Mint Festival is one of the last outdoor UK festivals of the year but how did it fare in a new location?
Just before 7pm on Saturday evening, the contagious energy of Ricardo Villalobos graced the System stage, gliding across the booth with his regal greetings, blowing kisses to the Leeds crowd. Seth Troxler had teased in a funky remix of Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’ for his arrival and the legend’s presence sparked refreshing energy from the crowd. Ravers danced with luxurious amounts of space in the vast Stockeld Park, a vast improvement on last year’s city centre event which was marred by overcrowding.
It was the location that made the difference this year at Mint, with vast open spaces surrounded by greenery replacing the pandemonium of last year’s cramped city centre location. The 12 acres of land across the site brought back the element of adventure to the festival. Shipping containers separated the stages, making for minimal noise spillage and an inviting industrial feel to the woodland.
Entering its sixth year, Mint Festival proved its significance to Leeds’ electronic music scene. As a festival with such a broad reach, the line-up offered something for everyone, from the likes of EDM stars Nervo and student sensation Patrick Topping, to the legend Ricardo Villalobos.
The variety of music across the line-up made for an inevitably mixed crowd, which was apparent when a noticeable portion of people left the System stage as Craig Richards took his back to back with Seth Troxler in a darker direction. The haunting sounds of a forthcoming electro track with the vocal ‘My friend is losing his mind’, produced a mixture of confusion and bliss across the crowd.
The variety of artists on offer created the rare opportunity for people to explore new areas of electronic music that they might never choose to attend outside of a festival environment. I overheard a couple asking who Ricardo was, after he sent the crowd into hysteria by slipping in Steve Rachmad’s remix of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘Relax in his signature mixing style.
It’s easy to forget that festivals like these are important melting pots for new and old electronic music fans alike. Mint Festival thrived on this in its new woodland location, providing an environment littered with musical diversity that catered for everyone.