God bless the music festival aftermovie.
The 2015 summer season is over, and unless you're heading off to a winter party, it's back to the day job and reality. This is the season of post-festival blues, where we look back nostalgically and lap up as much festival coverage as possible, with memories still just about fresh in our minds. Almost enough to get us through to next summer.
But imagine a world with no official aftermovies. The Youtube jungle of mobile phone footage – the camera jolting around in someone's hand, as piercing voices sing along in the background – would be all we had. Less main stage headliner, more Steve and his dirty pint.
Thankfully, we can take refuge in the sanctuary of professionally-made highlight reels: somewhere to go and evoke wave after wave of sentimental emotion, reminiscing over our favourite sets and moments.
The best at doing this are those that tell a distinctive tale, or take a different coloured brush to the generic template, coming up with something fresh and interesting. Making an aftermovie is easy, but making a good one is a whole lot harder. Here are seven that hit the spot with us.
DGTL Festival Amsterdam & Barcelona
For a festival heavily into visual art, it is no wonder DGTL's aftermovies are captivating. Split into three named chapters, each movie flitters between time-lapsed shots of no immediate relation to each other, which may seem confusing at first, but only hooks us even more. Where many aftermovies start innovatively, they invariably soon settle into a classic groove, making DGTL's stand out even further. Contrastingly flirting between shots of the festival and the mundaness of everyday life, they beautifully punctuate the energy of music festivals.
Seemingly inspired by a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy movie, this stunning mini-feature begins by pouring over Iceland's epic natural landscape while a dawn-breaking soundtrack builds our suspense. Soon we're joined by an inspiring voice – the movie's very own Gandalf – imploring us to let the music takeover. And take us over it does.
The biggest EDM and electronic music festival in the world deserves an equally mega aftermovie, and at just shy of 20 minutes, Tomorrowland 2015's showreel of cinematic shots grip you from the first minute to the last. As you'd expect, it's full of fireworks, smoke cannons, almighty drops and a hell of a lot of fist pumping.
Keeping hold of a winning formula from their 2014 aftermovie, Primavera Sound's 2015 highlights kick off with serene elegance before being ruthlessly interrupted by the sound of a guitar plugging in. From here on it's a ferocious montage of the stars that this year graced its stage.
We Are FSTVL
Another inspired by the feature film is We Are FSTVL, who like Tomorrowland, begin their aftermovie with the journey to the festival. We follow two groups of friends, and a lone solider, who it appears has just been dumped by his girlfriend, as they check-in to hotel rooms, dance around kitchens and generally just look overly excited to be on their way to We Are FSTVL. The next ten minutes intersperses voiceovers from DJs such as Carl Cox and Steve Angello, while we witness snapshots of what is possibly the best cure for a breakup we know of.
We Love Green
Simple, but effective. We Love Green hits all the classic aftermovie sweet spots, but by mixing its reel with amateur footage filmed by festival goers, it creates an interesting twist, and a constant reminder of our own private videos from the festival.
Taking a leaf out of Tomorrowland's iconic Book of Wisdom, BoomTown also taps into that sense of entering a mystical land. A maverick voice talks of escapism and new world order while flashes of this year's festival flare before our eyes, all interspersed with scenes played out from the revolutionary narrative.