Groove Loch Ness,  some some thoughts on the event.

Following on from our review of the event, our man with the lens gives his perspective on proceedings.

As the sun starts to go down, the lights come up
As the sun starts to go down, the lights come up

Let’s be clear, this is way outside my comfort zone and I’m not about to pretend I know what I’m talking about – that task rests with others. But, I have learned several new words over the weekend just past – house, techno, deep house, break-beat, jungle, hard-core and down-tempo to name a few. If however I were to play a game of ‘listen to this and name that sub-genre’, I would lose heavily – in fact if I got one right it would be a fluke. But, did I enjoy the newest boutique dance festival in Scotland? Absolutely.

It was impossible to talk about Groove without the ghost of Rockness haunting every conversation on the day. But conversation moved really quickly from how good Rockness had been as an event to how wonderful it was to have a dedicated dance festival back on the schedule.

Quite often the talk was qualified in that Rockness had got too big and the dance element lost; folk were generally delighted that what faced them in the arena was a functional utilitarian new-build hosting a big table, laptops, mixers, DJ’s and a bone shattering sound system. At dusk an equally impressive light show kicked in – it was spectacularly good.

There is no denying that Groove to the venue back to it's dance roots.
There is no denying that Groove to the venue back to it’s dance roots.
Not for the first time this festival season it was the crowd who made the event extra special. Good humoured and high spirited, whether I understood what was going on or not wasn’t the issue because they absolutely knew their stuff. It was an education to watch the various DJ’s work through their set with the anticipation of the crowd building and the hive mind kicking in; it was infectious.

In among all that I had a right good talk about photography gear with the local constabulary, a free podiatry assessment from a happy camper and a solemn legally binding promise from a woman who said that if she won the lottery then I would be her official photographer.

With folk making the trip from all round the country (and Australia’s Gold Coast) there was a broad demographic (is there such a thing as a typical dance crowd?). The bar ran out of lager mid-evening and a couple of hours later cider but nearby supermarkets were raided (somebody’s loyalty club card is looking very good right now). A stunning setting, a fine selection of food outlets Herchers fun fair and kind weather were the other essential ingredients.

The inaugural Groove Loch Ness dance festival was a massive hit and while there are a few if’s but’s and maybe’s, I can’t believe this won’t happen again next year and go on to really bed down in the festival calendar. It hits all the right spots with the customers and has the right team behind it.

See picture of the main acts and stage.

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Life-long engagement with music and a truly eclectic taste (although prog-rock and metal will usually have me scrambling for the off button). If pushed, I would have to say the Velvet Underground are one of the most important band’s of all time. Although I consider myself first and foremost a photographer, as regards reviewing I guess I cut my teeth in the vibrant fanzine scene of the 80’s. Around the same time I started taking photographs and, to be brief, performance and photography were made for each other: perfect match.