It was only last year they decided to go one step further and brand their festival out to different countries and showcase the production and talent. Hence why we ventured to Manchester this past weekend to kick off proceedings. 

Manchester as we know has a vast history when it comes to dance music, but the techno side of the city never really gets the credit it deserves. Awakenings had the proud moment of applying their trade in Victoria Warehouse most commonly known for hosting Sankeys on NYD and the roadblock events that Warehouse Project used to throw. However I can’t ever say I saw and event with such production through the four arenas like I did here. Festival rigs and ice cannons spread across all rooms whilst stackers, lazers and LED panels brought the famous Awakenings theme to light.

The line-up also boasted a few firm fixtures that that are on tour with the brand; Dave Clarke, AnD, Chris Leibing, Rebekah and more all offer out sublime sets. Rebekah kicked things off early in the main arena which was pretty much at captivity by the time I arrived. The stabs bass heavy cuts warmed things nicely as man of the moment Rodhad took centre stage, the Berghain regular was on fire form weaving between some acid tinged slabs and raw elements. This all blended into Dave Clarke who again opted for the acid soaked slots and really had the audience in his grasp with some timely drops.

Guy Gerber also performed a stellar set with Room X, which was more warehouse feel, fitted with girders running right hew through. He took his normal deeper approach and upped it a notch showing his array of talents. I’ve never seen Guy go for the darker minimal route, but this was refreshing from his usual dreamy deep efforts. Nick Curly also provided another different outlet with some tech house stompers.

Noir played The Black Madonnas remix of Nick Hoppner’s Relate which was a highlight and Chris Leibing back in the main room curated a fine instalment also with a few CLR EPs thrown in for good measure. If I was a betting man, I could go on record and say this was probably one of the outstanding events this venue has had and certainly most successful. I would even go as far and say that the punters would definitely return for round 2 if it was announced tomorrow. 

Awakenings needs to take an Andy Gray style bow with their amazing production and their plethora of talent on show. Next stop the big one, Awakenings Festival 2016.

Rob Chadwick JukeboxPR