For those that don’t already know, The One In the Woods is a two day, three stage festival set in the heart of Orrell Hill Woods, between Liverpool and Southport. Mixing it up between d&b and techno, The One In The Woods brings world famous and local artists together for an unrivalled experience in the trees.
The festival layout was broadly similar to last year, which you can read more about in our 2021 review here, but everything else had been upgraded, with a bigger lineup, merch stalls, new stage designs, pyrotechnics, additional production and a sweet VOID sound system. Nestled between the trees, it’s a raver’s paradise with a small festival feel and a friendly, welcoming crowd. We met so many nice people all weekend!
So, here’s our 10 standout moments from Episode 2 of The One In The Woods:
1) The thumping VOID sound system on the drum and bass stage (and techno too!)
The sound system can make or break a festival. Thankfully, One In The Woods opted for the same sound system on two stages – 8 VOID Arcline 8’s and 6 VOID Xair Subs which delivered clean, crisp sound and belly-rumbling bass all weekend. Theta Productions provided the sound all weekend, saying:
We were really happy with the way the systems sounded, the fast transients of the Xair subs coupled with having gain shaded tops allowed us to get really good coverage across the dance floor.
Equally we found the Airmotion tops for monitors allowed DJ’s to get the same quality of music as what the audience was hearing, which always helps to reinforce confidence in the mix.Blake @ Theta Productions
2) KUSP’s hypnotic three deck mix
Effortlessly blending between three turntables is no easy feat, but KUSP delivered this with excellence. The set was sadly the last from KUSP, as they have taken time away from the project, but boy did they go out with a bang. The set was a true journey, from mind-bending, entrancing techno through to the brutal, high energy which KUSP are known for. The standout track has to be the “Bang The Box” (SLAM Remix) which set the trees alight with bass.
3) Frazi.er playing euphoric techno-trance/psy trance
The high-flying scotsman is in huge demand of late, with a cult following travelling around the country and further afield to see the Glaswegian treasure perform. His set was locked & loaded with the pumping techno he’s known for, but we were also treated to some driving unreleased trance tunes which injected some euphoria into the woods. He’s definitely a DJ not to miss on the lineup.
4) The One In The Woods promoter Dave MCing
Stepping up to the mic on the Saturday and supplying the crowd with hype and lyrics was The One In The Woods’ very own promoter Dave Potter aka Davie Dee. Filling the d&b stage with excitement and leaving us on tenterhooks, his hosting skills added a captivating dynamic to Mel’s set.
5) Thrilling pyrotechnics on the main stage
Stepping things up from 2021, this year the main stage was in a shipping container, raised above the crowd, with a lower stage area for MCs to perform. Situated either side were four huge flame pyrotechnics courtesy of Fx Stage Productions. Seeing the burst of hot, red flames during the Pendulum set was eye opening and perfectly fit the hard, heavy tunes they were dropping. Can you ever have too much fire? Check out the video below!
6) Saturday’s stand out set from Fatima Hajji
One which took us off guard. Fatima Hajji was on our list as a must see act for the weekend and whilst we knew she wouldn’t disappoint, we were not ready for the carnage which was about to be unleashed. Cranking the BPM all the way up to 150bpm, we strapped in for a helluva ride. A highlight moment came from when she dropped her own fully charged edit of “Sweet Dreams”.
7) Mace kicking things off perfectly on day two
Up and coming Liverpool based DJ Mace set the pace on Sunday with a groove-filled techno set. Taking place on the third stage nestled deep in the woods, Mace blended tunes with ease, often utilising all three decks and seamlessly layering vocals, drums and synths together.
8) Prydie upping the ante on Sunday
Fast rising Welsh-born, Manchester-based DJ & producer Prydie took things up a notch at 3pm on the Sunday. Pushing the tempo from 140 to over 150bpm, his set was packed with earthquaking basslines, sinister melodies and fierce kick drums, including some of his own productions.
9) Lasers at the techno stage lighting up the woods
When the lights go down at The One In The Woods the techno stage transforms into a woodland ravers haven. Under the cover of darkness (and a lot of haze) the lighting and lasers come alive and hit on a different level. Blitzing between strobes, multi-coloured lasers, and spotlights – a flurry of light dazzles the crowd and dowses the woodland with a sinister vibe.
10) Perc closing the festival with a bang
Marking his second stint for The One In The Woods, Perc was this time in charge of closing proceedings on the Sunday. Safe to say he came ready with his full arsenal of weapons to see out in the festival in style.
11) Bonus moment: Flawless organisation from the promoters and staff
Throughout the two days we experienced a slick and smooth operation. From the shuttles to/from the venue, the bar queues, organisation of the stages/backstage areas, friendly, helpful security staff and welcoming promoters. There’s no doubt that these guys know what they are doing and we can’t wait to get back in the woods next year.
It’s not just us who can’t get enough of this festival. Speaking about his set, techno legend Chris Liebing said:
It’s absolutely magical here. I’m in the woods, but you could be anywhere on the planet right now. It’s such a nice welcoming crowd here too and I had a lot of fun performing my set!Chris Liebing
When talking to us about organising and running their second year, The One promoters said :
“Our experience of putting on Episode 2 of the festival, where do I start…It is safe to say it was a tough campaign with the way the market is in terms of advance ticket sales and the large number of events being cancelled causing real uncertainty in the scene but we knew we had to get it on and get it on in a big way!
This year for us was about making a real visual impact with the sound and production, in a safe space as well as ensuring that some of the worlds leading artists were brought to the woods for a second time and this is something we feel we achieved. Yes we would have loved to have sold out the festival but having seen so much positive feedback from the few thousand that did come, we are buzzing with the outcome. There was no trouble over the entire weekend and operationally it ran smoothly so we couldn’t ask for much more.
As we move forward we can see what we need to do to create a festival that appeals nationwide, so watch this space over the next few weeks as we enter Episode 3 with some additions that you don’t want to miss.”The One In The Woods
After their debut festival was comfortably one of the best events we’ve attended, we couldn’t wait to get back in the woods this year, and boy did we have fun again. The layout of the woodland makes this festival a dream to navigate and the DJ performances were once again top notch, with a blend of the leading names in techno and d&b. The new industrial stage designs complemented the sound and aesthetic perfectly, building on that illegal rave feel. Whilst the addition of jaw-dropping pyrotechnics, a thumping VOID sound system and various merch stands/stalls helped amplify the festival experience further.
It’s fair to say that The One In The Woods wasn’t as busy as it should have been – sadly a cautionary tale for many events and parties this year. At times the techno stage could have been louder (pesky council sound limits!!) but that didn’t have an impact on our enjoyment of the festival. They have curated yet another truly special show, with a friendly crowd, hefty lineup, and unique location. If the rumours are true that next year will be a 3 day camping experience, this will make it an even more accessible and immersive festival which needs to be on every raver’s calendar.
Sign up to be the first to hear about next year’s festival and get early access to tickets here.
Words: Eliot Harris & Ben Lovejoy
Images: @rt.shoota and @leonmansley