“The first few events were all just a bit of fun. We just wanted to hear the music we liked that wasn’t being played in the local clubs,” Lukas Wigflex tells DJ Mag. Just a few days prior, Nottingham’s Old Market Square is flowing with bodies eager to make the most of their Saturday. Only particularly eagle-eyed individuals will spot a burgeoning number of people clad in bright green wristbands. Some are relaxing, some are doubled over small pamphlets assessing their contents. Little do the general public know that more than 60 acts from all over the UK and across the globe are about to descend on various locations around this historic city.
It is here that the Wigflex events brand was born, and so it follows that this is where its 15th birthday takes place — the second instalment of Wigflex City Festival. Fringed by fields and hugging the River Trent, Nottingham sits just above the centre of England. A punk rock city throughout the ‘70s, things have turned a little more towards dance music recently. This is owed to the impact of acid house and hardcore in the late ‘80s and ‘90s (the 28,000-strong Fantazia rave One Step Beyond took place only half an hour down the road), and has been spurred on by a growing student population.
Wigflex has played a leading role in delivering exciting events in Nottingham for the past 15 years, offering experiences with a rave-inspired rebelliousness that bring opportunities to see popular acts from around the world. Wigflex started as a 99p-on-the-door event, a 1p chew exchanged for a quid. It had visuals, N64s, and a few simple installations. Lukas fondly remembers these first events. “No one takes themselves too seriously,” he tells us of the Notts scene. A far cry from the Wigflex of today, however, you can sense the desire for a multifaceted clubbing experience even in descriptions of those first ventures. It was after these became popular that Lukas began to think bigger.