FLY Open Air brought something truly special to Edinburgh at the end of September. The top team put on a spectacular event in a spectacular setting right at the foot of the famous castle. By day it hung in the background and added a real sense of history and grace to the party, and when the sun went and night arrived it looked truly magical the way it was lit up and seemed to be floating.
Of course the music was the main focus, but great stage production, killer sound systems and some explosive ice and smoke machines really added to the occasion. Futuristic light rigs, lasers and big screens also added an extra sensory element and meant the crowd were always locked in. That crowd was largely student based and comparatively young, but that meant they were full of energy and really went full on for the duration.
Musically, after new broke that Mr G couldn’t make it, everyone stepped up and played slightly longer sets. Across the event, the likes of Theo Kottis impressed with his slick technical skills and great ear for a tune, and Scottish legends Harri & Dom from the Sub Club laid down some fat house funk that really got people going, punching the air and whooping at all the right moments.
Detroit Swindle are a Dutch dup riding high on a deep hose wave right now and their assured set took us on a ride through fresh modern sounds as well as some retro styled house cuts that showed off where they have come from. One of the biggest talking points was Motor City Drum Ensemble, who laid down the knowledge as he whipped through a fine vinyl selection of hose, disco and funk that was filled with unknown gems that really got the crowd in a spin.
Of course, the centre piece of it all was a massive live show from the legends that are Booka Shade. The German duo stood behind various bits of machinery and keyboards as white reflected lights lit them up .They cooked up pop leaning grooves, dropped their biggest hits and really threaded a fine sonic trip that made for a great centrepiece of the whole event.
With a second edition coming in May 2017, there is no reason not to head north and get a piece of al fresco live music action that has to be experienced to be believed.