You may not have heard of the Chiltern hills, rolling valleys tucked away in the sleepy county of Buckinghamshire, but since 2021 for one weekend each year the land has played host to one of the most exciting emerging electronic music festivals in the UK.
Above Below. Even the name conjures images of a trippy, psychotropic world separate from the one we normally find ourselves attached to; Gone are the grey skyscrapers and bleak terraced houses that we are surrounded by normally, jobs and work lives are forgotten for the weekend as dancing and joy take over, surrounded by likeminded people in this mini-community within this picturesque landscape.
That is what the weekend is all about, looking out for each-other, looking after the planet and listening to some serious tunes whilst getting your boogie on.
I have been fortunate enough to attend the last two outings of Above Below and the progression since 22′ has honestly blown me away, the last time I came here it was the great vibe and brilliant music that made me leave wanting more, but this year it was everything, the lights, the stages, the music, the people, the weather, it was a perfect weekend down South for me and the other thousand-ish festival-goers.
It is this progression in such a short space of time that fills me with confidence when writing about next year’s outing, I guarantee you it is not something to be missed, if you are a fan of great tunes and even better people then I implore you to attend in 24′.
The music there was unreal, being honest I knew barely any of the artists performing, but that excites me, and it should excite you too as the team here are masters of their craft, and take no exception from perfection when selecting their music roster for the weekend.
For fans of underground electronic dance music, the hills act as a safe haven; where a person can enter knowing no-one on the Friday, and leave on the Monday with new friends and blissful memories that are sure to leave them eagerly anticipating the festival’s next outing.
The community-feel that is prioritized within the festival is what makes it so great, whilst there, it feels as though you are part of something bigger than yourself, with an emphasis on kindness to each other and dancing to some great tunes from artists you may not have heard of.
This is possible due to the smaller size of the festival than others that you may have attended in the past, everyone I spoke to throughout the weekend agreed that the size of the crowd in attendance was perfect, just the right amount so that you could constantly be meeting new people, whilst also bumping into familiar faces throughout.
Another aspect of this community-feel is down to how the festival came about, its inception in 2021 came from a group of 40-odd friends who all contribute to the festival in one way or another. This often means in my experience, that the majority of attendees know someone involved with the festival, meaning there is a shared pride in the event reflecting the positive aura that was envisioned by the team themselves.
The location is easily accessible as well, just a 40-minute journey from London with Tring train station nearby. Moreover, the food there caters to everyone with mostly-vegetarian and vegan food on site, it’s delicious and helps you to feel in tune with the natural world and is the perfect comedown-cure. Special shoutout to Mama’s Kitchen, the sweet one was unreal.
All in all, Above Below 2023 was special, a weekend not too be missed and it is only growing, I would not be at all surprised if this becomes one of the UK’s hottest new festivals, as it is well on it’s way there already.
I will be there come 24′ and I hope for your sake you will be too.