Festival review: Hijacked

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Moving beyond its initial location at Double Locks last year, Hijacked Festival 2015 promised to be bigger & better, starting first off with its location at the grounds of Powderham Castle. As we made the short trek in from our coach drop-off point to the festival grounds, there was undoubtedly something quite atmospheric about being surrounded by budding spring flowers & a glimpse of the deers (from Powderham’s deer safari) before being greeted by colourful flags signalling our destination.

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Much like the previous year, there were three stages at the festival, but the two smaller stages were themed, perhaps as attractions on their own asides from the main stage that hosted headliners Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and the more recognisable acts such as Artwork and Congo Natty. The Aquarium, an enclosed area, was replete with bubbles (rather ingeniously if I might say so) in the form of small transparent balloons on the floor & bubbles blown during acts. In the darkness interspersed with strobe lights and tiny constellation-esque lights on the ceiling, it served to create a rather mysterious, mystical effect – stepping into the area brought you into a whole new world of throbbing beats and gyrating bodies. The Jungle, nestled in a cosy corner under trees strung with bunting and fringed lamps, was the other stage hosting the likes of Item and Dropsteady Freddy. Strewn across the field were surprisingly comfy bales of hay for tired festival-goers to rest (or dance) upon. Overall the decor was indicative of careful attention to detail that can only bode well for future editions of Hijacked.

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The party only really started just after 5pm when one of the first big names, Congo Natty, took the stage, calling all “soldiers” forward, before launching into her set with her soulful voice. Headline act TEED got everyone grooving along with their infectious beats for their hour-long set, from chill beats to throbbing rhythms. On the whole Thick as Thieves have pulled together a strong and consistent line-up, making up for less-known names with interesting set-ups.

The only damper (pun fully intended) was really the slight drizzle, cold and wind that set in that afternoon. But surely dancing to the beats would be more than enough to stave off the cold!

Nichola Koh

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