Thankfully there was no rain this year, but there were 23 arrests...

BASEMENT JAXX, ROYKSOPP and X-PRESS 2 were the top draws at the HOMELANDS festival yesterday (Saturday, June 1).

Past Homelands festivals have been badly affected by rain, but this year 30,000 festival-goers at the Matterley Bowl near Winchester enjoyed perfect summer weather for the one-day event which passed without major incident.

However, the festival was marred by 23 arrests on the day – 14 for drugs offences, five arrests for suspicion of theft, two for robbery and two for deception related matters. Hampshire Police used sniffer dogs and covert police officers as part of Operation Cheesefoot to combat illegal drug use.

Sgt Richard Stowe, who co-ordinated Operation Cheesefoot, said: “Almost all of the drugs arrests were as a direct result of the work of the ten passive drugs dogs which were used to check concert-goers entering the festival and the covert police activity within the main arena. We are pleased with the Passive Drugs Dogs operation as it appeared that smaller amounts of controlled substances were being brought into the festival compared with last year”

Headliners Basement Jaxx were one of the day’s main attractions. The Brixton duo played a full live show including new single ‘Get It Off’, with a dance troupe and effects to rival Fischerspooner’s live show.

In the Muzik Arena, Royksopp were also a big hit on the day with their live show, while X-Press 2 also proved a major draw. The X-Press 2 hit ‘Lazy’ was also the biggest tune of the weekend, with many big name DJs playing it in their set.

Veteran electro act Soft Cell also played the festival, with old hits such as ‘Tainted Love’ proving far more popular with the crowd than the group’s new material. Despite the heat, frontman Marc Almond still wore his trademark black leather trousers. Star DJs who also played Homelands this year included Judge Jules, Carl Cox, Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills and Seb Fontaine.

Oxide & Neutrino and So Solid Crew had been booked to play Homelands this year, but the troubled garage collective were later forced off the bill following police advice. This year, UK garage was notably absent from the festival.