20,000 ravers, six stages and dozens of the biggest names in electronic music - Termival V: The Reckoning was scarily good.
Returning to the Royal Highland Centre (an ideal location considering it's just a ten minutes walk from Edinburgh Airport), the October 2019 edition of Terminal V boasted the biggest line-up yet, as well as two new warehouse stages and one outdoor igloo (why not?).
Walking around the site early on, taking in the site and discovering all the different spaces, it was immediately clear that the organisers had stepped things up, and that the young teen-to-twenty-something Scottish crowd were eager to kick off their eleven-hour rave marathon as soon as possible, undeterred in their outfit choices by the bitterly cold weather: flame-covered cycling shorts, checkerboard dresses, Joker face paint, fluffy bunny ears, V For Vendetta masks, creepy outfits from The Purge and even a few of Mrs Brown’s Boys - this is Halloween in Scotland.
From the off, it seemed like everyone was heading straight for the biggest of the five stages, Area V. In sheer size and scale, illuminated by trippy kaleidoscopic visuals on a dozen screens either side of the stage, and with a lighting rig that dropped within touching distance, this rave space is one of the most impressive we've ever stepped foot in.
Marshalled by the likes of Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Maceo Plex, FJAAK and Amelie Lens (all headline-worthy bookings), this is where you'd go to completely lose your head to wall-shaking beats.
Just seconds away, at the Terminal Stage, there was a completely different vibe going on. Following early doors appearances from Bontan and Alan Fitzpatrick, man of the moment Michael Bibi brought the tech-house grooves to this farm-shed sweatbox, which benefited from having the decks in the corner, an impeccable sound-system and a strobe lighting set up which gave the impression of the DJ playing from behind the bars of a cage.
Bibi got the packed crowd moving with Patrick Topping’s anthemic screamer ‘Turbo Time’ (the biggest track of the whole day, absolutely going off each of the five times we heard it).
The comparatively intimate and stripped back Hangar Stage, just around the corner, housed two new and very different stages: the Interstellar Stage was a perfect fit for Red Axes, AME and Laurent Garnier’s journeying melodic soundscapes, while the Annie Mac Presents takeover at AMP was full of funky, upbeat sounds courtesy of Horse Meat Disco and Gerd Janson, as well as Skream, who veered from acid to breaks and old school classics like Devin Dare’s percussive groover ‘Feel So Wrong’, Billy Paul’s ‘Only The Strong Survive’ and Oliver’s own 80s-infused remix of Georgia’s ‘Never Let You Go’).
READ: our recent interview with Skream here.
Other new additions this time round included a chill out area behind the Interstellar Stage, with beanbags to relax on and a dozen old school arcade machines. Outside, a Ghost Train and Skiddle’s own haunted bus - decorated with cobwebs, skeletons and boasting pumping DJ sets from our Arrivals Stage competition winners Acid Enigma and Acutek - ensured there was plenty to see and do wherever you ended up.
The final and smallest stage - co-hosted by one of Edinburgh’s best clubs, Sneaky Pete’s - boasted the most challenging and, arguably most rewarding sonics of the day, with acid and electro sets from IDA, Mor Elian and Minimal Violence inside a dome-shaped igloo: a surreal rave location to say the least, but one that accurately sums up the eclectic randomness of a Terminal V event.
With so many artists on offer throughout the day, it almost felt overwhelming at times, but only because there was so much incredible electronic talent to choose from. Topping this year’s faultless Halloween rave marathon is going to take some serious planning, but we’re already counting down the days until we’re back in Edinburgh for Terminal V 2020, which returns for its Easter edition on Saturday April 11. We'll see you there Scotland.
Words by Ben Jolley / Image credit: Terminal V