Last updated: 29th Aug 2018.
Originally published: 20th Aug 2018
Image: elrow town (source)
Born in Barcelona, Spain back in 2010 the elrow party brand has fast made its name as the world’s wackiest and most creative rave, now having travelled to seventy cities across the globe. Once again, London was treated to a two day elrow Town London weekend showcase, taking over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.
Lucky for us, we were able to don our sequinned clobber and lashings of glitter and head to the sold-out Saturday show, where the likes of Bastian Bux and Steve Lawler were hitting the decks.
On arrival, we could have people-watched for hours. Flocks of clubbers swarmed past, wearing a range of eccentric outfits from sleek and stylish sparkling attire to the downright bizarre; think thick flesh-coloured ‘naked’ bodysuits teamed with large voluminous wigs.
As we laced our way to the alfresco Psychedelic Stage where Paco Osuna was playing, we spotted a large structure in the distance manoeuvring through the masses - an enormous, looming robotic grasshopper towering over the crowds. Bonkers in its own right, it wasn’t until we moved closer that we realised that hanging from the front two mechanical limbs were two silver-clad acrobats, moving slowly and elegantly in the air. Surrounded by hordes of energetic ravers, the bizarre contrast of movement was enthralling to watch.
Wanting to explore every corner of this mad city, we were soon drawn to the candy-coloured pink inflatable cathedral, where we caught an apparent bride-to-be breakdancing in skates at a roller disco, as you do. And then, Andres Campo’s techno beats echoing from the tented Sambodromo do Brasil stage, also known as ‘the cave’, soon perked up our ears.
Nudging our way deep into the humid enclosure, we could only describe it as resembling a spot in the depths of the verdant Amazon Rainforest. Twisting vines, bright flowers and vivid leaves hung from and adorned the ceiling and lofty, lifelike giraffe puppets danced through the crowds. At one point, a thick-furred black monkey holding a caged human man calmly bopped past us.
Taking a retreat from the heat, we headed back over to the Psychedelic Trip stage where Toni Varga was entrancing his fans with his head-spinning hits. As we casually danced side by side with a giant monkey, antelope and frog (no biggie), we were soon showered with bursts of colourful confetti and bright balloons. And then, Bux took over the decks and we jigged along, totally entranced by the colourful visuals which were now starting to emit brighter and more intense neon lighting.
Not wanting to miss the much-anticipated set from festival-favourite Lawler, it was time to return to the sweaty jungle of the Sambodromo do Brasil tent. Intent on being as close as can be, we weaved through the throngs of ravers, somehow managing to secure a place at the front.
As Lawler impressed with his tribal house and techno tunes, we were soon once again completely covered in tiny pieces of confetti. This time, however, we were then pelted with a range of inflatables resembling different kinds of animals. Naturally, we became quite attached to our crimson lobster ring.
Now fully adapted to the insanity of the place, we didn’t even bat an eyelid when a gigantic punk-haired gorilla donning an eyebrow ring came scrambling over the gates from the stage. A funky remix of Kasabian’s indie-hit ‘Fire’ was a welcome choice, with many throwing their arms up into the air and singing along theatrically.
We headed back to the Psychedelic Trip stage. Now in complete darkness, the stage was lit up with a festival of colours, a kaleidoscope of captivating neon lights straight from a fantasy world. The last dramatic eruptions of confetti made for a perfect finale to the most wonderfully bizarre day of revelry.
The glitter and confetti may be gone (well, most of it) but the memories of the madness will linger on. elrow Town – we cannot wait to see what is in store for us next year.
The party takes over Newcastle on Sunday 26th August, grab elrow Newcastle tickets below.
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