In Review: El Dorado Festival 2017

It’s exciting to be able to claim you were at the beginning of something big. Everyone who attended the opening of Fabric in Farringdon, the opening of Space in Ibiza, those who attended the very first Glastonbury, the very first night at Berghain. At the time, those in attendance wouldn’t have known that they were experiencing history in the making, a truly ‘we were there at the beginning’ moment.

And for every single opportunity and event that has taken off and made a dent in the history of music and culture, there are thousands that have withered away and been forgotten.

El Dorado festival is not going to be part of that latter group.

Celebrating it’s second year, El Dorado is soon going to become a gem in the British festival crown, and this year’s instalment proved it.

You might have been absolutely swamped over the last three years with new festivals popping up all across the UK. Day festivals in your local park, boasting Barry & Paul Chuckle on the main stage, straight after a Shy FX set, followed by a guest appearance from two members of Little Mix. Now that’s all well and good for those coming of age, 16-18 year olds who’s only other option is to share a bottle of Lambrini down the park on a Friday evening. However, if you’re anyone else who knows that they like and knows what they want to see, The Chuckle Brothers just don’t cut it for a good weekend out.

Opposing these pop-up parties are the new kids on the block. The festivals which have something new to offer. In comes El Dorado festival. Now, if you’d have been prepared and got your first release tickets for El Dorado, you could have grabbed one for an absolute steal at £80. 3 days of camping, relaxing, dancing, eating, drinking and fun for the equivalent of 1 and a half Supreme t-shirts. What a bargain.

Now normally there’s a catch for that price. For something so very well priced you’d expect a piss poor lineup or to be paying £15 for a bottle of water at the bar. But, the Cirque Du Soul team sure do know how to pick them. Attendee’s were treated to the likes of Redlight, My Nu Leng, Holy Goof, Kenny Ken, Artwork, Solardo, Dan Shake and Dennis Sulta.

Surely there’s still a catch? Maybe the arena is a bit boring? Or you can only get chips and gravy for dinner?


The stages within the arena went from dancing on a floating platform on top of a lake, to jumping on a 40 foot slip and slide in the middle of the day. Not your average day-to-day activities for a Saturday. The food was a wonderful blend of multicultural flavours and spices, boasting everything from vegan friendly stalls for those who want their weekly fix of avocado on toast, to Zebra burgers and sweet potato fries. (We didn’t actually have the Zebra burgers, but it’s good to know the variety was there.)

Unlike the city central festivals which practically shut everything down at 12:00AM due to noise licencing regulations, El Dorado has the party continuing until 04:00AM, which means those of you who like their sesh to last a solid 16 hours are in luck. From previous experiences, there’s nothing worse than peaking at 12:00AM, stages shutting down and music going off, then realising you have to head back to your quiet campsite with no motives for another 12 hours. No thank you. El Dorado had the likes of Solardo decimating The Ruins stage on Sunday until 04:00AM, something special to sign off the entire weekend with!

Now, looking to the future, here’s the important part. El Dorado is going to grow. From what we experienced across the weekend and what we’ve seen from the organisers, this isn’t an event which is going to get swept under the carpet by this time next year. All household events in the UK started off as parties in fields, and El Dorado festival has already escalated from that level. This is a festival which is set to grow and grow across the next few years and anyone reading this would be daft to not get involved. With the likes of SGP and Global Gathering disappearing from our yearly calendars, there’s a gap which needs filling. A space that blends a variety of music in a niche, boutique space. El Dorado is here to fill that space. 2018 should be an interesting one for the Cirque Du Soul gang, be sure to keep an eye out.

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