Live Review: Wigflex 2021

In 19 secret(ish) venues across Nottingham on October 9th, Wigflex hosted around 4000 people for their 15th birthday celebration. Cat Jordan reviews.

Described as being at “the very forefront of cutting-edge electronic music”, the unique festival all came together thanks to Lucas Wigflex, who not only organised the event, but also closed it, with his performance at NG1 ending no earlier than 8am. Speaking to him about how he felt the festival went, he said: “we’ve never seen such a buzz on the streets of Nottingham. We’re exhausted after the all the hard work we put in but to see that alone it was worth it.”

"The festival truly felt like the perfect celebration of Nottingham"

With over 120 artists performing across so many venues, I decided to prioritise seeing the Nottingham-based artists. From the incredible talents (both performing and in charge of visuals), to the vast spread of locations, the festival truly felt like the perfect celebration of Nottingham. Neither I nor the Sunday congregation would’ve imagined seeing hordes of young people enjoying a Jägerbomb inside of Nottingham’s oldest church (Saint Mary’s), whose old stone walls were more used to hearing choral evensongs than the techno being blasted through an impressive speaker system. Wigflex also gave new students the opportunity to discover the more traditional venues for underground music events, such as The Brickworks and Bar 11, as well as the brand-new Unit 13.

Another great aspect of Wigflex was the fact that it not only showcased huge talents such as Goldie, but also gave the opportunity for smaller artists to perform as well. For example, Trent Bass - an underground music society- was given five hours to spotlight some of their greatest up-and-coming student talents, such as BLK and Hood, who performed a long set together. Giving smaller artists the opportunity to perform at such an important festival seemed to be a hit amongst festival-goers, who showed equal support for artists big and small, eager to welcome live music events back into their lives.

During the day, the atmosphere was more relaxed as everyone wondered from venue-to-venue, excited to work out where each secret location was, but by the evening, the venues seemed to become more and more crowded. This was particularly the case for Daseplate’s performance at the Chapel, which forced venue staff to maintain a “one in one out” policy for the entirety of his set. As unfortunate as this was, there was a reason why Daseplate’s set was one of the busier ones of the day; the crowds were simply a clear indicator of his very well-deserved and increasing popularity among Nottingham ravers, and should hopefully lead to him playing bigger venues for future sets. Daseplate’s interaction with his fans was incredible to behold throughout his one-hour set. It was obvious how much both Daseplate himself and the crowd had missed live performances, as the energy from both parties was ridiculously positive.

“What can I say!?", Daseplate said of his performance. I mean it just felt like something was in the air that day, the whole team was full of beans, it was really the win we needed to start the beginning of the club season. We just go out there and play for the supporters; it’s a game of two halves and we’re so delighted to be part of this beautiful sport. Thank you!”. Among so many great acts, Daseplate was for sure the standout performance of the day.

Wigflex festival was in many ways a day of celebration: a celebration of the sheer joy of being able to attend live performances, a celebration of so many artists, both big and small, new and established, and a celebration of Nottingham’s unique and exciting music scene.

Written by: Cat Jordan

Edited by: Amrit Virdi

Featured image and embedded images and videos courtesy of Wigflex via Facebook and YouTube.