As festival gimmicks go, Junction 2’s Rave Under An Active Motorway In Brentford works remarkably well. The acoustics are appreciably operatic, it’s aesthetically brutalist and post-industrial (always a plus), and, given the torrential rain weather warning meted out earlier in the week, a very handy shelter from the rumbling storm. Crucially Junction 2 isn’t a gimmick festival; it is a very good, if slightly odd one.

Making the exhaustive pilgrimage from North-East London to the outskirts of Heathrow, decked out in garb better suited to monsoon season than a day festival, it was pleasantly striking the nice touches LWE have introduced to help attendees, like regular bins and free toilets on the route between the tube station and the site. The site itself is peculiar, lush forestry and expansive meadows decorated by bars and overpriced-but-still-delicious food stalls, all presiding in the colossal shadow of a dozens-storey-high pharmaceutical corporation headquarters, a funny juxtaposition between the illicit hedonism on the ground and the Eye of Sauron of commodified drug-taking towering above. Well, I found it funny.

Given the aforementioned torrential rain, which actually tailed off later in the afternoon to unexpected blue skies and One Layer Only temperatures, the day was impressively organised. All the DJs were on schedule and there were no real sound issues; apart from the Warehouse stage, which took a couple of hours to get going due to “technical difficulties” which meant Umfang B2B Volvox and DJ Stingray had their (highly anticipated) sets annoyingly cramped together with the time limits left. The Warehouse stage was enjoyable nonetheless, from the outside, the plywood and painted plaster set design imitating its namesake resembled a primary school play backdrop, but inside it morphed into a more delightfully sordid and bristlingly bassy Oval Space, so fair play.

With technical difficulties stalling my first choice sets for the day, I enjoyed Rroxymore’s unfussy house bangers at the Woods stage, including Armand van Helden’s shuffling classic ‘Work Me Goddamit’, before wandering between bars, food trucks and The Bridge stage trying to escape the rain. Hunee brought The Bridge down (not literally haha!!) with a sublime, characteristically fluent polyglot set, strutting from house to disco to electro with the nimble elegance of a flamingo, and his dropping Soulwax’s remix of Marie Davidson’s ‘Work It’ received one of the biggest ravegroans of appreciation I’d heard in months.

Things heated up at 6pm, when an absurdity meant DJ Koze, Objekt and Daphni clashed; made even more complicated by Ben UFO kicking off at 7. We ventured between Koze’s Shut Up And Play The Hits onslaught of ‘Pick Up’ into ‘Operator’ with side helpings such as Greg Glow’s summery ‘Lantana’ and Steve Lawler’s ‘Narna (I Am Happy)’ – summer doesn’t officially begin until seeing Koze land ‘Operator’ in a floral shirt, it’s science – and Ben’s throbbing dub tunes. After a brief pit-stop at Objekt’s pulverising, niggling, primevally abstract techno and electro we opted for the obvious and ended on Bicep’s brilliantly populist, closing two hour set, brimming with house, drum & bass, melodic techno, and – as I met up with a friend from my old job in recruitment who I hadn’t spoken to in years – their own cathartic rush of ubiquitous bangers, ‘Opal’ and ‘Glue’.

Bonding with my old pal over how much happier we are now, and how much happier we are that the other is happy, to a soundtrack of arguably the most unpretentiously *fun* DJs on the planet, was a grinning reminder why you fall in love with dance music in the first place. Its liberation, its communality, its fundamental platform to provide happiness. Moments like that don’t just happen. Good festival.