Okay we’re going to sound a little biased here…. Drum & bass plays a massive part in the UKF universe, of course a festival dedicated to the genre is going to be one of our favourites.
We’re going to sound like we’re preaching to the choir here, too… If you’re a drum & bass fan you really ought to know this already.
But in case you don’t, here’s the 411…
Let It Roll is unique, incredible and a must visit for any card carrying drum & bass fan.
As we settle back into reality after the chaos of the Czech event’s ninth (and largest) outing this weekend, removing hefty pieces of spaceship shrapnel from our heads while we’re at it, we’ve considered six reasons why you might want to start saving for Let It Roll 2017….
It’s 100% focused
We all love long line-ups full of big exciting names. De rigueur for events these days, right? But when you really look at those line-ups in detail you realise that not everything there appeals to you… Especially when the timetable lands and there’s a fat stack of clashes among the acts you want to see anyway.
Let It Roll doesn’t try to cater for every electronic music fan, it’s just drum & bass. No trawling through big EDM names. No tents you know you won’t even bother exploring. You don’t even have to subject yourself to background cheese while walking across the site. Of course there are clashes (because there’s so much more in the line-up you want to check) but if choosing between Noisia’s Outer Edges show debut and Calyx & Teebee is the hardest decision you have to make over the weekend (which it was for many of us) this has to be a good thing.
It’s not stupidly massive and it’s thoughtfully arranged
Anyone else a bit tired of tripping up over tents, suffering long queues for everything and getting shoved and jostled everywhere you go? Because of the highly competitive market festivals find themselves in right now, some events have to ram you in like cattle to make money. Not Let It Roll… At 25,000 people and nine arenas it’s the perfect size. If you lose your mates, you are guaranteed to find them again (trust me on that one).
The actual arrangement of stages and the space used is also on-point. The festival is situated on a sprawling military base so there’s heaps of room between stages (and heaps more room for them to expand as they have steadily over the last nine years)
Underground/emerging DJs get much better slots
Drum & bass at festivals has come a long way since the old days of a little arena tucked away in the furthest corner like a dirty little secret. But even as the genre plays a much more prominent role and D&B acts play on mainstages at most major events, and hosted arenas get much better placement, there’s only so much space and time to include the genre… So the bigger guys will always get the best slots.
Not at Let It Roll. Of course you can (and will) check every big gun and under the sun on Let It Roll’s mainstage but across the other tents you’ll find underground and up-and-coming guys get peaktime justice. Skeptical laying down sublime rollers at 3am? Unknown Error wheeling up dubs as the Czech sunrise kicks in at 6am? MachineCode smashing the dickens out of your mind, body and corrupted soul at 4am? Bop taking the midnight slot with the trippiest microfunk you’ve never heard? Trimer pulling off wildstyle double drops at 4am?
Yes please mate.
Even at really well organised and curated festivals, it’s hard to find up-and-coming and underground names getting the slots they deserve at this level. And we’re talking DJs across every subgenre too – jump-up, neuro, deep, liquid… The works. Yet another reason why Let It Roll is in a league of its own.
DJs dig deep
Festival D&B sets can sometimes leave the discerning D&B fan wanting more. Yeah we all love Tarantula, Halflight, Timewarp, Mr Happy and many other staple classic anthems that DJs drop to engage the fans who aren’t as nerdy as us…. But most of us would much rather hear dubs, new shit and classic Renegade cuts from 20 years ago that still cut it on big rigs now.
Hello Let It Roll: When the crowd is 100% drum & bass heads, the DJs play 100% drum & bass heads. Sure, the classics are dropped, but done so with a little more knowingness. There wasn’t one set this weekend when we walked away thinking the DJ didn’t absolutely smash the shit out of us. Case in point, chat to Chase & Status.
There are also many international festivals that require hotel rooms and cost much more like a holiday than a cheeky blow-out, but Let It Roll is genuinely realistic. Here are some prices based on this year’s event….
Earlybird tickets – €52 (then going up to €78 by 4th release)
Camping pass – €15
Book flights in advance and your only expenditure is food and drink at the event where a meal cost around £2 and beers cost just over £1. Even as the pound dropped after June’s EU referendum, this is really affordable (and the beer is actually good)
Finally…. The production is INSANE
No argument: Let It Roll absolutely crushes it sonically and aesthetically. All arenas have fine-tuned soundsystems that sound warm and balanced anywhere you stand. As for the actual decoration and stylised production around the stages? It’s another world. The main stage this year was an 80m wide space shuttle that you needed to be right at the back of the crowd to actually take in without craning your neck. The word immense doesn’t begin to capture the scale of Let It Roll’s mission… Anyone who witnessed the festival’s annual opening show (an annual tradition for the event) can attest to this. Most of us have made pacts never to wash our eyes again.
It’s also the smaller things that stick with you; during the day there are dance-offs, sports, water fights, workshops, demos with producers. As evening kicks in, the event holds bus parties with some of the biggest labels in the genre. A cool twist on boat parties at events such as Soundwave and Hideout, it’s another example of the event’s unique approach and status in the ever-noisier festival market and tickets only cost €15
Finally… If you need any more to keep you entertained, shuttle buses from the event to Prague cost €12 where a whole bohemian city waits to entertain you with a powerful menu of art, culture, history and amazing food and drink. Something to bear in mind if you consider a trip next year and want somewhere to chill out and re-engage with reality for a few days before the flight home (something, if we’re honest, we wish we did ourselves this year)
Details for Let It Roll 2017 will be revealed very soon. Visit Let It Roll website for full details on all their events. We’ll keep you posted, too. See you there next year.
All images and videos: Let It Roll Facebook