Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:09 pm

Smirnoff Sensation, London: Review

From Saturday night to early Sunday morning, the O2 Arena in London played host to the first UK outing of the internationally acclaimed Smirnoff Sensation event. Smirnoff Sensation was launched way back in 2000, over a decade ago, and has filled stadiums and arenas across the world. Its already been to the likes of Barcelona to Melbourne and Prague to Sao Paulo, so finally we had the chance to welcome it to the UK. Also, let me remind you that Smirnoff GB has a good track record in creating one-of-a-kind nightlife experiences around the world including Smirnoff Experience, Smirnoff U.R. The Night and the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. Therefore we were confident that we were going to see something special. Dressed from head-to-toe in white, we were prepared (as much as we could be) for what would prove to be the definition of a memorable night (and morning).

From Saturday night to early Sunday morning, the O2 Arena in London played host to the first UK outing of the internationally acclaimed Smirnoff Sensation event. Smirnoff Sensation was launched way back in 2000, over a decade ago, and has filled stadiums and arenas across the world. Its already been to the likes of Barcelona to Melbourne and Prague to Sao Paulo, so finally we had the chance to welcome it to the UK. Also, let me remind you that Smirnoff GB has a good track record in creating one-of-a-kind nightlife experiences around the world including Smirnoff Experience, Smirnoff U.R. The Night and the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project. Therefore we were confident that we were going to see something special. Dressed from head-to-toe in white, we were prepared (as much as we could be) for what would prove to be the definition of a memorable night (and morning).

If I had to try and summarise what happened at Sensation in a few words, it’d have to be spectacular, surprising, and Smirnoff. Ok, so I only picked Smirnoff for the alliteration, but there was a great deal of Smirnoff on offer at their event. We were told that there would be some interesting cocktails created by mixologists just for our delectation. These included one that came with a slice of honeydew melon, and another with some egg whites in it. I’m not big on raw eggs or fruit in my drinks, but surprisingly I enjoyed them. All were made with various types of Smirnoff, including Smirnoff Black and also the Green Apple variety. In fact, I sampled the apple vodka on its own, and, unlike so many other ‘flavoured vodkas’ out there, it manages to give a real flavour without sacrificing its qualities as a premium vodka.

What was so spectacular about the night? If you can see the photos, I don’t think this really needs much of an explanation! A circular, rotating DJ booth was located in the very centre of the room, above which was the centre piece: a giant inflatable, which I think is meant to resemble an anemone, in keeping with the theme – however it could have something more arty and significant, answers on the back of a postcard please. There were also several huge jellyfish structures suspended from the ceiling, reinforcing the image of an Ocean of White. Either side of the DJ booth stretched a long platform with numerous water fountains, lighting, flamethrowers and a suspended rigging above this. Perhaps the biggest element of the night though was the actual ‘Ocean of White’, the 10,000 party-goers decked out in white.

People came in white suits, t-shirts and shorts, jeans, shirts, vests, dresses, boob-tubes, skirts, tights, underwear… basically anything you could imagine – just in white! It was certainly a surreal experience, threading through the crowd and dancing amongst them, everyone in white, surrounded by ocean inspired decor. This created a real sense of togetherness and unity, promoting the atmosphere of peace and love, another common theme of Smirnoff Sensation events. Everyone there was certainly embracing this, with many overly-friendly individuals and groups on the dance floor. We may have seen you and snapped you, head over to our facebook page to view our own gallery from the event and start tagging.

What added to the experience was the light and laser show, the pyrotechnics, the dancers and performance artists, the huge inflatable balls and the jellyfish umbrellas. £2 million was spent on the production, and it was quite obvious to see how and why. This was co-ordinated to perfection and was mesmerising the entire night, and the vast array of photos displaying all the colours lighting up the arena, and the green lasers firing off. Adding to the lights were little rings that had been handed out. When the lights were out, looking down on a sea of raised hands with lights was like the view from an airplane passing over a city at night. These moments were rare though, as the lighting technicians must have been working flat out, and at no point more so than during the Smirnoff Mix.

A brief break to the DJ-ing talent that night was the 25 minute slot for what was mysteriously labelled as ‘The Smirnoff Mix’. During this some pumping music was played with some excellent choreographed moves from the dancers, the fountains, fire balls, and fireworks. Dancers, suspended in mid air, fired fountains from their flanks, before turning into Catherine wheels. There were stunning waterfalls of fountains as well, cascading down from above the platforms, before small indoor fireworks fired off above our heads. This provided an awe inspiring interlude to the DJs and one you can see in the pictures.

The music was fantastic. No question. Whilst not being the biggest house or trance music fan, I was won over by the thumping rhythms and bass, some excellent mixes and sucked in by the overall atmosphere. The aptly named Mister White kicked off proceedings, followed by Erick E. Joris Vorn & Nic Fanculli then took to the rotating booth to excite the crowd further with their excellent co-operative effort in getting the crowd going before the Smirnoff Mix kicked in. Then the real big names came out, with Fedde Le Grand, No. 21 best DJ in the world, followed by recent smash hit Martin Solvieg, and closing the night was the twelfth best DJ in the world, Sander van Doorn. All in all, they were absolutely fantastic and the crowd were loving it. For myself, and seemingly most of the people there, the latter parts of Fedde Le Grand’s set and Martin Solvieg were the peak of both the music and the energy on offer. Unfortunately, the excellent trance offerings of Sander van Doorn were rolled out late in the night, at 5:00, when the dance floor was a little less crowded.

Also worth a mention was this concept of the Facebook wristband. Essentially, people signed up to get a code, which was assigned to a specific wristband, and an app that has access to your Facebook profile. As the night progressed, ladies with Galaxy Tabs wandered round taking photos and scanning your wristband, with the idea that these then post straight to your profile and make everyone of your unlucky friends jealous. The concept seemed great, but in practice the system was overwhelmed. Apparently I arrived there at 17:00 on Sunday, 10 hours after I’d left. If it worked, it would have been pretty fantastic – fortunately we were tweeting our pictures regardless! Still, you can check out their Facebook page and see if your photos made it there instead?

This was a great night, and one I definitely won’t forget any time soon. I sincerely hope that Smirnoff Sensation comes back to the UK, and damned soon! Keep an eye on their website at www.sensation.com, and see when it’ll be back, or even better, go abroad. A huge number of people had travelled in to the UK just for the leading, global dance event. So many beautiful women in white, and like I said, overly-friendly…

Smirnoff Sensation London UKSmirnoff Sensation LondonSmirnoff Sensation UK

Both Smirnoff and Average Joe’s Blog remind you to drink responsibly. For more information visit www.drinkaware.co.uk

Comments

comments


Tickled your fancy?




Subscribe

Latest Posts