DJkit Live at Stonehenge 2018 with Paul Oakenfold & Carl Cox!
DJkit Live at Stonehenge with Paul Oakenfold & Carl Cox!
About a month ago I saw the Mixmag article about Paul Oakenfold being the first ever DJ to play at Stonehenge. It read that only 50 people were going to be invited, and that the date would be kept a secret. I saved the link to the article to post from the DJKit Facebook Page, with a title similar to ‘Imagine being there when the sun goes down!’.
Never did I imagine that a few weeks later, I would receive an email from Denon DJ, inviting me to the big event. I felt like Charlie Bucket when he found his golden ticket.
I was dying to know more info about the event, but everything was kept under lock and key. Due to health and safety, everyone invited was under strict social media embargo about the date, and to be honest, I don’t think any of the 50 people invited really know what to expect, I know I didn’t!
After what seemed like the longest week, finally Thursday 13th September arrived. 13th - unlucky for some, definitely not for me! I started packing a bag that morning to take with me, unsure on what I was allowed to bring in with me. Were camera’s allowed? Could I bring a bottle? Maybe a USB just in case there was a chance to hop on for a mix myself (imagine that!?). In the end all I took was a warm jacket, and an extra hoodie - (that was a brilliant decision as it was freezing up there!)
I’m instructed to arrive at Stone Henge Visitor’s Centre. I park my car and walk straight to the information office. “I’m here for the Paul Oakenfold event” - blank stares from all the staff but one who just nods and picks up the phone. “Wait in the Cafe, and someone will be with you shortly” she says, much to the surprise of all the other staff, who obviously have no idea what is happening. This event was so ridiculously secret, only a hand picked few of the staff knew it was going on!
After a short while a man comes up to where I’m sat. He’s dressed in camo trousers, a bomber jacket and army boots.
“You look a bit lost” he says with a wink.
“I certainly feel that way mate” I reply.
“Are you here for ‘The Event?”
“I am indeed”
“Wait here and once the coaches arrive I’ll come and get you”.
Soon after I start meeting some of the other lucky 50 guests, and we’re all trying to guess what the night has in store. The name Carl Cox is bought up. Surely not? But still, everything is kept a solid secret by the PR team.
At last the coaches turn up, and we hop on. A mixed crowd of people, with the kind of atmosphere that could only be described as ‘intense excitement’.
As the coaches roll up to The Stones, they’re already lit up, and the sun is just about to disappear over the hill. We’re all keen to jump out and get over there, but on the way up we’re handed a pair of silent disco headphones, and a glow stick for good measure.
I step over the barrier that normally restricts the public, staring at the epic stones fantastically glowing with a huge lighting rig, but slightly shadowed by the setting sun. The DJ booth is placed just in front of the stones, with a laser show dancing along the front. Paul Oakenfold is already behind the decks with a huge grin on his face, spinning some gorgeous balearic sounds, the perfect soundtrack to the sunset.
I head over to The Stones, stepping right in to the circle, just in time to watch the sun go down, dipping behind the field in the distance. It was a really beautiful moment, and there was a kind of silence amongst the crowd, everyone just appreciating the special moment. I’ve seen the sunset in Ibiza, and I’ve got to say, this topped it.
As if that wasn’t special enough, I turn around to be greeted by a huge smile, a smile that could belong to none other than the dance music legend himself - Carl Cox. He pulls my handshake in to a big hug, and we have a chat about the whole situation. He’s just as dumbfounded as I am.
It’s so hard to explain the rest of the night, as I’ve never really felt an atmosphere like it. It was a mixture of spiritualism and awe. Just being allowed in the actual circle of Stone Henge was enough to take your breath away, let alone with Paul Oakenfold and Carl Cox going back 2 back just meters away. It was so intimate, and the silent disco complimented it perfectly. At one point Danny Rampling was in the booth with Andy Serkis. You just can’t make this stuff up!
It was such a large space, with such few people that everyone was spread out. Some stood in front of the decks watching the masters mix away, others with their headphones on dancing amongst The Stones. It looked so beautiful from every angle, especially when you took a few steps back and looked at it from a far.
After the last tune was played, there was speeches from the organisers, and plenty of hugs. We all headed back to the coaches, everyone lost for words. Both Paul and Carl made a point of hanging around the coaches thanking everyone, shaking hands, and dishing out hugs - they were true gents, and fantastic hosts.
So here I am, the day after writing this blog post. It all feels like a massive dream to be honest. I cannot thank the guys at Denon DJ enough for the invite, and to the guys at Universe for putting the event on. History was made, and I feel honoured to have been there to witness it.
Written by Ratzi.