Truly stunning in every sense...

Holland – a land of wet weather and incredibly beautiful people. For Lowlands weekend, only one of these was true. For the first time in what could be the festival's whole existence, the rains stayed away and Lowlands basked in scorching heat. Like, really, really hot heat. This made the beautiful people even more beautiful.

British festival goers, be warned. This festival will be a challenge if you are A. ugly or B. short. If you can deal with these things, then Lowlands should probably be your next festival adventure.

Before we talk music, something has to be said for the impeccable organisation of this three–day event. There were no bar queues, no anti-social people, no crowd squashes. There was healthy food and toilets probably cleaner than most people's at home (you can tell A LOT about the quality of a festival by the quality of the loos!). There were four big stages and multiple smaller ones packed together on a site smaller than Hackney Marshes, yet it never felt cramped. There was art and installations and silent discos and an Eiffel Tower and bumper cars. There was something going on from midday to 6am. It was exhausting, but brilliant.

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The brilliance mainly came down to the music. In true European-festival style, genres were mashed together as if someone thought people like different kinds of music. That would never happen in the UK! Luckily, here, it meant French synth pop and dance routines by day courtesy of Christina and the Queens to all night long acid house DJs.

Kendrick Lamar and Hot Chip probably stole the show for the most people dancing under one roof – one encouraging the chants of 'Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe' and the other, a stage of middle-aged men dressed a bit like bee-keepers. Everything is awesome here. Everyone was dancing. For many though, the psychedelic sonic-ness of Australia's Tame Impala was the highlight. 'Let It Happen', 'Eventually' and ''Cause I'm a Man' sounded massive, with the crowd's voices mingling with reverbed space guitar and booming drums bouncing off the high circus tent.

Caribou and his pastel casual slacks also played an immense show, drowned in lights. As 'Sun' played out, one of the biggest tents of the site went crazy with cheers, moves and a three-person shoulder hold. It's the best I've ever seen him. While Lowlands also saw the likes of Limp Bizkit and The Chemical Brothers, it made room for some softer moments. Top of these were the beautiful tones of Sweden's Jose Gonzalez, playing songs from the recent Vestiges & Claws along with his beautiful renditions of 'Teardrops' and 'Heartbeats' – two covers that will never get boring.

The deadpan Father John Misty brought attitude and angst to the stage for his afternoon set, sauntering around and dropping to his knees as he sang songs from the excellent 'I Love You Honeybear'. 'Bored in the USA', complete with canned laughter and patronising smiles, sat perfectly next to the raucous 'The Ideal Husband', where he treated his audience like an ex-girlfriend he just used for sex. The man is such a loveable dick and a brilliant performer.

It was totally different for a set from Benjamin Clementine, who brought his baby-grand piano and chiselled cheek bones to an adoring crowd. Minimalist soul accompanied by soothing cello and his remarkable playing was like nothing else on the festival programme this weekend. For a site of 50,000 people, it was incredibly intimate.

There were so many bands worth mentioning – the hugs for the lovely Shamir, the Turtles-esque psych pop from Jacco Gardner and the Aussie rock out from wonderful wordsmith Courtney Barnett, but you're best off diving in, taking that 45 minute flight and seeing just how many bands and small beers you can squeeze into a weekend. Someone needs to balance out the beauty in that place!

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Words: Gemma Hampson

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