As the days get warmer and the wait for festival season rages on, there’s a shining light for people that just can’t wait till summer. It’s defined as an “informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group” and that’s exactly what it is. Coming up on the 11th of March is Kent’s biggest festival offering: The Winter Social. With such a stellar line-up, that includes all the biggest names in house and techno, it was hard to narrow it down to just 5 acts but after much toil and trouble we’ve done just that. Here are When We Dip’s top 5 acts to see at this year’s Winter Social.
5) Eats Everything: From humble beginnings in the city of Bristol, Eats Everything is an artist who’s cemented himself as one of houses biggest honchos in no time at all. With some killer productions, including 2016’s floor filler Let’s go dancing, and a vibe that can only be described as wonderfully infectious, it’s safe to say this UK talent knows how to own a crowd. Add to that his edible bEats label, which has already put out some absolute belters from the likes of Waze and Odyssey and Lauren Lane, and you’ll quickly start to see why he’s made it straight on to our list. With a BBC Radio 1 residency already under his belt, it looks like there’s no end in sight for the Bristol grown maestro.
4) Alan Fitzpatrick: Now if we were to say English talent who’s track went in at number 11 on Pete Tong’s tunes of the year 2016, who springs to mind? He does what he wants, just like his track says. Yep you guessed it, we’re talking of course about Alan Fitzpatrick. His tune We Do What We Want was one of 2016’s masterpieces, a feel-good techno belter that still managed to retain the dark tone that never fails to get feet moving. His We Are The Brave label, despite only being in its infancy, has seen releases from techno titan Boxia and with Do Not Sleep boss Darius Syrossian set to release an EP on the label shortly, it’s safe to say things are looking very exciting indeed.
3) Seth Troxler: It’s been a busy year for the Smokey Tails boss. Running a tasty little restaurant in Shoreditch is hard enough by itself, but balancing that alongside DJing around the world? Now that’s impressive. After opening London’s ground-breaking new venue Printworks, alongside Mr Loco Dice and The Martinez Brothers, it’s been full steam ahead for the American heavyweight. With a set at Fabric lined up the same day as Social, Saturday’s looking like a busy one, but if anyone knows how to pull off two wicked sets in quick succession then it’s certainly Mr Troxler. Expect nothing less than perfection from one of the USA’s finest exports.
2) Steve Lawler: When you’ve been around for as long as Steve Lawler has, an introduction isn’t really needed. Starting off in the acid house generation organising unlicensed raves, the Viva label boss has become one of house and techno’s bona fide legends. His imprint serves up some of the tastiest tracks in the scene today, and has been responsible for harnessing some serious talent right from the get go. Not only do his tunes always deliver but his presence brings something to a rave that you can’t quite put your finger on. Maybe its him, maybe it’s his persona or it might even be his straight up coolness – either way it’s fucking sick. Keep doing what you’re doing boss, you’ve got the house music formula down to a T.
1) Sven Väth: Now then, where do we begin. We’ve reached the top of our list and who could possibly take the number one spot? Easy – Sven Väth of course. The German legend has been at the top of the techno pile for donkey’s years now, and it’s not hard to see why. His sets are vibrant, the vibe he brings is special and his Cocoon Recordings imprint has served up relentlessly good releases for over 17 years now. If you want to see a legacy, then this is the man to see. From techno to minimal, trance to ambient, Papa Sven has got you covered. Kudos to you Mr Väth, you always will be number one.
And with that, the list comes to an end. That’s our top 5 but it’s not long now until Kent will be graced with some of the biggest DJs in the scene today, and we really can’t wait. Thank you Mr Nic Fanciulli, you’ve started a festival that’s very special indeed.
Words by Olly Gunns