Metrofest 2021 Review

This weekend, in North London’s Trent Park was the scene of what was supposed to be a day of winding back the clock and enjoying some of the world’s finest RnB and HipHop musicians. The lineup read like a who’s who from back in the day; Fat Joe, Blackstreet, Mya, Horace Brown, Bobby V, Eve, Jon B, Tony Touch & Fatman Scoop were all set to perform at Metrofest.

With lockdown rules lifting across the country and various restrictions for international travel still in place, there was always a risk that an international artist may not make it into the country or fall ill and test positive for COVID. This is the risk one takes with organising a festival during these times. Did this have an impact on Metrofest? Read on and find out.

A few days out from the event, Eve cancelled citing ‘unforeseen circumstances’. Cancellations happen, it’s just a part of the industry. Other artists that travelled to London from USA had arrived days earlier and were quarantining in various hotels in London (as far as we know).

Fast forward to Sunday, the weather was holding out, the ground was soft and not too much of a mud fest and the crowd was building after the event opened 90 minutes later than it was supposed to, with very little warning to those already arriving on site at the original 11am opening time.

As I arrived mid afternoon, there was still a fairly sized line of people waiting to get in via the General Admission entrance. As I entered the festival grounds, Horace Brown hit the stage and belted out his big tracks like ‘One for the Money’ & ‘Things we do for Love’. Horace is pretty chill and was great live, his soulful voice played out over the sound system and pulled in a huge crowd. Next up was Mya, whom a good number in the crowd came to see.

We waited patiently for the transition but the minutes turned to hours and there was no sight of Mya, a DJ was playing music on the main stage trying to keep a nervous and anxious crowd entertained. During this time, there was no official message or comms from the organisers that anything was changing.

Jon B was supposed to be on at around 5pm, but that time came and went. Bobby V and Blackstreet were up next but again, there was no sight of these artists on the main stage. Fatman Scoop was supposed to be hosting the main stage for most of the afternoon, but he also was not seen until late into the evening.

You could sense the frustration of the crowd, some who had travelled from various parts of the country, drove hundreds of miles, spent money on trains and accommodation to see their favourite old school artists. With just a DJ on the main stage for a large part of the afternoon, the noise from the restless crowd grew louder.

Eventually Fatman Scoop turned up and hit the stage to bring the crowd back to life as he got the crowd to join in on tracks like ‘Be Faithful’, before Jon B then arrived, almost 3 hours after he was scheduled to perform. Performing a short set full of classics including ‘Are U Still Down’, ‘Someone to Love’ & ‘Dont Talk’, he quickly left the stage before the nights headliner Fat Joe took over.

Walking out to his classic collaboration hit ‘New York’, the crowd piled into the main stage area to see the Brooklyn rapper in his first UK live event. Taking us through his hits from his vast back catalog, he played ‘Whats Luv’, ‘All the Way Up’, ‘Lean Back’ and this years big hit, ‘Sunshine’.

Cut short from what was supposed to be an hour’s performance, Fat Joe left the stage, only then for Bobby V to come out and perform. With a tight cut off time at 9pm, the Atlanta singer performed for less than 10 minutes before the sound cut his performance off and the crowds were informed to leave.

Meanwhile, as Fat Joe was performing, Blackstreet released a video on their Facebook page apologising to fans for not performing at Metrofest due to a number of organisational issues. You can see their video here:

After the event, social media was brimming with unhappy festival goers who felt cheated and wanted their refunds back due to a number of high profile artist no shows and their inability to cash out the remaining money from their wristbands. The cash out system started working after a day of technical glitches & three days after the event finished, Metrofest posted on their Instagram the following statement:

As a reviewer, I must be transparent and fair and my honest view of Metrofest is summarised here:

  • It’s important to remember, logistically running a festival in these unprecedented times is extremely difficult and risky and it has reflected as such at Metrofest.
  • There was a great crowd in attendance!
  • The main stage lineup promised so much yet failed to deliver with a number of no shows.
  • The transparency and comms from the organisers needed to be much better, especially as the afternoon went on and immediately after the event.
  • As a member of the press, the press area wasn’t fit for purpose, one portaloo for some 50+ people which by 3pm was not a pretty sight.
  • Exiting the festival was problematic if you were in the VIP area. You needed to exit through the general admission exit, but it meant heading out into the main stage crowd which was pushed up against the VIP entrance. It was dangerous with people being pushed up and squashed against the temporary fencing. I feared someone would get seriously hurt and eventually security opened another exit.
  • As a member of the press, I was issued a press pass, only to have it confiscated off me mid-festival due to too many people backstage. This was extremely embarrassing for me and uncalled for.
  • The above issue stems from either a lack of security and people without the correct passes being allowed backstage. Two security guards mentioned to me they were understaffed at the event.

Do I hope that Metrofest will return again next year, absolutely. The idea of an old school RnB music festival has a wide appeal, but there are some fundamental things that need to be sorted before the organisers gain the trust back in those that attended!

Biffy Clyro added to Reading and Leeds lineup

Since making their debut at Reading and Leeds Festivals way back in 2002, Brit-Nominated Biffy Clyro return to this year’s festival as the final headliner. The Scot rockers will be taking the place of Queens of the Stone Age, who, due to restrictions and logistics, sadly are unable to perform at the festival. Simon, Ben and James last headlined in 2017 and will be performing hits from across their incredible career including tracks from their latest No.1 album A Celebration Of Endings. The band are very happy to return: “We are delighted and honoured to be headlining Reading & Leeds for a third time.We cannot wait to get out there and play for you all again after such a tough year…It’s gonna fuck!!”

Making their debut at the festivals this year will be Dublin four-piece Inhaler. With their debut album It Won’t Always Be Like This rocketing to the top of the album charts, these lads are set to be the ones to watch as future headliners.

London rapper and songwriter Russ Millions will be bringing his own style of hip hop to the festivals and will undoubtedly perform his Tik Tok dance challenge-inducing #1 Platinum-selling single Body. He can’t wait to get back out there to perform: “I’m excited to be reunited with my supporters again at R&L, let’s turn up!”

Emerging from the pandemic gleaming, Holly Humberstone is one of the biggest breakthrough UK pop acts of 2021. Less than a year since the release of her debut EP, her dark, wonky, electric pop with brutally honest lyrics has gained over 100 million streams worldwide, all recorded from her bedroom in Grantham. 

Born and raised in Camden Town but rapidly achieving global recognition, Bakar is set to bring his fresh carefree sound to Reading and Leeds this summer. Refusing to be defined by genre, his sound effortlessly dances the line between indie and rap.  HIs soulful offering ‘Hell N Back’ has garnered over 87 million Spotify streams.

South London’s Blanco, at just 21 has already made his mark on the UK rap scene, breaking out as a key member of ’drill dynasty’ Harlem Spartan. Refusing to limit himself, Blanco embraces versatility from Drill rap to Brazilian paired with complex metaphors and cheeky references produce his individual sound, which he is set to bring for an electric set at Reading and Leeds.

Positioned at the unique intersection between metal and hip-hop, Dana Dentata, is a force to be reconned with. Crafting empowering, feminist, industrial, metal-dripping rap, her shock-rock performance art isn’t one to be missed over the festival’s weekends.

Hailing from Dublin, Chaya, is a multi-instrumentalist with classical training, growing up on exclusively classical music until New York City’s underground scene introduced him to the vibrant world of electronic. His diverse influences collide to produce a truly individual sound, often embodying classic UK Garage elements married with classical undercurrents.

Jazmin Bean is a complex and intense enigma, who will be showcasing their intoxicating mix of Alt Metal Electropop to The Pit Stage. Unapologetically impossible to define, Jazmin radiates an empowering sense of individualism, self-integrity, and independence. They embody the spirit of the Gen Z’s vibrant unorthodox subculture. 

Indie-Punk three piece from Brighton, Gender Roles follow a whirlwind 2019 full to the brim with a triumphant BBC Radio 1 Maida Vale session with Annie Mac and riotous sell-out headline shows. The trio bombard the stage with charged-up, hazy guitars and a whole lot of chaotic fun. 

Born out of sheer “boredom with the state of music at the moment” Punkband, bring pure attitude, punk and swagger to all their raucous tracks. They channel the youth of Britain’s disinterest and disgust in post-punk Britain paired with gritty, unpolished instrumentals. 

Also announced today is female rap phenomenon Trillary Banks, who will be set to deliver a captivatingly raw blend of Rap and Dancehall culminating in contagious summer sounds. Trailblazing for women in the UK music landscape, she debuted her ‘FIRE IN THE BOOTH’ freestyle with Charlie Sloth, a rite of passage for any rapper but all the more valuable for female representation.

Essex Golden Boy French The Kid, naturally blends a resonant mix of English and French melodics, aided by growing up in the South-West of France. His bars share deep introspection, tackling mental health, his gritty past as well as looking ahead to the bright future. 

Championing a unique style of conscious rap, Kam-Bu, uses his fast-paced, bass-leaden bars to share contemplative stories, stirring up the London scene. He takes aim at urgent political issues from Grenfell to institutional racism, as well as themes on the Black culture and the environment. Smoothly oscillating from party anthems into poignant lyricism, he is not one to be missed. 

The BBC Music Introducing Stage will be showcasing the best up and coming talent from across the UK at Reading and Leeds Festival, with artists such as Radio 1 Live Lounge Introducing winner Bonnie Kemplay, Berwyn, who made the BBC Music Sound Of 2021 list, The Rap Game’s Lady Ice and Graft as well as Kent starlet Josie Man, Somerset singer songwriter Finn Askew, Leeds post-punk rockers Yard Act, electronic rising star Meg Ward, South London rapper Master Peace and many more.

Sadly, due to various restrictions and logistics, a few artists are now no longer able to perform at the festivals. This includes Queens of the Stone Age, Madison Beer, Denzel Curry, Sofi Tukker, Super Whatevr, Wallows, Oliver Tree, Tate McRae, MizorMac and Nation of Language.

For those heading to Bramham Park, the Leeds site will again be welcoming a full timetable of after-hours events at Late Night Leeds from Thursday night with DJs and performers taking to the three stages, Anachronica, a new dance stage, and of course the legendary Picadilly Party, to keep festival goers partying until the early hours. With a brand new, audio-visual experience stage, among the line-up on the dance stage will be DJ SemtexBadBoy Chiller CrewFumez The EngineerHariett Jaxxon and chart-toper 220 Kid. This year the Anachronica stage is focusing on all things in the forefront of UK dance music. DJs who are pushing the limits and pioneering in Jungle, Garage and Dubstep will be stepping up into the Mad Max-esque world of Anachronica, skillfully salvaged and adapted to blast out some of the biggest tunes late into the night. 

Creamfields comes to Chemsford

Creamfields one of the world’s biggest electronic promoters have revealed plans for an all-new 50,000 capacity two-day camping festival in 2022 which will see them bring their award-winning festival South, taking over the stunning Grade II listed Hylands Park for Creamfields Chelmsford.  

With the iconic Hylands villa as its backdrop, the multi-stage festival will also give fans the chance to experience the colossal 15,000 capacity Steel Yard superstructure is scheduled to take place on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th June Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, which has been moved to a four-day weekend next year to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.  

The launch of Creamfields Chelmsford is a game changer for the UK festival landscape and coincides with the 25 year celebrations of its award winning sister festival in Daresbury, which is staged annually in the heart of the Cheshire countryside and attracts sell out audiences of 70,000.

Since its inception the UK edition has become one of the biggest electronic music festivals in the world, attracting big name artists including Calvin Harris, Swedish House Mafia, Eric Prydz, Tiësto, deadmau5, Carl Cox, Bicep LIVE, Chase & Status, Pendulum and The Chemical Brothers.  Internationally, Creamfields is one of the few festivals to have successfully established itself on the global market with shows staged in Chile, Abu Dhabi, Ibiza, Malta, Argentina, Peru, Hong Kong and multiple cities across China to name a few. 

Creamfields Chelmsford is an exciting new addition to the UK Festival calendar and for fans in particular who can expect an all-star line-up of dance music heavyweights to be announced. 

Creamfields flagship festival in Daresbury, will take place 25th – 28th August Bank holiday weekend 2022.

Future, Skepta & Migos to headline Wireless Festival 2021

Wireless Festival 2021

Wireless, returns to the UK and will bring the energy to South London’s Crystal Palace Park for the very first time, taking place on 10-12 September.
 
The world’s hottest artists and UK icons Future, Skepta and Migos are set to headline whilst a host of grime, trap, afrobeats, R&B and hip-hop stars including Meek MillD Block Europe, AJ Tracey, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, Young Thug, Lil Uzi Vert, Headie One, Swae Lee, Rick Ross and more are also confirmed for an unmissable celebration this September. With over 50 acts across the weekend, this year’s event is going to be in exceptionally high demand. Barclaycard exclusive access to tickets starts at midday today, general tickets go on sale Thursday 29 April at midday www.wirelessfestival.co.uk.
 
Headlining Friday is Atlanta legend Future whose irrefutable longevity has secured his spot as one of the most influential artists of the past decade. Having conquered the streets and the charts, crafting a sound that reshaped not just rap but pop music, the Life is Good, Mask Off, Fine China superstar is set to see the night out in style. Wavey UK trap kings D-Block Europe join the bill, as well as the ever-ascending Lil Baby who has fully stepped into his star-moment following arguably the biggest rap album of 2020 ‘My Turn’. One of rap’s true rockstars Lil Uzi Vert joins alongside Gunna – fresh off the success of his critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Wunna’. Young T & Bugsey fresh off their 3X BRIT nominations, self-anointed Queen of Drill Ivorian Doll as well as Mo Stack, Digga D, M1llionz, Unknown T, SL, and Tiffany Calver & Friends joining the bill. Capital XTRA’s Yinka and the legend DJ Semtex will host the stages.
 
Saturday is headlined by Grime veteran and UK pioneer Skepta, performing an exclusive Greatest Hits set. One of the scene’s biggest names, the Mercury Award winner has historically kicked down doors in the scene and culture, from its underground origins to its present scale as part of a UK mainstream. Reflecting this journey, Greatest Hits is a one off 2021 special, a gift back to the fans, celebrating a life in music and the times we’ve all lived through together. Grime hero AJ Tracey will make his mark with his highest profile Wireless main-stage slot to date – which will be the first place to see tracks from his newly released album ‘Flu Game’. The critically acclaimed Philadelphia people’s champion Meek Mill will make history with his first ever UK appearance, joined by the Bronx’s very own A Boogie wit da Hoodie and Rea Strummard’s breezy melody man Swae Lee. Also announced are Polo G, NINES, Tion Wayne, Steel Banglez, Central Cee, Hardy Caprio, JAY 1, Swarmz, S1mba, Blanco, Darkoo, Zie Zie with Manny Norte and DJ Semtex as stage hosts.
 
Sunday will see the world-conquering kings of Atlanta Migos bring the world’s greatest hiphop festival to a closeQuavo, Offset and Takeoff are set to bring flossed-out dark beats and sly humour in tow to the main stage as ‘The Beatles of Their Generation’ prove their staying power. One of the hottest new voices in hip-hop Megan Thee Stallion is set for the main stage – the ‘Savage’ and ‘Body’ rapper is ready to celebrate Hot Girl Summer in the capital. The chart-topping Headie One is set for a hero’s welcome following the release of his #1 album ‘Edna’, as is the UK scene’s versatile veteran Chip who headlines the second stage. Sunday will also be graced by hip-hop’s luxe superstar Rick Ross, the free-spirited stylings of Young Thug as well as M Huncho, MIST, Nafe Smallz, Digdat, Potter Payper, K Trap, M24, Abra Cadabra, Poundz, Charlie Sloth & Friends, with Manny Norte and DJ Semtex on hosting duties.

Wireless 2021 acts announced so far:
 
FRIDAY: Future, D Block Europe, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Gunna, Mostack, Digga D, Young T & Bugsey, M1llionz, Unknown T, SL, Ivorian Doll, Tiffany Calver & Friends, DJ Semtex and Yinka.
 
SATURDAY: Skepta, AJ Tracey, Meek Mill, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Swae Lee, Polo G, NINES, Tion Wayne, Steel Banglez, Central Cee, Hardy Caprio, JAY1, Swarmz, S1MBA, Blanco, Darkoo, Zie Zie, DJ Semtex and Manny Norte.
 
SUNDAY: Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Young Thug, Headie One, Rick Ross, M Huncho, MIST, Nafe, Smallz, Digdat, Chip, Potter Payper, K Trap, M24, Abra Cadabra, Poundz, Charlie Sloth & Friends, Yinka  and Manny Norte.

Hampton Court Palace announce 2021 lineup

Hampton Court Palace Festival

Historic Royal Palaces and IMG are delighted to announce today the hotly anticipated return of live music to Hampton Court Palace in August 2021. Traditionally held in June, this year’s Hampton Court Palace Festival has been rescheduled following the government’s roadmap announcements and will take place two months later in August. Legendary artist Tom Jones, music icon Van Morrison, indie idols Bastille ReOrchestrated, British rock heroes Keane and Swedish sensations Björn Again join this year’s line-up. The concerts are held in Base Court, one of the magnificent Tudor courtyards within the palace. Tickets go on sale at 10am on Tuesday 6 April, available from: www.hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com

The festival will open on Friday 13 August with legendary artist, Van Morrison. Entering the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007 and winning an Americana, BRIT and Grammy award for his outstanding contribution to music, Van Morrison is a true icon. From Brown Eyed Girl to Moondance, the impact of the OBE awarded, global sensation’s artistry on the music industry is inconceivable and his legacy stronger than ever.

Global sensations Björn Again will return to the Hampton Court stage with an unforgettable show of much-loved ABBA songs and 70’s fun on Saturday 14 August. Their internationally acclaimed show has been performed in 71 countries over 35 years, amassing over 5,000 performances and is acknowledged for initiating the ABBA revival.

Following their critically acclaimed 2018 ReOrchestrated tour, on Tuesday 17 August and Wednesday 18 August attendees will see Brit-nominated Bastille reprise a selection of songs from their three albums (Bad Blood, Wild World, Doom Days); re-imagining, deconstructing and rearranging their iconic songs with a 20-piece orchestra and choir.

Keane first skyrocketed to fame back in 2004 with their debut album, Hopes and Fears, which featured alternative rock anthems such as Everybody’s Changing and Somewhere Only We Know, the album was awarded the 2005 Brit Award for Best British Album. Having taken a hiatus back in 2013, the quartet are now back after releasing their stunning fifth studio album, Cause and Effect. The band will grace the stage at Hampton Court Palace Festival on Thursday 19 August.

“The Voice” coach and music legend, Tom Jones, returns to the Hampton Court stage, after a crowd rousing performance in 2018. He will be singing hits from his unrivalled repertoire and a career spanning more than 50 years, such as timeless classics Delilah, What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual. Tom Jones performs on Monday 23 August and Tuesday 24 August.

Previously announced international superstar, Lionel Richie, soul-pop phenomenon Rick Astley and jazz marvel George Benson will return to Hampton Court Palace Festival in 2022 when the festival returns to its usual month of June.

2021
Date                                     Artist              
Friday 13th August              Van Morrison
Saturday 14th August          Björn Again
Tuesday 17th August           Bastille ReOrchestrated
Wednesday 18th August      Bastille ReOrchestrated
Thursday 19th August          Keane
Monday 23rd August            Tom Jones
Tuesday 24th August           Tom Jones

2022
Date                                 Artist
Wednesday 8th June       Lionel Richie
Thursday 9th June           Lionel Richie
Saturday 11th June          Rick Astley
Thursday 16th June         George Benson

Sónar announce two in person festivals for Barcelona in 2021

Sonar Barcelona

This Autumn, from the 27th and 30th October 2021, Sónar will celebrate two new festivals for Barcelona, featuring in-person activities at the CCCB and a program of online content produced in collaboration with local and international partners in cities around the world.

For the first time in BarcelonaSónar will organize the AI and Music Festival, focused on the application of and challenges surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence in musical creation. The festival is organized by Sónar, the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya (UPC)béteve and the European Commission as part of the S+T+ARTS initiative.

The AI and Music Festival will take place in parallel to an expanded, in person edition of SónarCCCB, with more music and a number of stages dedicated to live performances as well as talksdebates and demonstrations in the Sónar+D program.

Both festivals will take on a hybrid format; mainly live. In total, more than 60 activities will take place, the majority of which will be in-situ, as well as online exclusives, designed and created specifically to engage with digital audiences. In the months leading up to the AI and Music Festival, Sónar and the UPC, will form a Thinking Lab, led by the University, to promote a dialogue between art, science and technology around Artificial Intelligence.

Sónar’s activity this year stretches far beyond these dates. From now until the end of the year, Sónar will continue to create and explore via synergies and collaborations on a local and international level, joining and powering creative projects such as the European project led by HangarOn-the-Fly, the festival-forum co-collaboration We Are EuropeFactory BerlinTaller de Musics, the new audiovisual project PRSNT, the music documentary festival In-Edit, the digital culture space IDEAL, the EINA IDEA project by Fundació EINA, the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona (ICUB) and the Departament de Cultura through the Institut Catalá de les Empreses Culturals (ICEC).

Within this frame, Sónar Istanbul will also celebrate its 5th edition on October 2nd.  All these projects, and more will be amplified through Sónar’s digital channels as #ThisisSonar, creating a unique and atemporal digital program.

Sadly, due to force majeure, the edition of Sónar Barcelona planned for this coming June has been postponed, and will now take place on 15.16.17.18. June 2022. The case numbers, mobility restrictions, and the lack of applicable legislation for the organization of large events has made the celebration of the festival in the conditions required unviable. The entire Sónar team is working hard on the June 2022 edition and will soon be able to share first details of the line up.

Ticket and delegate pass holders for 2020 and 2021 will be contacted by email on the 10th May, with all of the information on the benefits available to them for carrying over their ticket to 2022, as well as how to claim a refund, if they desire, from May 12th.

Sónar would like to sincerely  thank their audience, teams, artistic community, institutions, sponsors and partners for their support and understanding. The organization remains alert to the local and global evolution of the health situation, and continues to work closely with authorities in order to implement the necessary protocols to guarantee the safety and best experience for all participants in the programmed festivals.

South Facing Festival announce lineup

South Facing Festival is a brand new open air concert series taking over Crystal Palace Park this summer, featuring 12 headline music performances and a host of free midweek events for the whole community. The genre-spanning series will run from 5-31 August  2021 in the park’s iconic open-air concert stage, the Crystal Palace Bowl. Making up the first wave of massive acts is Dizzee Rascal & The Outlook Orchestra, The Streets, Supergrass, Max Richter and the English National Opera (ENO) performing a concert of ToscaEarly bird tickets start at £35 + booking fee. Sign up to pre-sale tickets via southfacingfestival.com/sign-up.


Created by some of the people behind Field Day, Winterville, Cross The Tracks, Wide Awake and Dimensions, South Facing is a new annual event that aims to breathe new life into the Crystal Palace Bowl: a stunning outdoor amphitheatre soaked with a rich heritage of live music, untouched for the last decade. In its 60 year history, the venue (affectionately known as the ‘Rusty Laptop’ by locals) has played host to some of the world’s most acclaimed artists – Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, Elton John, The Cure, Lou Reed, Vera Lynn, to name a few – and South Facing aims to tie into this history by curating a standout series of bespoke and diverse concerts this summer.

From the pioneering grime of Dizzee Rascal – backed for the first time by the 20-piece, drum’n’bass-inclined Outlook Orchestra – and the iconic UK garage of The Streets, to the platinum-selling Britrock of Supergrass, the award-winning compositions of Max Richter and the critically acclaimed English National Opera (performing Tosca and featuring Conductor: Richard Farnes, Tosca: Natalya Romaniw, Cavaradossi: David Junghoon Kim, Scarpia: Roland Wood), South Facing promises to get music fanatics excited and to reboot the Rusty Laptop.

South Facing will be working closely with the Crystal Palace Park Trust to re-establish its historical role and respond to the expressed desire of park users to see a diverse range of events and activities being offered in the Park. The Crystal Palace Park Trust states –

“The income generatedby these events will be an important new revenue source enabling the Trust to start a programme of much needed improvements in the Park, such as the restoration of the concert platform.”

South Facing intends to deliver a highly sustainable event series. Challenging targets, focusing on every aspect of the event delivery from supply chain to audience experience to travel, will help achieve as close to net neutral impact by 2024.

Camp Bestival announce Movies theme for 2021

Camp Bestival 2021

We are very pleased to announce the return of Camp Bestival, back in the spacious grounds of Lulworth Castle from Thursday 29th July to Sunday 1st August. Scored by the very best music acts around and bursting with blockbuster action don’t miss out on Camp Bestival 2021 because we mean it when we say ACTION.

Featuring a cast and crew that reads like the greatest soundtrack ever made, expect movie music magic from the likes of Fatboy Slim who remains our weapon of choice to top the bill on Saturday night following a set from special guests Friendly Fires. We’ll say hello to the nightclub sounds of Groove Armada and we’ll most certainly have heaven on our minds when Becky Hill takes to the stage heading a glittering Friday night Castle Stage triumvirate that also includes a tasty turn from Kelis and Sophie Ellis-Bextor featuring daring doyens of the dance, Sink The Pink.

Winner of ‘Best Family Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards 2019, we’ve got family entertainment galore in the fresh coastal air with a host of CB faves including risqué tearaways Dick and Dom, outrageous live scientists Brainiac Live, and Cbeebies legends Mr Tumble, Mister Maker & Rebecca Keatley, Andy & The Odd Socks and Sam & Mark. And we have singalong joy with the BRIT School, and performing arts amusements from Stagecoach, plus Art, Science, Dance & Circus Workshops, and kiddie friendly techno-colour courtesy of Big Fish Little Fish, and Junior Jungle.

You’ll see stars all weekend long right across the capacious castle grounds with music from Level 42, Max & Harvey, Georgia, The Selecter, Sara Cox, Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems, The Sugarhill Gang – Furious 5 ft Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio, Vengaboys, Heather Small, The Sherlocks and Louise Redknapp.  Our cinema scope will catch the sights and sounds of David Rodigan, Reef, Space, Tim Burgess, Biig Piig, Mae Muller, Self Esteem, DJ YODA PRES. FILMSTOCK, The Cuban Brothers, Norman Jay MBE and Cheryl Hole. And we have scene-stealing sets from Craig Charles, Gengahr, Jaguar Skills, Dub Pistols, S Club 2, The Wurzels, LTJ Bukem, Krafty Kuts, Klaus Blatter, R.A.E, Tamzene, Fleetmac Wood, Hungry Heart, Purple Rave – A Prince Tribute, Bowie Disco and many more. 

Our movie-themed weekend won’t be short on the talkies with comedy and spoken word appearances from Trigger Happy TV’s Dom Joly, award winning author Irvine Welsh, and snooker great and leftfield music authority Steve Davis and his DJ partner Kavus Torabi. Plus, there’s more verbalising and vaudeville across the weekend from the likes of Scummy Mummies, Man Vs. Baby, TheDadLab and Wacaday mainstay Timmy Mallett!

No Camp Bestival would be complete without lashings of bonhomie and fabulous fare. So, expect food and drink fun that caters to all tastes including The New Foodies hosted by Fred Sirieix, live fire demos, traders tutored by The Black Farmer’s Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, Neil Rankin, DJ BBQ, Fizz Bar and Mother Earth’s Open Kitchen.

If contemplative vibes are more your focus, then head to Slow Motion to enjoy the delights of yoga, breathwork including an appearance from Richie ‘the breath guy’ Bostock, meditation, sound healing, ayurvedic workshops, and a sleep retreat. Or set your pulses racing with Fit Camp including wild runs, HIIT & family boxing, and a holistic triathlon.

With a cast of long-term faves already in place, Camp Bestival also has some superstars in the making with the Palace our teen area, Stargazy Presents ‘Keep It Cosmic’, a blend of music & mixology, the Giggle Box our new comedy venue, Cirque Bijou’s High Wire Spectacular and, of course, the Full Moon Cinema, all brand new for 2021.

And following its smash-hit debut performance Wild Tribe gets star billing with a host of earthy and earthly activities including the Big Build, Water Slides & Ziplines With Woodland Tribe, Spinney Hollow Craft Village, Mossy Crow, Bushcraft, Bivouac & Fire Building, Interactive Theatre and Calm Spaces.

As ever, there are a multitude of options for camping out at Camp Bestival. Featuring the very finest in outdoor living, check out all the expansive options that range from our roomy General Camping fields, through the generous plots of Camping Plus and Backstage Camping right up to the none-more luxurious Boutique options, Campervans, Caravans and beyond.

Reading and Leeds Festival 2021 stage splits and more

Today Reading and Leeds Festivals announce day tickets for the 2021 editions of the festival are on sale now, with day splits also being revealed, alongside some exciting new additions to the line-up including Gerry Cinnamongirl in red and Sports Team. The three-day festival takes place on 27-29 August 2021, returning to Reading’s famous Richfield Avenue and Leeds’ legendary Bramham Park with headliners Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Queens of the Stone Age, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Disclosure. Day tickets and full weekend tickets are on sale via https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/reading-and-leeds-festival

Reading and Leeds Festival have also announced several more names across the 2021 main stages. Celebrated British hardcore punk band Gallows are set to make an almighty return to Reading and Leeds, having last performed at the festivals in 2013. Having emerged from the underground punk scene in 2005 with the explosive albums ‘Orchestra of Wolves’, ‘Grey Britain’ and their most recent ‘Desolation Sounds’, the band will undoubtedly bring their confrontational, ferocious and anarchic live performance to the festivals’ stages.

Following their stratospheric rise in 2020, indie alt rock six-piece Sports Team are set for an explosive return to Reading and Leeds in 2021. Their dedicated legion of fans can be sure to expect hits from the band’s chart-topping Mercury Prize nominated debut album ‘Deep Down Happy’ and anticipate a highly electrifying live performance led by frontman Alex Rice.

Nova Twins are also set to bring their dominating, boundless energy to the Reading and Leeds stages. A force to be reckoned with, the London based female duo refuse to conform to any template, championing their own a unique bass-heavy genre-warping sound. They use their platform to advocate inclusivity and diversity, influenced by the socio-political experiences of their day-to-day experiences.

Dreya Mac’s explosion onto the rap scene with her debut single ‘Skippin’ quickly showed the world her ferocious multiple abilities – singing, rapping, dancing and directing. Her performance is set to be a great showcase of the contagious energy and mesmerising flow that’s earning her worthy attention.

Liverpool’s legendary indie rockers The Wombats are also making a return to the Reading and Leeds stages, undoubtedly bringing a selection of their infectious, guitar-driven beats and hooks from across their 4 studio albums, including iconic indie bangers ‘Let’s Dance to Joy Division’ and ‘Moving To New York’, and some future pop licks from their latest album ‘Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life’.

Manchester’s house DJ duo Solardo have rapidly become the main flag-bearers for their hometown’s iconic musical history. Working with CamelPhat, Loco Dice, Eli Brown to name a few, and remixing the likes of Calvin Harris, Gorgon City, Dua Lipa and MK, has led to residencies in Ibiza, giving them the perfect credentials to bring the dance party to Reading and Leeds.        

Gerry Cinnamon will be bringing his relatable, anthemic, sing-a-long hits including ‘Canter’ and ‘Sometimes’ to the festival for the first time. The already legendary live performer has been on an exponential rise with his sophomore album shooting straight to UK Number 1 in the Official Album Charts earlier this year. His performance is not to be missed with his ability to whip audiences into a frenzy and inspire electrifying arena-wide singalongs. 

With over 50 million followers and the third most-followed music channel in the UK behind Ed Sheeran and One Direction, Watford-born YouTuber and rapper KSI is set to take to the Reading and Leeds festival stage next year. Evolving from a YouTube sensation to boxing champion to a bonafide, respected artist, fans can expect him to play tracks from his critically acclaimed debut studio album Dissimulation.

Bradford’s Bad Boy Chiller Crew (BBCC) meteoric rise from driving an ice-cream van to underground wonders has caught the eye of many, becoming one of the most hyped new acts of 2020. BBCC are modernising the fundamentals of classic old-school garage tunes to produce authentic, bop-worthy bass-lines, ready to hit festival crowds.

The transition from online creator to rapper has proved extremely rewarding for Niko B with his hit ‘Who’s That What’s That’ peaking at No. 26 on the UK Singles Chart this year and also touring with NSG. His blend of hip-hop and comedy has created something unique that the festival audiences will be eager to see.

Originally a YouTube channel sharing founder member Joe Lazcru’s DJ mixes, the Crucast collective featuring Lazcru, Skepsis, Darkzy, Bru-C, TS7, Kanine, Window Kid, and MC AD have been taking the music scene by storm. Pushing a vital new strain of beats that include electro house, DnB, garage, and more, Crucast will be returning to Reading and Leeds in 2021 showcasing plenty of chunk bass and high-octane rhythms that will have the festival crowds dancing well into the night.

girl in red brings a striking blend of raw and relatable alternative pop from Norway, quickly becoming celebrated for her unapologetic, powerful songs about love, mental health, and sexuality. Since breaking onto the scene in 2018, girl in red has captured the attention and hearts of her 6.7 million monthly Spotify listeners, swiftly establishing her as a teenage queer icon.

Following her rise to fame as a YouTuber, Ivorian Doll has hit rap scene hard and true with fiery wordplay and pop appeal all at once. As the self-proclaimed “Queen of Drill”, she will be sure to make her debut performance at Reading and Leeds is one to remember.

Fresh from the release of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Lie Out Loud’ through the iconic Chess Club Records, Bloxx have fast become a force to be reckoned with in the indie pop world. Led by vocalist/guitarist Fee Booth, the Reading and Leeds crowds can look forward to Bloxx’s cathartic bangers that seamlessly define the emotion attached to growing up in a satellite town and experiencing love for the first time.

Dual-fronted power pop Hot Milk are set to bring a chaotic blend of pop-rock anthems and catchy choruses. In just two short years since exploding onto the scene, their angsty female/male vocal duo approach has commanded them high-profile support slots for the likes of the Foo Fighters and You Me At Six, proving them as ones not to be missed!

DAY SPLITS
 
FRIDAY READING/SATURDAY LEEDS
(A-Z)
 
AJ Tracey
Ashnikko
Catfish & The Bottlemen
Dreya Mac
Gallows
Jack Harlow
Lewis Capaldi
Mabel
Madison Beer
MK
Nova Twins
Sports Team
Stormzy
 
SATURDAY READING/SUNDAY LEEDS
(A-Z)
 
Beabadoobee
DaBaby
Disclosure
Dojo Cat 
Fever 33
Post Malone
Sigrid
Solardo
The Wombats
Two Door Cinema Club
 
SUNDAY READING/FRIDAY LEEDS
(A-Z)
 
100 Gecs
Bad Boy Chiller Crew
Bloxx
Charli XCX 
Crucast
Gerry Cinnamon 
girl in red
Hot Milk
Ivorian Doll
KSI
Liam Gallagher
Lyra
Neck Deep
Niko B
Queens Of The Stone Age 
Sofi Tukker
Yungblud

Sound City announce 2021 first additions

Sound City

Revered and celebrated as a defining weekend in the new music calendar, the leading champion of emerging UK talent, and globally-recognised Sound City is set to return bigger and better than ever in 2021- standing as the first place to catch your next favourite act and the only destination to find the artists soundtracking the year ahead. With three full days of music discovery right across the city of Liverpool, the very best emerging sounds and artists can be found in the most unusual venues and spaces.  

Ahead of the curve with its new music weekend and conference playing host to the thinkers and movers at the forefront of music culture, Sound City welcomes 100s of acts and figures looking here first for what comes next in music. 2021 looks set to be no different, with its bumper first wave of names featuring generational leaders, homegrown trailblazers and scintillating new faces all poised to seize the year as their own. 

Carving out his own unmistakable place in modern music, Rejjie Snow heads to Sound City for an action-packed headline set brimming with his distinctive hip-hop charm. With an eye on the future ready to be unveiled, expect a must-see coronation at Sound City next year. 

Bursting with eclectic sounds and a diverse lineup that picks upon the stories and exciting artists making their own out of each, Sound City is tapped into every corner of what comes next for music. A vibrant local story of wide-eyed ambition, Red Rum Club take to the Sound City stage in 2021 for a celebratory homecoming headline slot while The Murder Capital bring their powerful presence to Sound City in 2021 for a jaw-dropping look at what comes next for one of the most important new bands going. Electro-punk boundary breakers Working Men’s Club bring their incendiary live show to Sound City next spring, while indie-pop reigns supreme with Abbie Ozard and Thomas Headon both making appearances in Liverpool next year on their way to the top. Set for big indie stages, The Snuts bring the fire to Sound City next year while the city’s own The Mysterines take to the stage proving why they’re one of the most talked about new bands in the UK right now. 

Speaking about headlining Sound City 2021, Red Rum Club said:
“Sound City as a festival is massive for us. It’s been the biggest live original music festival in our hometown since we started out as a band. We’ve always strived to get on the bill at any level we could, so to be headlining next year is truly humbling for us. We feel proud and excited! We always try to deliver something special whenever we play a hometown show and Sound City ‘21 will be no different…”

On playing a hometown set at next year’s Sound City, The Mysterines said:
“We’re so excited to be playing Sound City next year. As it’s our hometown we always look forward to playing shows in Liverpool. We’ve missed festivals this summer so much and we can’t wait to play!”

Another local titan, Jamie Webster brings tracks from his Top 10 Album ‘We Get By’ for an almighty singalong, whilst rising guitar favourites The Lathums drop in on their way to a landmark 2021.  With the likes of Louis Berry, The K’s, Stanleys, TTRRUUCES, Rosehip Teahouse, Bull, Sprints and more all confirmed – Sound City stands above the rest with the sounds soundtracking your 2021. 

These first names stand as an early taste of what to expect from the return of Sound City, the first stop for the biggest acts on the planet to make their early mark and for fans to discover the sounds and artists ready to soundtrack the year ahead. Announcing a 50% representation of women and minority genders in artists playing the festival next year on this first announcement and promising music discovery at every corner, it’s impossible to leave Sound City without a new favourite act, with 2021 now more important than ever for thriving and exciting new music.

Speaking about Sound City 2021, Managing Director Rebecca Ayres says:
“It brings me great joy to announce the first names and details for Sound City 2021. In an incredibly tough year for all of us in the music and events industry, it’s now more important than ever to support live music and new exciting music – something we’ve lead the way on for nearly 14 years. 2021 looks set to be our biggest Sound City to date, with incredible names like Rejjie Snow, Working Men’s Club and The Murder Capital, as well as unmissable local talent in Red Rum Club, The Mysterines, Louis Berry and Jamie Webster to name but a few, with more still to announce. 2020 may have passed us by, so looks like we’ll have to pack twice the amount of fun into 2021? We’ll see you there!”

Continuing their long-standing relationship, Sound City is once again the UK’s lead festival partner for Keychange, a global movement focused on the restructuring of the music industry to achieve gender equality. Sound City are committed to championing gender equality across all of their global musical projects from Sound City Korea, Ipswich and latest streaming platform Guesthouse. Leading a vast array of festivals and events across the UK and beyond, the focus remains on achieving 50% representation of women and minority genders by 2022 – with a 50% representation of women and minority genders announced in the festival’s first batch of names and a range of initiatives, panels and more lined up in collaboration with Keychange over the coming months. Alongside Keychange participants Hello Delaware and Isobel Nieb being announced for Sound City today, this week as Keychange marks the UK Keychange Week, expect a range of collaborative events including a very special launch takeover from Keychange via Sound City’s pioneering Guesthouse platform – which has been bringing live performances and new artists to screens across the globe over the past few months, adapting to a new world with music at the forefront. 

As a part of Sound City celebrations, the Sound City+ Conference returns in 2021, sitting as a hotbed of forward-thinking ideas and discussion on what lies ahead for the music and entertainment industries. Bringing together figures from across the globe for what’s primed to be one of the first opportunities to reconvene and examine the music landscape after a transformative 12 months, the Sound City+ Conference will feature a range of programming, panels and speakers not to be missed. Giving back and inspiring a new generation, the future of music once again thrives through the streets of Liverpool. 

Tickets for Sound City 2021 are available from 10am on Wednesday September 23rd, with a limited batch of festivals tickets on sale at exclusive earlybird prices for 48 hours only. Full general release weekend, day and VIP tickets are on sale from 10am on Friday September 25th. 

Taking over a bubbling UK music capital once again with the best in new and exciting music, there’s nothing quite like Sound City.