We are FSTVL

Shot by Paul Underhill and Luke Dyson
Shot by Paul Underhill and Luke Dyson

We are FSTVL kicked off festival season in style last weekend, as 50,000 people headed down for a dance music heavy weekend at Damyn’s Hall Aerodrome in Upminster, London. Since it’s birth in 2013 We are FSTVL has quickly established itself as a mainstay on the festival calendar after winning several awards and selling out in 2015 and again 2016. With 16 stages, a wide range of renowned musical acts to choose from and even its own Snapchat filter it was the perfect way to begin a summer of fun. Despite the odds, festival goers were blessed with sunshine all weekend, making us feel like we were in Ibiza rather than England!

The festival is divided into five different areas, with each area serving up it’s own vibe and musical focus. Each stage was run by well known, popular club nights or record labels who brought their individual taste and expertise to the table. The hosts of the stages also changed each day which ensured a wide range of dance music to enjoy.


Ancient Realm was home to the main stage which hosted a variety of awesome headliners including Craig David’s TS5, Fatboy Slim, Steve Angello, Kurupt FM, DJ Fresh and Sigma. If you want to catch the headliners they start quite early so don’t head down there too late! In this area was also the Ancient Temple, run by MK Area 10 and Paradise. This tent was constantly packed out as people flocked to dance to some of the most popular current DJ’s such as Maya Jane Coles and Tensnake.

WHSE District was dominated by the Techno Warehouse which saw some incredible performances from techno royalty such as Richie Hawtin, Ame, Chris Liebing and Sven Vath. Accompanied by exciting visuals and with plenty of space to dance this was one of the highlights of the festival and a techno lovers dream.

Favela Fiesta was themed around the Mexican Day of the Dead, decorated with sugar skulls and everything music wise from techno to drum and bass. UKF and Hospitality respectively ran the Favela, serving up bass heavy musical acts including My Nu Leng, Plastician, Sub Focus and S.P.Y and SP MC. Meanwhile Rumors and Defected ran the Big Top, providing an interesting line up of dance music including Cassy, Eats Everything, Armand Van Helden and Shadowchild.

The Island Hideaway zone was a mixture of house, tech house and techno with stages hosted by popular London club nights Half Baked, Lovejuice and Abode.

It’s well worth considering upgrading your ticket to VIP- this gives you access to the VIP area which hosts two extra stages- The Coconut Club and Waikiki Cove. The Coconut Club was home to Glitterbox on Saturday and Clockwork Orange on Sunday playing their classic feel good house and disco. Both of these are long established club nights with a huge following and have played at some of the world’s best venues. Glitterbox currently has a residency at Space in Ibiza. If that’s not enough to tempt you, there’s also free blow dry’s provided by Tangle Teezer UK and free professional glitter from the Glitter Parlour to get you looking festival ready!

If VIP still isn’t exclusive enough for you, you can also get EXCLSV passes, giving you access to another area within the VIP section. It has coat check, bottle service and more chilled areas away from the hubbub of the festival.

Held over Saturday and Sunday this festival finishes at 12.30 each night with no camping, so it’s perfect for those of us who like to return to the comfort of our beds after a hard day of partying!

The festival is easily accessible by public transport and free shuttle buses are provided from Upminster station to the site. If you are planning on getting to and from the festival by public transport it’s highly advisable to leave early to beat the rush.

Drinks at the festival are pricey and the queues can be quite long. Drinks are bought using a token system and to save time you can purchase tokens prior to the festival to pick up there.

Queues for the toilets were also quite long, you can get access to Club Class toilets which are better maintained and much shorter queues. They also have a pamper room with mirrors and hair straighteners so you can make sure you are always looking your best! Prices start from £5 for single use.

Picture 1
We love these girls layering of patterns and textures! Psychedelic patterns and fringing work so well for creating that boho festival look.

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How beautiful is her embroidered crop top! Crop tops paired with high waisted skirts are a perfect laid back festival outfit.

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This paisley patterned playsuit is so summery and bum bags are a festival essential.

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We love how she’s channelling her inner mermaid with her metallic outfit and rainbow glitter!

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Flares and crochet are a winning combination for pulling off summery 70’s style. And no festival would be complete without a flower crown!

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Light kimonos are great for English festivals, when the sun is out but there’s still a breeze. This rainbow coloured one looks particularly cute!

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These two are dancers for Glitterbox and are wearing bespoke costumes. Needless to say sequins and sparkle are festival favourites!


By Francesca Romberg