Not only does Sandbox Festival boast a stunning location, but it also prides itself on its values: it is a place for everyone to play free from judgement and as free spirits, just as we did when we were young. Its a festival that encourages community vibes and mutual respect and so the entire experience from start to end is friendly and welcoming.
About that location: Sandbox is situated between the Red Sea on one side and Sahara desert on the other. It’s red hot, the earth is scorched and each evening the sunsets into the water to break taking effect. The Stages are on the beach so you always dance with sand between your toes and sun or stars above you. he production features art installations and light structures, with all sorts of dancers and performers around the site. The sound system rigs are powerful enough to make sure you can hear each hi hat and kick drum with real clarity and the whole thing is well organised so you don’t spend too much time queuing.
During the day, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports, kite surfing, wind surfing or jokiest floating about on the sea. People from all over the world come to Sandbox so the crowd is diverse and cosmopolitain. Thats another bonus over many European festival which tend to have lookalike crowds. Musically there are plenty of big names, but shout must go to Zeina and Adham Zahran, Egyptians who really lay down compelling sets of kinked grooves that keep the crowd locked and on their toes.
As for the main stage offerings, there is lots to love, but lady of the moment Charlotte de Witte really impresses. Her big, rolling, man room techno is a powerful sound full of dark energy. She shows great restraint in nailing a groove for so long, colouring it only with haunting pads of spooky synths that only serve to hypnotise you further. Life And Death label boss DJ Tennis, on the other hand, goes for a much more trippy house sound with curious melodies and off kilter drums that bring plenty of colour and character to proceedings.
Two of the best sets come from more connoisseur acts in Or:la — who offers a deep blend of house and heady techno that sends shivers down the spine and is expertly mixed into a seamless whole—and Mall Grab, a part of the so called lo-fi house crew who offers toughed up beats and vibey melodies with plenty of nostalgia and good time feelings all contained within. Sandbox, then, is a classy affair that offers lots of great experiences from musical to cultural to sporting.