Last weekend, Liverpool/Manchester based promoters The One hosted a brand new festival, ushering 5000 ravers deep inside a secluded woodland setting. Marking their inaugural show, the collective formed of friends started the concept in 2019 with hopes to throw parties throughout 2020. After the pandemic put their plans on hold, The One opted to kickstart their journey into the rave scene by going big; throwing their very own festival, and boy did they get going with a bang.
A stand out part of the festival for us. Taking place within the enchanting Orrell Hill Wood just outside of Liverpool, the location felt completely out in the sticks, oozing an illegal rave aesthetic despite being just 20 minutes away from the city. Accessible by train, car and shuttle buses to/from Liverpool city centre, this hidden hotspot was the perfect place for a party.
From the moment you entered the festival and were greeted by the door staff, to the ticket handlers and those working on the bar, the entire team operated like a well-oiled machine. Organised, helpful and walking round with a smile on their face. Even during a small period of time where bottles of water became sold out, staff were immediately on hand offering to refill bottles using an onsite water pump until stocks were re-filled.
Despite being just a stone’s throw from Liverpool, the festival attracted people from across the nation and beyond. The majority being between the ages of 25-30, with some older and younger ravers nestled amongst the 5,000 strong in attendance all raving together in harmony with no trouble or bad vibes seen throughout.
Like many festivals, all drinks and food on site were paid for using cashless wristbands which could be topped up at the entrance. Multiple bars kept queue times to a minimum with plenty of staff on hand to serve.
Water (330ml) – £3
Soft drinks (coke, lemonade) – £2
Beer – £5
Cider – £5
Wine – £5
Prosecco – £5
Spirit & mixer – single : £5, double : £9
A selection of food stalls offered up some tasty treats to help fuel ravers during the weekend. Loaded fries, Thai curries, tacos and vegan options were amongst the venders on site. We opted for some cheesy chips and a banging chicken curry, both priced at £6 which gave us a much needed boost on day two.
Production & Sound
Production and sound at The One in the woods was provided courtesy of UK Events Group. It really did feel like they’d picked up a huge sound system and stage, and dropped it right in the middle of nowhere. The setting was perfect, and the sound/production complemented the environment.
A worry in big open spaces is that you’ll lose some of that punch when the bass hits. Not a problem across any of the three stages set up here. Eight FBT Audio Muse, and Six FBT Audio MITUS speakers/subs made sure that you had solid sound all around the stage. On the techno stage, you could feel the thump of the kicks right in your chest. And at the DnB stage, those reese basslines made your belly tingle – bravo.
Kept stripped back and minimal, the stages were not particularly big. However, this added to the aesthetic of being in the woods in the middle of nowhere – and we spent more time enjoying the woodland setting because of it. LED screens, and a flurry of spot beams and strobes peppered the woodland in emphatic fashion.
Speaking about working with the festival, UK Events Group said:
We were contacted by Skiddle about a new festival in hightown in Orrell Hill Woods. After meeting Dave Potter for a site visit, we knew instantly that this was something we wanted to be involved with.
With our years of experience, working in different venues and sites, we knew that this would be a show in an amazing space that hadn’t been used for this purpose previously. All stages where designed in house by our design engineer using capture sweden software using all our own equipment and staging.
We provided site lighting, including festoon and flood Lighting for toilet, bar, medical and security areas.UK Events Group
Liverpool based DJ/production duo Kusp have been lighting up the scene of late with releases on Rekids, R&S and Planet Rhythm seeing international support from a long list of heavyweight artists. Their upward trajectory shows no signs of slowing down, especially after their memorable set in the woods.
Setting up camp on Saturday’s Pandora stage after Mark Morris and Tom Page had got our feet warm, Kusp entered firing on all cylinders as we moved into the peak day time sets. Upping the tempo with a cocktail of pumping techno featuring Slam’s “Bang The Box” remix, hypnotic breakbeat and even some old school trance from BK with “Revolution” – a highlight moment from the set.
Berlin-based DJ, producer, label owner, and mastering engineer, Wallis, has been pushing the boundaries with her ever-evolving sound and set up. By 3pm on Sunday, the festival was in full swing, with Wallis taking no prisoners with eclectic, unapologetic techno. Really cool to hear the late Paul Johnson’s “Get Get Down” getting a spin, mixing up the vibe before dropping back into more unrelenting beats like “Myler – Shake It”.
UK techno favourites, Glasgow natives, and Sub Club residents; Slam have been caning dance floors with their industrious techno for over 25 years. Their brutal take on the genre has won over audiences globally and this weekend it was easy to see why. Picking up an already high pace set from Wallis, Slam continued with blistering beats, leaving our feet sore from non-stop movement. Upping the tempo from their usual releases, we were not expecting this level of energy!
With 25 years of experience since she first stood behind turntables, Rebekah has garnered the reputation as a stalwart of the industry. After honing her craft, the British artist went on to be named Best Producer in 2018 by DJ Mag, alongside running her very own imprints Decoy Records & Elements.
Just when we thought the tempo couldn’t get any faster and the beats any harder, Rebekah came flying into the mix with what can only be described as an attack on the senses. Bringing the unadulterated sounds of Berlin to Orrell hill Woods, Rebekah unleashed 90 minutes of carnage, laced with full throttle techno, mind-bending breaks and unhinged acid frenzies. Stand out tracks included a heavy-hitting remix of Cortina’s “Music Is Moving”, and the hell-raising sounds of “Trouser Snakes” by Tripped. The set of the weekend for us.
Closing off the weekend’s festivities was a 90 minute minimal techno extravaganza from Germany’s very own Ben Klock. A resident DJ for Berghain since 2005, and head honcho of seminal label “Klockworks”, Ben brought a wealth of Berlin experience to the woods. Dropping the tempo slightly from Rebekah’s raucous rhythms, we were treated to an expert display of stripped back, intense techno. Pulsating purple lights against the pitch black night sky set the tone for what was an epic weekend.
What a debut from The One. Easily one of the top festivals we’ve attended and a must see for those who’ve not yet had the pleasure. We couldn’t have had a more fun time, from exploring the woodland, getting to know the crowd, and raving to some outrageous music – we’ve got our calendar marked for the next instalment.
Some more portaloos and additional path/walkway lighting would have been a good extra. With 5,000 ravers in attendance, there were fairly big queues and finding your way to them was tricky at night without any lights to help guide the stumbling crowds. Overall though, an incredible experience. Bring on the next one!
If you attended this year’s festival and can’t wait to get back in the woods, keep an eye out for super early bird tickets which will be sent to 2021 ticket holders for first dibs at a cheaper price.