The hoards of aliens, tin foil and the trail of glitter left along the Oxford Road were an indication of how involved the punters were in this year’s Space Odyssey theme. Those who chose to ignore the theme, myself included, were left feeling very much like some creature from the outer reaches of a galaxy far, far away.
As is ever the case with Pangaea the décor was outstanding and bettered some of the larger and more established festivals in Manchester. From the instant you walked through the gate it was possible to see the hours that go into to making the night. The normally docile campus was dotted with giant inflatable igloos, a version of the moon landing and a variety of spaces that catered for most musical and culinary tastes.
One look at the line-up it’s possible to see how Pangaea gives smaller promoters and residents from the rainy city the chance to appear alongside heavy weights such as Mr Scruff, Congo Natty and Dark Sky.
First up on The Future Sounds stage, at which Party For The Peopleand Kids Nowadays played host, came the Dark Sky trio showcasing their new live act. A few timing issues early on highlighted the fact it was their debut but apart from that they got the evening moving nicely. From there we moved to The Colony Dome hosted by the BPM guys who always put on a wild party. We caught the beginning of the “retiring” Zed Bias’ set. He played out a few bangers along with some cheese to a crowd that were lapping it up. However we couldn’t spend too long there before moving on in a bid to see as much of the 18 stages as possible.
Next up we ventured into the largest of the rooms The Wormhole. Here TEED threw down a combo of crowd pleasers and mainstream cuts to keep the largest room grooving. Moving on swiftly we returned to The Future Sounds stage to catch the ever-eclectic Mr Scruff. The 20-minute queue outside the room highlights the Mancunian tea man’s popularity among the young crowd. With a reputation born out of his residency at Band on the Wall and cemented during his infamous sets on a certain Croatian beach he expertly selected his way through a spectrum of tracks that spanned far and wide and kept everyone guessing as to what would come next.
In an attempt to experience the full range of what Pangaea had to offer and against our better judgement we left Scruff’s set early. We headed up to The Outta Space room to catch the second half of Congo Natty. It appeared half of the venue had the same idea and we found ourselves in a crowd crush that resembled Bloc ’12. The room was completely over capacity and under staffed. In an attempt to calm the ensuing madness Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” was played out to the agitated crowd. I don’t think I have ever been apart of a crowd that was giving less love than at that point. However that one low point did generally go against the jubilant end of exams vibe that was felt the rest of the evening.
From here we moved back out to another one of the many igloos to watch the Manchester talent The Attic Project. He played out a mix of 2 step and garage that literally brought the roof down, with the igloo collapsing at multiple points down onto the heads of the crowd. However he kept on playing, everyone kept on dancing and his set was one of the best of the evening.
In the igloo The Attic Project were followed up by the HiKu DJs who, now into their 3rd year of hosting parties, highlighted why they are building such a name for themselves on the Manchester scene. They kept the energy levels high and had smiles on everyone’s faces during a set that also featured some impromptu raising of the roof by the crowd in order to keep the igloo standing.
The HiKu crew were also on hand for the final set of the evening, with resident Jack Tomson following Mr. Sruff to close The Future Sounds stage. Starting of with some smooth groves like “Krystal Waters” by Krystal Klear, he kept the 5am crowd wiggling. Moving from there he surprised some of the already dishevelled masses with a sizeable majority of the nine-minute version of “French Kiss” from the recently incapacitated Lil Louis. After that he utilised the full weight of the bass heavy sound system, whilst giving a nod to the vibrant Manchester scene, by dropping the Dub Phizix track “Marka”. Keeping with the bass heavy theme he followed this up with “Skeng” which got all the head’s bopping and rounded off a set that we deemed to be one of the best of the evening.
Looking back Pangaea proved to be a success, if you ignore the apocalyptic crushes as they tended to be relatively well dealt with by the security. Also the Party For The People guys and girls deserve a huge amount of praise for not only keeping queues to an absolute minimum but also raising over £2000 for the Meningitis Foundation and Manchester Nightline through ticket sales. All in all Pangaea was pretty out of this world.
Check the highlight video below
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