- Words Andre Mcleod
Held on the stunning coastline of the black sea in Georgia, EchoWaves is a 4-day electronic music festival with sun, sea and sumptuous beats.
Now in its 2nd year, EchoWaves brings the best of house and techno to the sunny coastal town Anaklia, with thousands of partygoers from countries like neighbouring Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia all partying to the backdrop of blue seas, skies and mountains. Set across 8 stages, this year international heavyweights like Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock and Claptone joined a huge line up of House and Techno DJs who crafted a unique weekend for all.
Georgia is the perfect setting for this festival as there are so many other things to enjoy like the wine, food and sites. Flying to Batumi a city that feels like an early Vegas/Miami by the sea you’ll find a lot to do like visiting the botanical gardens, views from the top of the Anuria mountain via a cable car or eating at the many delicious Georgian restaurants.
A few hours drive and you’ll find yourself in the rustic coastal town of Anaklia where the festival is held. The epic bridge that takes you to the site is only the start of the journey and you’ll find 8 different stages including Wave, Zion Sun Sets, Box, Octagon, Island after-party and Taiyo playing a mixture of house, techno, trance and hip hop all nestled beside the Black Sea. All the stages bring a different feel and vibe with The Zion Sun Sets stage, for example, being a boat washed up on land.
The real star of the show was the Island After Party. Set opposite the main festival and accessed by another bridge, it was the place to be for those who still wanted to party into the next day. DJs played brilliant sets that had the crowds dancing away under the trees as the sun shone between the branches and people swung on swings and chilled in hammocks.
As the sun set another fantastic edition of EchoWaves drew to a close. The site feels like an early Croatia or Ibiza strip and has all the potential to become the next big party island destination in the future with time, patience, resources and planning. EchoWaves is the new kid on the festival block that is certain to make waves.
Ben Klock played an impressive and high octane set at the Box stage. The stage like a huge metallic cage captured the energy of the evening and people could be seen hanging from the pillars and dancing away all night till the sun rose over the Black Sea.
John Talabot took over the Octagon stage and also took the crowd on a musical journey. His skill and attention to detail on the decks had everyone hooked by every beat. He put on an electronic master class and showed that djing isn’t just about dropping the loudest and most well-known tracks but can be crafted and presented with precision.
Claptone arrived with all the showmanship and stage presence that we have come to expect, playing a wide and varying set on the Wave stage. His trademark mask had been given out to a lot of the crowd so you could see hundreds of golden faces nodding along to the bright lights and music and as the evening went on and night turned to day, you could see the Claptone effect spread across the festival and Anaklia with hundreds of masks still adorning many weary heads.