sven has become a mate over the years and a supporter of the Glasgow scene. They are a great party crew, so they'll definitely be at home in Glasgow. It’s thrilling to see names like Ricardo Villalobos Carl Craig, Magda, Nina Kraviz and Sven Väth all on the line-up together on the Saturday.
Papa Sven - up for a bounce.
SG: You’ve also secured Siriusmodeselektor as a Scottish exclusive which is getting a lot of people excited (us included). What more can you tell us about their performance and the live element?
Dave: It’s unlikely a Scottish crowd will ever see a set like this again; it’s really not to be missed! Modeselektor have been a favourite of ours and of the Numbers crew for many years; the Glasgow crowd are big supporters of them and their weird antics and unusual slant on dance music. They will completely rock the crowd when they close the Friday night, and to have Julio Bashmore and a back to back session from Optimo, Joy Orbison and Ben UFO on the same stage on Friday will be sensational. With Slam, Len Faki, Karenn, Floorplan and Animal Farm on the other stage it will be hard to choose where to dance!
SG: This year’s festival also boasts a really strong local line-up. Do you feel there’s an increased appetite to see homegrown talent next to the big names?
Dave: The Riverside Festival crowd are always really supportive of local acts and so they should be - the talent in Glasgow, Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland is as good as anywhere on the planet. We have so many DJs to be proud of and they get the love from their home crowd.
SG: You can confidently promote the Riverside Festival as one of the best underground events in the UK. What are you most proud of when you think about the journey you’ve been on over the last few years and where the festival is now?
Dave: I am proud of everyone who is tirelessly working behind the scenes to make this festival something that Glasgow can be proud of - we've had to be tenacious to even get close to pulling it off. I'm proud of the people who come along and show their support and make it special by enjoying themselves…
The Electric Frog & Pressure Riverside Festival Takes place on Friday the 29th and Saturday 30th of May between 4-11pm. Prices starting from £45 for a day ticket and £75 for a weekend – tickets are available now from Resident Advisor.