Into The Lions Den- The Zoo Project Festival 2012


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'The Zoo Project was created by the People for the People....Our ethos is simple: We are all One" and so Zoo Project created a summer festival like no other. Bringing Balearic success over to Britain and filling three magical days of sunshine, big names, big  beats, wild animals and even a wilder crowd, Zoo ensured the perfect end to the summer season for all; matching music and a beautiful setting and crazy people - it truely had to be seen to be believed. 

Forget the generalised trappings of commercial dance festivals that have filled our summer months, and picture an intimate affair yet with epic components and an atmosphere to match.  The line up was simply incredible including huge names just as George Fitzgerald, Julio Bashmore, Scuba, Pearson Sound, Heidi, Visionquest, DJ Sneak, Guy Gerber, Margaret Dygas, Sasha, Raresh, Chez Damier and Ben Klock to name but a few. Just over 6000 patrons attended, bringing the happy ibiza vibes and , most fantastically dressed and painted to reflect the animalistic setting of the festival – Port Lympne Wild Animal Park. 


Picture by Lindsay Barchan 

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Picture Credit: Tom Horton 

Arriving late friday afternoon, only half an hour on the train from Kings Cross and then a short taxi journey, we knew the weekend was going to be special.  The sun shone over the arena and small campsite, surrounded by hay fields and trees, we were a world away from inner city life.  With stages hosted by some of the best and heavy weights in EDM scene such as Louche, Secret Sundaze, Ostgut Ton, Cocoon; we werent short of choice.  With the three main stages managing to compliment and arrange artists in order to best present the sound and flavour of each individual to stage, it was only a couple of minutes walk between areas ensuring it was hard to miss your favourites for very long. 

However what really left an impression was the creativity and effort that went into making the arena as unique and fun as possible.  There was huge climable scupltures, beautiful large art pieces and performers flew over from the Zoo in Ibiza to bedazzle the revellers in Kent.  As we were watching some of the biggest names in dance music, suddenly fire breathers and dancers would appear on stage, or huge moving animal sculptures, break dancers, and most impressively Aerial Silk Acrobats would suspend themselves and contort their bodies high above the crowds.

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Picture Credit: Tom Horton

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Picture Credit: Tom Horton

Friday night favourites included perhaps two of the most loved DJs in Britain at the moment; Eats Everything and Julio Bashmore pushing the house music genre ever forward.  Highlights including Adam F's 'Circles' remix by Eats Everything and whats become a summer anthem and festival favourite 'Au Seve' by Bashmore. Heidi never fails to impress whether it be in Panoramabar or an animal park with her constantly evolving sounds, dropping new (and unreleased) monsters like darius Syrossian's 'Take Me to The Gate'.  Finally other friday favourites (and all-time favourites) the Visionquest boys always seem to have the most fun, reflecting this in their music which the crowd lapped up and it got pretty blurry from there on...

Waking up on Saturday Morning to roughly twenty degrees and stunning sunshine is never a bad thing, but its made even better when you can wander round drinking cider in a safari park watching baby monkeys, and a good few hours were spent around the beautiful grounds of the animal park - which is close enough to be able to stumble there but not close enough to end up off your face in the rhino enclosure.

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Picture Credit: Tom Horton

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Picture Credit: Tom Horton

Music started at 2pm and ran for twelve hours, which was more than enough for some sorry animals but not enough for others - something I expect they'll address next year (as well as the other probable first-time-festival issue of theiving in the campsite) but never the less the twelve hours were filled with complete quality start to finish but it was Saturday evening that the really heavyweights shone through.  Starting with DJ Sneak who consistenly manages to ensure the crowd dances and smiles stimultaneously, things got bassey, funky and pretty damn exciting - a standout set of the weekend and proves yet again he is an original house master. Guy Gerber got things a little darker with his techno infused beats, which were then elevated into two hours of euphoric. legendary .Sasha.   Scuba then finished the night off playing some classic house like Xpansions 'Move Your Body' and the ever popular 'Hungry for the Power'

Listen to  Sneak live from Zoo Project Festival on - Click image 


Come Sunday it was by no means over with the forward thinking and inspired sounds of Droog, the Chicago legend that is Chez Damier and the driving techno of Ben Klock brought the weekend to a grande finale. And as the sun set on the weekend and throbbing, happy crowds, many agreed that the couple of days they'd spent dancing and rolling around in a newly formed joyous human zoo had provided some of the best music and vibes of the Summer.

Zoo Project is a celebration of the dance music culture that has elvoved and been shaped through generations, whether Ibiza or Britain  and most importantly its a celebration of the people that create it - no matter your age background or future, Zoo allows us to be young, crazy and wild, and what can be better than a weekend filled with this...See you at Zoo Project 2013.

Words by Rosa Devlin 

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