Innovation Weekender
"The World's 1st Weekender in the Sun"
Lloret De Mar
Barcelona, Spain

17th June - 20th June 2004

This was the first ever Drum and Bass Weekender and a weekend that I won't forget!

Well having booked our places back in April I'd been counting the days leading up to this event. This was the first time that I'd done a full on weekender so I really didn't know what to expect.

Having seen the flyer and seeing how cheap this event was, for £95 you get 3 nights of raving, hotel accommodation with breakfast and evening meal. You really can't go wrong! The flights getting over to Spain weren't too expensive either.

We decided to book extra days either side of the event to allow time for us to get use to the area and to have a holiday as well.

16th of June came, it was Wednesday morning time to leave England and get set for the first drum and bass weekender in the sun!! Our flights and transfer didn't take too long as we arrived at our hotel in the afternoon. Having checked in we collected our innovation wristbands, unpacked, and it was time to head out and check out this town.

The hotel was different to that advertised, as it seemed that the main hotel called "The Casino Royal" was overbooked, so another hotel was booked for us "The Hotel Mercedes" this hotel was located very close to the beach as everything was within walking distance. There was also a pre weekend party for people like ourselves that arrived early to get things into action.

After walking along the main parade we found the warm up party located down a side street and things were kicking off in here already, the place was rammed and it was good to see some local faces from the raves back home brocking out in here.
Logan D was spinning as we got here.

The atmosphere here was amazing all smiley faces I wondered if the locals had any idea what was about to happen to their town this weekend??

Well after Logan D is was the turn on Innovation himself Mickey Finn accompanied by one of Birmingham's finest MC's Bassman. I was quite shocked to see Bassman out here, as he wasn't billed on the flyer so that made this night extra special. Mickey was playing his typical jump up set with some added favourites thrown in such as the Crazy In Love remix along with Bad Ass as well.

After Mickey Finn we decided to head back to our hotel and catch up on some sleep.

Thursday Day 1: Well it was Thursday and this was the day that the rest of the Innovation ravers were to arrive. During the day we decided to check out the rest of the town and headed to the beach. Knowing that the rest of the Innovation ravers were located at the aptly named Casino Royale we decided to check the hotel, and it was only a matter of time before we bumped into the rest of the Birmingham crew. Well it was back to the hotel and time to soak up the Spanish sun and chill for the afternoon.

Not only was today the first night of raving but also England's vital game against Switzerland. We met up with the rest of crew at bar Moby's to watch the game. The bar was packed with all English people and most of them jungle heads. Come half time and then we had a sudden interrupt of jungle being played. The place went wild!! Even some of the tourists were brocking out. Well we all know what the score was to England 3-0 and the place went ballistic!!!

Back to the hotel and time to get changed for the first night raving.

Club Colossus wasn't too hard to find along the main parade the place wasn't to open till 10pm so we decided to head to a local bar whilst waiting for the place to open up.
After a few drinks, and rinsing some Belgians and Germans at a game of pool, we decided to head down to the Club. There wasn't too much of a queue in here and as we all had the wristbands we just walked straight in. Having the wristband allows you entry to the club as many times as you like which was good so if you did get a bit peckish you could go off grab some grub and return back to the party.

The club was quite huge as they had open-air part, which was the courtyard. In the courtyard was the oldskool arena with the Ravenation banners draped around, the courtyard led directly into the main arena.

The main arena was massive holding a good 4000 people, the décor was amazing especially to see all the production brought from back home. With massive Innovation banners located across the arena with small hanging board with innovation in the sun written on them. The lighting in there was spot too, with a massive rig including a couple of strobes.

There were a number of platforms for people to dance on either far side of the main arena. The main stage for the MC's to perform later on got invaded with ravers. The DJ box was located behind here, and luckily the club was fully air conditioned which kept the place cool from the blazing heat.

The mix of people in the crowd was wicked as it was going to be predominantly English ravers but you got to remember that Innovation isn't just known for their parties in the UK but also over in Germany, Switzerland and a few more European countries too. As there were a number of these ravers brocking alongside with the English having a good time, making the atmosphere even more electric.

Brockie was first up alongside Navigator, playing a rolling set to get the place bubbling, as it was getting fuller by the minute Navigator was on fire hyping up the crowd. Skibadee and Shabba were here too but they weren't MCing much as they were on holiday just like the rest of us.

After Brockie it was the turn on Bryan Gee, he was accompanied by Navigator alongside IC3. After Bryan it was Kenny Ken he played Dual Voltage, which got the crowd bouncing. And after Kenny it was the turn of Formation's very own SS accompanied by Fearless and IC3, and playing the new remix of Shake Your Body.

What made this night extra special was the fact that it was not only the first night of raving but also with the England victory it was that little extra icing on the cake!!!

Friday Day 2: After a hard night's raving we took a stroll round town and bumped into our friends from back home and went for a spot of brunch. Back to the hotel room and we mad use of the facilities on offer such as the swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna (bling bling!). Before heading out to the rave we thought traveling all this far to rave that it would be wise to sample some of the local cuisine so we each had a pealea, containing longestine and cuttlefish and mussels

Tonight at Colossus was the turn of 1 Xtra as this was being broadcasted to those back home who were missing out. The décor was similar to that of the previous night but with a few more hanging boards from 1 Xtra.

Mickey Finn was on in here alongside MC Sugar, later on Bassman took over for a bit. Mickey was playing a heavy set playing some old tunes such as Turbulence, The Nine and he played what I would say was the anthem of the holiday Follow The Vision. After Mickey it was the turn of SS. He played Bandwagon Blues and Hectic remix which went down really well, he was accompanied by IC3.

Time for the live broadcast via the BBC's 1 Xtra and it was Ebony's Shy FX along with the SAS Shabba and Skibadee. Shy FX played a typical set that everyone seemed to enjoy playing Rah, Pulp Fiction remix and The Basement Track, during his set Riddla joined in with the SAS.

Well after Shy it was the turn of the crowds favourite Nicky Blackmarket. The MC'ing went right of the hook as Shabba, Skibadee, Riddla, Fearless and IC3 were all MC'ing during this set!! Nicky played a proper party set with tunes such as Move Ya Body over Dual Voltage along with a new remix of my favourite Congo Natty tune Champion Deejay.

Final set of the evening was from the Ram man Andy C, this set was awesome, teasing in such tunes as Trust Me and Renegade Snares to keep the crowd guessing what he was going to drop next, he also played Outer Space and Tali's tune Blazin.

Saturday Day 3: Tonight was the final night of Innovation and with the True Playaz hosting it was guaranteed to be an extra special one. This was the only night with bad weather as it was tipping it down for most of the evening. As we decided to leave our hotel a bit late, we decided to watch the Football on the cable TV in our hotel room first.

The night was also being broadcasted and filmed for back home, and when we arrived to the club it was the first time that we got searched on entry. Probably because most of the souvenir shops in Lloret sold knives on a par with Crocodile Dundee himself. But luckily nothing did ever kick off.

ATM's DJ Frenzic was on when we arrived along with MC Sugar. Frenzic played a few oldskool jungle tunes such as Trust Me and Arsonist. After Frenzic it was the turn of Brockie, accompanied by SAS. He played System Test and also Turbulence.
After Brockie it was time for the live broadcast, this was from the True Playa himself Hype he was accompanied by GQ. GQ and Hype one of the lethal MC and DJ combo's, during the set it seemed the mic had broken as GQ had to MC by the DJ box. Hype played a banging set with tunes such as Nosher and Circles remixes along with Floodlight and Follow The Vision.

Well after Hype it was the penultimate set of the weekender and Birmingham's finest DJ Hazard, alongside IC3 and Fearless. It was good to see Hazard here representing Birmingham. Since Hype signed him to True Playaz Hazard has really exploded and been given the chance to play not only nationwide back home but now on an international stand too.

After Hazard it was the final set of the weekender from DJ Pascal and the SAS along with Fearless. Not only was this the first Weekender in the Sun but also the first Drum and Bass Foam Party, as come 4:30am the crowd got completely covered from head to toe in foam. Pascal dropped Rah along with The Nine with his final tune being Ready or Not 2004.

Overall this was one hell of a weekend and one to go down in history. I would say from what I saw that this really looked successful and that this may become an annual event.

The atmosphere was amazing as the crowd were up for it each and every night, there was no moody vibes what so ever as everyone was on holiday. There were only a few artist's booked that never showed, I think this was Det, L Double and Friction other than that it was a full house. And with plenty of other faces about who had not been booked turning up too.

As the stage got mobbed there was no room for the dancers. We saw the Narni Shakers there but I didn't know if there were booked to dance or just on holiday too.

The oldskool in the outdoor arena seemed to just have been an old tape or cd rather than live sets, from the flyer I was expecting this to be a lively arena but instead it was used as a chill out area. I would of thought that at least one of the big name dj's playing here would of played at least one oldskool jungle be it 95 or even 97 jump up set in the main arena. As Brockie and SS both played twice and played all-upfront, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have liked to have heard some more oldskool, as there were quite a number of older ravers in the place.

I would say that the next time this event is put on that it won't be as cheap as this was £95 for 3 nights of raving with all-star line-up and a complete bargain.

Massive shouts to Mickey Finn and the rest of the Innovation crew for putting on a superb weekend, Brockie, Shy FX, Bassman, Ben, Darren Jay, Aphrodite, GQ, IC3, Fearless, Navigator, Nicky Blackmarket, Hazard, Sugars and Bianca the Narni shaker.

Also massive shouts to the party people that made the weekender what it was
Scotty, Dave, Zoë, Collette (international raving sisters), Mistress Mo, Esther, Karen G, Wookie, Brian, Emma, PM, Michelle, Lisa and the Kent Crew plus all the Birmingham and Stourbridge heads and also to everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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