CLUBBING

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The Independent Culture
Phoenix Festival 1997, Long Marston, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. 17-20 July, until 2am every night. Tickets pounds 70 (four days). National credit card hotline: 0541 500 044/ London credit card hotline: 0171-344 0044. Mean Fiddler information line: 0181-963 0940

The average club has fewer windows than a submarine, which is fine during winter but frustrating in summer. Air conditioning is one thing, but there is nothing like partying on a warm summer's night.

The perfect solution is to go to summer festivals, but the modern clubber has gone soft over the years. The modern clubbing scene was forged in country fields - revellers would travel for hours to find the secret location and destroy a few acres of prime arable land with 9,000 friends - but in 1997, most clubbers are frightened of roughing it for a couple of days. Wake up - you're missing out, big time.

Get out of the city and clean the smog out of your veins for a few days. Phoenix 1997 is the only four-day festival in the country, and attracts revellers from around the globe. It boasts some of the best musicians around - Black Grape, Fun Lovin' Criminals, De La Soul, The Charlatans, Gabrielle, Warren G, Orbital, Texas, Faith No More, Sinead O'Connor, London Community Gospel Choir and Jamiroquai, to name a few.

If you prefer dance music, don't despair. There are seven main stages; most showcase live bands, while the others have house sound systems or comedy. Then there's the Sega Saturn Games tent.

The Radio One Dance Stage is in the capable hands of the Ministry of Sound. On Thursday, MoS presents Rulin, its in-house crowd puller. Adeva, Frankie Foncett, Jocelyn Brown and Jon Marsh feature on the mike and decks for garage- inspired beats and uplifting anthems. Northern Exposure run the show on Friday - Sasha and Digweed do their marathon set, supported by Blue Amazon, Lee Fisher and the Unknown DJs.

MoS get Frisky on Saturday with Pete Tong, Orbital, Isolar, Seb Fontane and Heaven, while proceedings are brought to a close on Sunday by Metalheadz. The drum 'n' bass line-up will keep energy levels up, so get some fresh air!

EYE FREEBIE Courtesy of Mean Fiddler and Sega, we have three pairs of tickets for the Phoenix festival. One winner will also receive a Sega Saturn games console. First postcards out of the bag win. Entries to Phoenix Comp, c/o Alister Morgan, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL by 4 Jul

Get back to clubbing basics at Britain's only four-day festival - Phoenix 97

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