Reviewing a predominantly DJ-based dance music festival is entirely different from reviewing any other kind. All festivals you can pay attention to organisation, lineup curation, value for money, soundsystem quality, but most festivals principally revolve around the individual performances of the bands and artists they showcase. While I saw some live acts at Farr Festival – both Mount Kimbie and Kelly Lee Owens dealt out ardently thrilling one hour sets, though the latter’s audience was infuriatingly small – nearly all were DJs, which are invariably more problematic in analysing in the same detail without paying dexterous attention. While DJ programming and performance is obviously still just as vital, atmosphere and aesthetic becomes nearly as crucial, the blurring of the boundaries between music and experience, a seamlessness of… vibes.

This is something Farr’s Co-Founder and Event Director Oscar Thornton highlighted when I spoke to him during the festival; “We put a lot more detail into the sound, the aesthetic, the programming as well, that’s always been a really important thing. A lot of festivals aren’t that specific, but as a promoter you want to produce something a full experience of different parts, where day by day we stagger a quality programme. You can see that in the build this year.”

The programming initially stands out as curious; lacking any flagrant headliner, the scheduling is remarkably consistent, not just across stages but set times; a legend like DVS1 can play the late set at the smallish Ma Dahu’s stage, but it’d be just as valid that he play the main stage at three in the afternoon.

When I asked Thornton about the headliner vacancies he explained; “I think you see it more and more now, festivals have the top three headliners and you build it from the headliners. We build it back to front. We look to see where we can build different atmospheres, vibes, and that’s where you see that deep billing, in the process. Farr’s not about huge headliners and never will be, it’s about intimacy and the crowd, everyone being on the same level. With headliners you just play the copycat game and I think we have something different here.”

On Friday night, once welcomingly escaped the 33 degree heat, you could veer from Mount Kimbie to Daphni to Call Super to Optimo’s B2B with Young Marco, before closing your night with some Skee Mask breakbeats. For a festival of this price and scale, that run of acts is outstanding.

Not only does each stage have a distinct identity and aesthetic – from the port industrial, ship-container cage of The Factory to the fairy lights-tempered neo-rave of The Shack, they’re carefully configured. The soundsystem quality is largely good without being exceptional, and the lighting across each stage varies in their texture and dynamism, but the secondary speaker placement is superbly considered, with a supreme level of clarity across most sections of each stage, even if it loses the subwoofer crunch. The near unilateral lack of sound bleed was equally remarkable, again something I asked Thornton about which he clarified as an issue they’ve tackled seriously since expanding to 10,000 person capacity. There’s a level of meticulous care and attention to exacting detail in the stage design and festival site you don’t normally see.

This precision of detail is seemingly indicative of the passion and professionalism of the organisers and staff, as well as their apparent dedication to refinement or large-scale improvement. Constructive criticism has evidently toned the festival into its very singular identity; an unpretentious annual regular for “proper” dance music fans that ostracises the posers, in the process accruing a crowd that’s Absolutely Fucking Into It whenever a DJ does something remotely cool. Rather than clumsily contrive… vibes Farr gives its attendees the building blocks to create…vibes, and they aptly perform their duty. It’s a Fan’s Festival in true terms, and a bargain for anyone who likes their weekends clogged with disco boogies and techno dirges, and like their disco boogies and techno dirges overflowing with likeminded legends.