Last Thursday, we ran an article on Ears To The House about how festivals try to control the media narrative about their event by limiting the numbers of those journalists who can be graced with an official press pass. Given it now seems possible for them to be withdrawn at Carl Craig’s whim – just ask Annabel Ross – we don’t see what the point of them is.

So with that in mind, we decided we’d publish a strictly unofficial review of the recent Kappa Futur Festival. We based our reviews off a combination of watching clips that the big name DJs had posted from the event, plus some live streams. Because whilst Carl Craig can allegedly get you banned from reviewing a festival because he doesn’t like you, we suspect even he has yet to work out how to ban a reviewer who wasn’t actually there!

So what did we make of it? Let’s start with the positives – we liked Derrick Carter’s set a lot, and the same with Honey Dijon. Carl Cox has a fair few fans at Ears To The House HQ – consensus is the set had some blatant business techno in it, but that it was otherwise a strong and energetic set.

As for everyone else we checked out – which wasn’t everyone, because that would be utterly impractical – we were left scratching our heads. Peggy Gou throwing “In The Music” by Deepswing into her set was just baffling. The Blessed Madonna’s track selection and mixing left us lukewarm at best, Seth Troxler largely left us bored and the less said about the Martinez Brothers, the better.

The honour for possibly the worst set has to be reserved for Carl Craig and Jon Dixon, who closed proceedings on Day 2. From what we heard, Craig’s usually tight track selection seemed off – and quite what Dixon added to the atmosphere by playing the piano on top of Craig’s “wonky, jarring mix”, as one colleague put it, isn’t quite clear.

The lesson for Futur as they now get underway with arranging the 2023 festival? Short of just booking Derrick Carter and getting him to play for three days straight, focus less on the boring business techno types and more on those who know what a groove is…