Moovin Festival 2022 was the last of the Summer festivals on our guide and turned out to be one of my absolutely favourites! Formally known as the ‘Secret Barn Party’ when it was first started back in 2014, Moovin has successfully grown from strength to strength keeping its grass roots vibe its loved for.
The festival is held on Whitebottom Farm in the village of Compstall near Stockport. It’s unique and remote location has a sense of mystery and secrecy. The only way to access the festival is by a long single road track, covered by a lush green canopy of trees, next to a winding river surrounded by the picturesque scenery of Ethrow Country Park. The 20 minute walk or 10 minute park and ride brings you to the edge of the gorge. Approaching the festival entrance you pass a spectacular waterfall at the bottom on the valley, all surrounded by green hills and forests.
Moovin Festival was founded by Hacienda DJ Herbie Saccani and has grown with the help of Hacienda brand manager Paul Fletcher, partner Rebecca Rosenberg and supported by a fabulous and dedicated team behind the scenes. The unique festival line-up reflects their personal tastes and creative vison and why year on year they continue to make Moovin bigger and better but still keep its original character.
The line up for this year included Black Grape, Orbital, Ray Ayers, Jazzy Jeff, Jazzie B, Louie Vega and Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals as wells as DJ sets from Graeme Park, Craig Charles, DJ Paulette, Jon DaSilva to name a few of the 60+ Dj’s and musicians who performed over the weekend.
Having never experienced Moovin before, I didn’t know what to expect. As I walked on site I was instantly captivated with the beauty of the grassy valley in front of me, with the festival set up dotted around the fields with lots of green space, surrounded by forest. This wasn’t your typical shake and bake festival set up, everything blended in and complimented the environment with a distinct Woodstock feel about it.
The organisers mindfully restrict tickets and daily visitor number on site to enhance the experience. The four dance tents were perfectly sized to really enjoy the Dj’s and dance without feeling claustrophobic. Even the Cow Barn Stage which hosted the headliners never felt overcrowded and made the performance feel up close and personal. You could see this made the experience just as special for the Dj’s and musicians.
It’s not just the music that makes the festival so magical. Everywhere I stopped I bumped into chatty strangers who quickly became festival friends. It brought back memories of my 90’s clubbing days where music brought people together without egos and idiots.
The weekend was a whirlwind of dancing and seeing smiley faces at every turn. So many people I chatted with were Moovin veterans, all praising the organisers because its kept its grass roots vibe. I loved wondering from stage to stage, catching bands and Dj’s I not seen before and some I’d not seen for many years. My highlight had to be Orbital, an experiencing I’ll never forget. The stage set up was so up front and personal the whole audience could appreciate a very technical set and feel part of the performance.
After 3 days of walking, dancing, drinking and laughing, I was knackered but that’s just my age! A few days later the aches disappeared leaving that warm fuzzing feeling you only get after an epic weekend and craving to do it all over again. At least I’ll have the memories to keep me going until its festival season again and look forward to returning to Moovin and Whitebottom Farm.
We might have to wait another year but at least 2023 dates have been announced (Friday 25th to Sunday 27th). Early bird tickets have already sold out but discounted first release weekend are still available. You can also pay over 6 convenient monthly instalments to make it easier on the pocket. I hope to see you there.