Review by Zyllah Moranne-Brown and photography by Ken Harrison.

And so to the first day of the inaugural Beyond The Tracks festival, taking place on a green space in Eastside in the heart of Birmingham; and ambitious festival which for the first day goes all dance / trance / party with the likes of Leftfield, Faithless (DJ Set) and headliners Orbital.

Orbital_BTT-9

Birmingham has had its fair share of music festivals: from Artsfest that covered a range of venues and creative arts across the City, to the  city council and city venues taking a punt, to the more outlying suburb festivals of Shardfest and Moseley Folk. The people behind Moseley Folk wanted to bring a music festival to the heart of Brum – and with a multitude of similar festivals taking place across the country throughout the summer – could one late in the ‘season’ pull the punters and compete to the level the city so deserves?

So for the first day and Friday, the theme is electronic dance. With doors opening at 2pm the afternoon punters were treated to Jukes of Hazard & Deano Ferrino (Magic Door), Leftfoot DJs, Higher Intelligence Agency, Pixx and Jagwar Ma.

Orbital_BTT-7

Leftfield_BTT-28

Us little Gig Junkies have day jobs, so we scooted across to Brum late afternoon, and headed across to the green space; usually a large but unremarkable patch of grass near to what will be the main entrance to HS2, near to Millennium Point, Birmingham City University and over looked by hotels, apartments and one of the core train routes into town.

Boarded off by 3m hoarding, we passed through the entrance and collected our passes and entered Beyond The Tracks. Leftfield were just starting their set, the lights flashing away as they took us through ‘Leftism’ in its entirety, while the skies threatened with dark storm clouds. With good quality and not overpriced foodstalls selling everything from falafal to Caribbean to the left, a well managed bar, plus wine and cocktail stalls to the right, and a funfair for punters that wanted to play, the impressive tent-domed stage situated in the dip of a slight slope gave punters good visibility and an awesome sound.  ‘Open Up’ with the Lydon-vemon vocals curling… “Burn Hollywood Burn” blasted through the speakers at the end of the set the core party dancers at the front of the stage has a blast for their one hour forty set.

Leftfield_BTT-3

Leftfield_BTT-4

Leftfield_BTT-22

And no let up as the Faithless DJ set – well Faithless’ Sister Bliss to be precis – took her place in the tiny second stage – but no matter, punters just had to turn 90 degrees left to get in the mood, as snippets of ‘We Come 1, ‘God is a DJ’, ‘Salvae Mae’ were tantalizingly inter-twinned into the dance trance set with a smattering of Maxi Jazz’s vocals.  The sound emitting from the dinky stage was great – but some lighting would have helped as the crowd got their rave on in the dark. The classic ‘Insomnia’ the crowd raved more. Oh the temptation to have ALL of Faithless here – we covered them in 2015 and in this place on this night they would have been incredible.

Sister Bliss_BTT-2

Orbital_BTT-1

Sister Bliss_BTT-5

The Sister’s set over now it was Orbital’s turn. Turn back 90 degrees. On raised decks, head spotlight’s in place the boys from Orbital continued the dance craze. The rain that had incredibly held at bay for nigh on three hours, joined the party and we took sneaky cover in the medical tent – thanks guys. A full set an encore from the boys Orbital – and 10.30pm the first day was done. Unless you fancied an aftershow party….

Orbital_BTT-2

Orbital_BTT-10

Orbital_BTT-8

So did Beyond The Tracks deliver? For fans of dance / trance the first genre specific day went down a blast. The first day would always have teething problems (minor issues over what you could or could not take in filled their social media early in the day), however the intelligent thought and effort that had gone in to putting on a great music festival for a city that has a passion for music and truly  deserves it, with an awesome stage and sound – this looks to be a solid start for this three day festival and bags of potential for the future.

For further images from Friday’s gig visit our Flickr page….


Our Gig Junkies colleagues will be covering Saturday (with headliners Ocean Color Scene and Maximo Park) as the festival goes down a Brum theme, before Sunday with the likes of the Editors and The Jesus and Marychain. Meanwhile we certainly look forward to what Beyond The Tracks 2018 has to offer…..

2 Responses to “DAY 1: Beyond The Tracks Festival , Birmingham – 15th-17th September 2017”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » DAY 2: Beyond The Tracks Festival , Birmingham – 15th-17th September 2017 Says:

    […] Gig Junkies colleagues will be covered Friday night (with headliners Orbital, Fauthless DJ Set and Leftfield)  before Sunday with the likes of […]

  2. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » DAY 3: Beyond The Tracks Festival , Birmingham – 15th-17th September 2017 Says:

    […] Gig Junkies colleagues will be covered Friday night (with headliners Orbital, Faithless DJ Set and Leftfield)  before Saturday with local lads of […]

Leave a Reply