Popular dance music festival heads to Wetherby Racecourse

Party-goers at last year's Mint Festival.
Party-goers at last year's Mint Festival.
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Thousands of fans are set to descend on Wetherby Racecourse this weekend for a popular dance music festival which is being held at the venue for the first time.

Some of the world’s hottest music stars are set to play at the two-day camping event’s six arenas, including Skepta, Duke Dumont, Luciano, Maya Jane Coles and the Martinez Brothers.

Now in its fourth year, the festival has proven to be so popular that it has now been extended to two days, with around 20,000 expected on Saturday and Sunday.

Stuart Forsyth, marketing manager, said: “We are really ready for it and the best thing is the weather has perked up, which is going to make a huge difference.

“We are expecting a lot of people over the two days and it looks like Saturday is going to be a sell-out.

“Wetherby is definitely our new home for the foreseeable future. It’s a really lovely little town and the setting at the racecourse is great. I’m really buzzing about it.”

Previously the dance event, which is linked to the Mint nightclub on Harrison Street, in Leeds, and the Cocoon in the Park event, at Temple Newsam, was held at Lotherton Hall, near Aberford.

In 2014 the organisers released a statement on its website criticising Leeds City Council for not wanting to support or host the event in its parks venues.

Organisers secured Light Water Valley as a venue, but after local authorities and police raised concerns, Mint Festival was moved to Lincolnshire Showground.

However, thanks to Wetherby Racecourse the event has returned to its Leeds home.

Mr Forsyth said: “We just outgrew Lotherton Hall, it only holds 10,000 and we needed somewhere bigger. I think Lightwater Valley has missed out, however these things happen and you can never really guarantee what’s going to happen with a venue.

“Lincoln was amazing last year and the people were great but Leeds is our home. We are all from Leeds, we have got two nightclubs in the city centre, and we always wanted to come back.”

Music lovers will be able to enjoy everything from house music, to hip-hop and drum and bass and there will be special acoustic sessions throughout the weekend and a silent disco.

Mr Forsyth said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Ricardo Villolobos and Zip, as well as DJ Yoda and Green Velvet.

“This is our biggest event yet and we are just really happy we have sold so many tickets.

“Everything just seems to be going to plan with our line-up and the artists. We’re really excited about it.”

Saturday welcomes Maya Jane Coles and the Martinez Brothers on the Mint Presents Arena, while Leeds local Hot Since 82 takes over the Knee Deep In Sound stage, alongside Green Velvet, Joris Voorn and Route 94.

Other names on the bill for Saturday include Chilean House Legend Luciano, plus Apollonia, the DJ trio made up of Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky. Also joining the Saturday bill will be Duke Dumont, the deep house producer who made waves with his singles ‘Need U’ and ‘Won’t Look Back’ and legendary trance mainstay Paul Oakenfold.

Day two of the festival welcomes techno mastermind Ricardo Villolobos, who will be playing back-to-back with Perlon’s head honcho Zip. Festival goers will also be able to catch a special live set from Henrick Schwarz plus Dyed Soundorom b2b Enzo Siraguso on the Systems Presents Fuse stage.

Seth Troxler Presents will host an impressive array of dance music heavyweights on his own stage including Fabric resident Craig Richards and Green Velvet’s alias Cajmere. Elrow will welcome Bristonian Eats Everything for an extended set, in addition to dubstep’s first star, BBC Radio 1 Resident Skream. Hot Creation’s front man Jamie Jones will also be down at the event fresh off the back of his Ibiza residency at DC-10.

Drum and bass DJ Sub Focus will be present on day two of the festival, alongside drum and bass and jungle legend Shy FX.

This year welcomes a new production team to Mint, who will be bringing the festival to life and offering an immersive experience with more chill out areas, local food stalls, vendors, bars and facilities.

For the first time, camping will be available from Friday through to Monday.

The event will also be filmed by Club MTV, to be featured in an upcoming show on MTV Dance in October.

For more information, including transport links, visit www.mintfestival.co.uk