Bestival Soundsystems and New Music Announced

Bestival is proud to present a host of new names joining our multi-ringed circus of love. With heavyweight soundsystems, dancefloor stalwarts and must-see new acts, don’t miss four days of magical music and circus-themed trickery on over 20 stages and micro-venues in eight unique arenas, at the most colourful show on Earth, now in the heart of the summer, on the Lulworth Estate, Dorset.

Rob da Bank says: “Teaming up with mates and compadres who run record labels, parties or raves is what Bestival has always been about and this year wont disappoint as we bring over Marrakech’s Oasis gang, roll out the one and only David Rodigan, our first and only Resident For Life with his Ram Jam party, as well as some drum and bass mayhem from Goldie and Metalheadz and the Ram crew… turn up the control!”

We’ve teamed up with Marrakech festival and house music haven, Oasis, for an Oasis x Bestival soundclash with sets from Amelie Lens, Nastia, Butch, La Fleur, Benjamin Damage, Alex Niggeman back to back with Denis Horvat & Amine K. Rattling your ribs on a serious rig, we’re are honoured to welcome Ram Jam back to the dance with sets from incomparable reggae auteur Rodigan, plus original nuttah Shy FX, turntable conjurers The Nextmen &Venum Sound.  Legendary junglism comes courtesy of Metalheadz with sets from main man Goldie, plus double drop pioneer Randall, first lady of drum n bass DJ Storm and Ant TC1.

Expect super-rave behaviour from the Raindance crew with ultimate oldskool action from Rat Pack, Rachel Wallace, Liquid, Billy Daniel Bunter, Uncle Dugs, Nebula 2 and Nookie. And big system banging flavours come from the airwaves next generation Radar Radio with sets from Jossy Mitsu, Conducta, Kenny Allstar, Amy Becker, DJ Argue & Master Peace andMartha. Plus, we’ll have Shogun Audio Pres Alix Perez, Technimatic, Pola & Bryson, Glxy &SP:MC & Visionobi and Ram Records with Loadstar going B2B with DC Breaks and Mind Vortex.

And keeping it fresh and correct we’ll have live music and DJ sets from The Big Moon, The Heatwave, Justin Robertson, Purple Rave with Rob da Bank & Tayo, London Contemporary Voices: Guilty Pleasures, House of Pharaohs, Mt Wolf, Jethro Watson, Thomas Urv, Ellie Prohan, Tasha, Gilded Pleasures, Jim 8-Track, Eden Pardey, Cooking With Sherry, Ian & Rob and Roast Beatz.

Parklife Review 2017

After the month we’ve had, particularly in Manchester, it’s hard not to frame this year’s Parklife in relation to the Manchester Arena. That’s not to say this is a bleak review. Quite the opposite. The crowd’s unflinching capacity for a great time was matched by heartfelt tributes by the artists, and the organisers, and the ravers themselves. It didn’t affect the festival but you could sense its presence, almost out of sight, but not like the many dark clouds that shrouded the festival in a near constant state of shite weather. Love overcomes terror was the message.

Another external force that you could taste here and there, now and then, was a buoyancy that I’ve felt around me since the General Election, or more significantly, since Jeremy Corbyn managed to really whip up the young and youth culture and give it a platform to rise to prominence. There’s a real buzz, a real hope and a real voice that has been given to a whole generation that it hasn’t had in my lifetime and it looks certain that we are entering an era that will be defined by its young people. And by solidarity.

The grime movement seemed to be a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn in the recent General Election and it was represented en masse on the stages of this year’s Parklife. A genre itself buoyed by a new wave of devotees that found a resonance in the energy and frustration and defiance of something the UK can really call its own. It’s so big now guys like Stormzy are doing adverts for Man United, the most valuable football team in the world. That’s why I was hyped to see the alpha and the omega, the grime I fell in love with as teenager that has now once again found relevance and forced itself further than it’s ever been. A man at the top of the current crop of made men like Stormzy, and the godfather of it all, Eskiboy himself. With artist careers that stretched back to the ‘70s, there was always going to be those different generations of artists represented, and intergenerational divides are a thing in 2017, but Parklife offered a musical experience that seemed to show a way to bridge that gap.

I’m not sure that necessarily had that effect on the crowd though. As I said earlier, this was a much younger crowd than I had seen before. Twenty years ago we didn’t really have much going on in terms of festivals, now they’re non-stop. I came of age at a time when it was just starting to take off. I’ve been to festivals all around the world. But the majority of mine in those days were camping festivals, self-contained, on-site festivals. Festivals where for five days you didn’t leave and got to know every little area. You knew what time to hit the showers, you found the best place for chicken and chips, you knew where to get cigs and where to get cash. But since then we’ve seen the rise of the one-dayer.

Parklife have been keen over the years to stress it’s a ‘weekender’ but really it’s just two one-dayers back-to-back. They sell tickets for individual days. Part of the reason for that is to mitigate for the loss of food, drink and merchandise sales for those who have weekend passes but don’t make it to the second day. That’s a problem. There’s no commitment. From what I saw (though I have no figures to back it) the majority of people there were either from, or based, in Manchester and the surrounding area (though there were still plenty who weren’t). People could turn up when they wanted, leave when they wanted and if they couldn’t be arsed or were incapable of the basic functions required to get there, could just sack off the Sunday altogether. No one really committed to it, and you could feel it. Lots of fun no doubt, great music unquestionably, positive people in abundance, but no real vibe.

The weather didn’t help. It was miserable and demoralising from the get-go. I went once when it was sunny and thought Heaton Park was the perfect setting for a festival. It still is, but part of the magic was that it combined a festival, with the age-old English pastime of just chilling in the park on a nice day. Snap back to Parklife 17. People were huddled in ponchos on the bank that overlooks the Temple/Ram jam stage, cowering under shelter, rubbing their hands between their thighs, wading in wellies. That said there was still plenty of movement visible in the canopy above the thousands strapped to every stage, especially when the black clouds turned grey and the acts were in full swing.

On the Saturday Anderson .Paak gave an energetic headline performance of most of Malibu, with no coke (disclaimer: unconfirmed), in the Sounds of the Near Future tent on Saturday. Rodigan got the bare ‘signal’ from the gathered crowds. It was great to see Damian Marley thrash his body-length dreads chanting More Justice and Welcome to Jamrock if only his amped up rendition of Could You Be Loved was under blue skies. Wiley disappointed. He just played vocal versions of his most commercial tracks and basically just ad-libbed over the top. I still loved seeing him, and the crowd loved it and he had them in chorus. Better be careful what I say though considering his Twitter moves the next day. BBK were good. Jme – a key torchbearer for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign – did Don’t @ Me, Frisco was decent, you don’t necessarily hold your breath in anticipation of Jammer but Skepta was hype. We had to leave early because we decided to approach this festival professionally, with a professional plan and professional attitude. Unfortunately that meant limiting time with each act and tear-arsing it around the back of the festival in buggies to a stage on the opposite side of the Park. I’m not sure that approach is really suited to my review technique. That’s not me.

What I did get to see from that was how large an operation the festival was. How much work went on behind the scenes. How many police and paramedics and security and artist liaisons and press escorts and engineers that were on hand, often invisible, to put together an event like that. It really was an enormous project. Credit to all of them because it couldn’t really have been better organised and executed. Particular shout out to the press team. That’s testament to the size of the brand now. Parklife really has come far in almost a decade since the early days of Mad Ferret. We had the Mayor deliver a tribute to the 22 people who died in the bomb, and the emergency services of the city in front of a packed Parklife Stage and there was a genuinely emotional minute of noise in memory of 22 people, many of them children, who went to a concert, to hear music, and be a part of a live performance, who never came home that night, and that was heard during that celebration. That was the moment I was most aware at how young some of the faces were there. And then I realised it was because the 1975 were on next. I couldn’t tell you anything about their performance. I honestly had never heard of them before seeing them on the line-up and also because by then we were already hightailing it down a mudpath in a petrol golf caddy to see BBK.

Shoutout to Paul Taylor, who has taken the amazing photos.  They’d gone the extra mile with the tents this year. Not just big top carnival style ones, oh no. Palm House (like the one in Kew Gardens) was a huge conservatory with white walls and what looked like real-life palm trees, though being from Manchester I’m not familiar with such exotica. I didn’t get there in time for Moodymann, though I got to see Jasper James later on at Soup Kitchen in town. All eyes were on the Feel My Bicep line-up on the Sunday, I only caught glimpses regrettably. The Hangar was another mammoth arena shaped like a place you might store jumbo jets when you’re not using them. Again I didn’t get to spend much time in there but I was passing though during what were the unmistakeable, trashy sounds of Eric Prydz, to bear witness to some absolutely out of this world, other-worldly, outta sight, light green laser beams flying about in every direction.

The food was mostly shit, I thought, and comms was as ever impossible. The search policy, though understandably strict following recent events, seemed a little ineffective seeing as though on both days I was fruitlessly searched at the whim of a sniffer dog that couldn’t do anything to prevent some of the jaws I saw getting about the place.

Disappointed I didn’t get to see J Hus and or Carl Cox. I did however see someone who I wasn’t particularly keen on seeing, mostly because I have a selective dislike for hype. Funny how these things can influence how we approach music. Need to cut that out really, this probably helped. Run the Jewels I’m talking about by the way. They were actually sick. Their music went off, they were gassed, the crowd were gassed. I guess part of it is that some artists really are made for the main stage. When you have a lot of energy in your music, and your performances are animated and interactive, you just can’t squeeze that into Spotify. So big shout out to them. It reminded me of UK soundsystem culture, even had an essence of the early 2000’s Wiley that I had looked forward so much to seeing.

I closed out the whole thing with a performance that I consider my favourite. In previous years this has been someone like Moodymann, or Loco Dice, Optimo, or Scuba, or Patrick Topping, or Nina Kravitz, or even Dizzee Rascal at one festival for the lols. This year it was nothing of the sort. It was the last sound of Parklife 17 to echo around north Manchester. It was Frank Ocean. Thousands descended, in the darkness, on the Parklife Stage. On both days the sky was black way before the sun went down. The crowds squeezed as far back as the flashing lights of the ferris wheel and the high, spinning ride. Tension grew in the silence. Frank Ocean was running late. Pockets of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ chants drifted in the chilly wind. And then something happened. It wasn’t immediately clear what was going on.

The main stage was filled with two huge screens that mostly didn’t struggle with keeping on top of aspect ratio, orientation and displaying info that was presumably not meant for the public eye. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty confusing. I heard Frank’s voice and I could see a part of his head on one of the screens. Then it became apparent he was performing, not from the stage itself, but from a little satellite stage opposite the stage. He introduced himself with a humbling softness, both carefree and charming. He maintained this throughout. The crowd felt a little flat but in his own way he dominated the next forty or so minutes.

It was a huge open park, it was open air, it was dark and cold, breezy with patches of drizzle, but he made it intimate. His stage lit up like a tiny island in the sea of people. Lights twinkled in the distance like candle-light. He built the energy with the ebb and flow of the playlist he kept referring to, even if the transitions involved him skipping the track on a player, awkwardly almost exposing the illusion. His performance was sometimes clumsy. Goofy even. A couple stop-starts, issues with his headphones, with his mic, visibly alone, at times marooned. But when he sang Chanel, when he sang Nikes, when he sang Ivy, when he finally sang Thinking Bout You, with 70-odd thousand people around him failing to hit those angelic notes that lift the chorus, he had still managed to carve out a real connection with the audience. A bond that went above and beyond the hectic hustle and bustle of earlier in the weekend, when energy levels were still cruising and the frantic thrashing through mud from stage to stage.

Frank Ocean’s deeply personal lyrics, stripped back melodies, his live guitarists and his voice brought peace to Parklife. It ended when he finished.

lloyd w

photos: IG – @thisispaultaylor

 

Parklife 87

The line-up at Parklife is diverse; it crosses genres and over four decades of music history. Older artists aren’t in the mix solely for nostalgia, they represent the music that is part of our music culture here today in 2017. We mentioned in the preview that we’re coming up to a decade of Parklife/Mad Ferret (one year shy) and how festival culture here in the UK has evolved from raves, warehouse parties and soundsystems and merged to form the current festival culture, particularly in the UK. We also looked at that maiden line-up from 2008. This year the musical mezze of acts spans electronic music, hip hop, R&B, drum and bass, UK garage, dub and reggae and the artists that represent those evergreen steelos (yea I’m hip) have histories of recording or performing music stretching back as far as 1978. So this is where it gets a bit Rick and Morty, or more accurately, Doc Brown and Marty McFly: imagine if you could jump in a 1983 DeLorean and go back in time to start your own festival, using only acts from this year’s Parklife line-up, Parklife prequels if you like? Well guess what? You don’t have to because we’re gonna do it for you, each week, until Parklife, starting with Parklife ’87. (Tell me any one of these would not be #LitAF!)

 

Parklife 87

Chaka Khan – Congo Natty – David Rodigan – Norman Jay – Pete Tong 

The headline on the main stage would undoubtedly be Chaka Khan. Already a Grammy Award winning artist with ‘70s groups Rufus, over a decade after ‘You Got the Love’, Chaka was an established solo artist and cameo in a major Hollywood motion picture by 1987. That’s not to mention having a list of collaborations from Stevie Wonder to Quincy Jones and being the first R&B singer to make a crossover hit featuring a rapper under her belt. A 1987 version of me (there was actually a one year old version of me in 1987 but we’ll ‘llow that) would be gassed at the prospect of catching the by then five-time Grammy Award winner at Heaton Park.

Away from the main stage, up the hill and down the other side, what would start as a low rumble would open out to another, altogether different stage. A stage with speakers stacked almost as high as the summer sky, spilling sub-low frequencies and the echoing toasts from the deejays. Before the digital age, in the golden era of soundclash culture, the man dem got their kicks, and their bass, by way of dub. From Brixton to Bristol, Chapletown to Moss Side, kids from the inner city to the suburbs were bunning absolute dog shit weed and drinking cheap lager at parties, clashes and radio shows brought to them by man like Congo Natty, Norman Jay MBE and David Rodigan MBE. And yep, we still are. By 1987 Rodigan had grown from selling roots records in Putney to shows on the likes of Capital FM, keeping the nation warm n easy. Born in Notting Hill, Norman Jay had built up a credible international reputation starting in the late ‘70s at block parties in New York at a time when the city was beginning to churn out the music we live by today. When disco was red hot, when hip hop and house were being born and the Big Apple’s large West Indian communities were getting down to new, exciting waves of sounds of the islands. Associated with the emerging careers of Trevor Nelson, Giles Peterson, Jazzie B from Soul II Soul, Judge Jules and Danny Rampling, by the time of the (hypothetical but jeez you should have got this by now) Parklife 87 came around he was Mr rare groove himself and synonymous with the London incarnation of the then-pirate KISS FM.

But this was the ‘80s. Technology had provided musicians with new tools to their armoury, new, electronic tools, and so we go, over to the house tent. This was just slightly before acid really took off, a year (or two) before the second summer(s) of love, and four years before the Essential Selection first aired on Radio 1, but nevertheless, Pete Tong was a well-established ‘dance’ DJ and radio presenter, particularly in the capital.

I’d go to that festival today, never mind back then. Also, there’s another name worth a mention. They hadn’t released their debut album yet, or even had someone listen to their demo, but A Tribe Called Quest might have had a cheeky feature on an up-and-coming slot, having been formed in 1985, but their time will come when we visit Parklife 97 next week.

 

Anyway, back to reality… 

Parklife 17 updates: New act announced!!

I was surprised when they weren’t included in the initial line-up but the announcement coming just as tickets were pretty much sold out seems more like a thank you than a stub-shifter, okay I’m stalling, I’ll get on with it… The latest announcement is… a bashy, energetic, anthemic collaboration between Brooklyn rapper El-P and ATL’s Killer Mike. Yep it’s Run the Jewels. Hyped.

 

lloyd w

Sundown Festival 2016 – Review. One of the biggest Sundowns yet

A Great British downpour lashed over festival goers as ponchos and true grit became standard for the first day of Sundown Festival.

“It's raining so hard my fingers are wrinkly,” bewailed one glitter-sodden music fan who said it looked like she had sat in the bath for an hour.

Yes. The rain was bad.

But remarkably the ground stayed mostly mud-free and the musical maelstrom kept the crowd in good spirits as three stages blasted out a mix of urban, pop and dance.

Kicking off proceedings on the main stage were Cambridge rapper Big Heath and Norfolk neo soul artist Mullally who stepped in at the last minute to replace Emmi.

Skipping on to the stage afterwards was a total style switch with trio MO who DJ Mistajam has described as the only girl group you need worry about.

They were followed by the earthy, jazz infused voice of  Espa, then Kiko Bunn, who brought a good times, deep dance reggae sunshine vibe to the day.

Next up the ever youthful Ms Dynamite, whose energy shone as strongly as when she first topped  the charts in 2003 ,with her hit single signature tune which heard the crowd sing in unison – Miss Dynamite-ee-ee!

Becky Hill stood out for her effortless performance show-casing her mind blowingly powerful voice, especially during Wilkinson's anthem Afterglow.

She is a truly likable artist with a great energy and simplicity of style.

Kano showed why his fifth album Made In The Manor has become a high seller with an edgy performance that ripped up the crowd followed by the unmistakable grin and good times set of tunes from original UK rapper Dizzee Rascal.

Jess Glynne stormed the stage with a set that engrossed the sodden masses encompassing her five number one UK singles and showing why she is a rising star on the other side of the pond as well as in the UK where she is preparing for a 10 date arena tour in the Autumn.

Duo Chase and Status closed the night with a show stopper of lights and kicking drum n bass as part of their summer of festival headlining while also producing their much anticipated third album.

By Sunday ,the Norfolk Showground venue, filled with 40,000 fans, had transformed thanks to some of the last of this summer's  rays rolling through the clouds.

BB Diamond broke the musical ice on main stage with an easy set of dance tunes followed by an absolute whirlwind of energy that is Imani Williams.

This 16 year old  is going places with her passion, unmistakable voice and style.

Signed to Sigala's label it is clear to see why he has snapped her up with her timed to perfection dance moves and big voice.

Next up was rapper Yungen who is among a new wave of rap/grime acts sweeping the British music scene.

He was followed by girl trio Stooshe whose high energy was a big hit with fans.

Anne Marie brought her big vocals to the stage where she compellingly lost herself in the moment and was enthralling to watch.

DJ Sigala followed with a big impact live set embracing a Caribbean theme with a guest slot by Imani followed by Krept & Konan who powered in, packing a mighty grime punch with lyrics that screamed pure London boy genius.

A turn around style switch followed, thanks to X factor contestant Fleur East who was a massive hit with the crowd. Think Beyonce and Tina Turner, blend them up and you get some kind of idea of her style, and panache. She was a joy to photograph with a star quality performance.

Next up was Years and Years – watching singer Olly Alexander is like seeing somebody emotionally throw their entire life and a handful of glitter into every word. Riveting.

Closing the festival was American star Jason Derulo who left the crowd in no doubt about why he is such a hugely successful global act.

This man can sing, he can dance and with a big beaming smile his performance was incredible to watch – not least when he picked out a girl from the screaming crowd and brought her up to dance on stage

A great performer with slick backing dancers and musicians to boot.

Over in the red and blue tents weekend highlights were David Rodiggan, who smashes it every time he takes to the stage, Jaguar Skills and his Asian babe dancers, Dimension, Red Light,  Goldie and Wilkinson with thanks to stage hosting by Ministry of Sound, Defected In The House, UKF and the drum n bass arena.

Laurence Bagnall, one of the festival organsiers said: “This has been one of the biggest Sundowns yet.

“The weather failed to dampen the good vibes, the sun came out for some of the biggest acts and with no incidents to report the festival would like to thank everybody for their ongoing support.”

See you in 2017!

 

 

Sundown Festival 2016 Preview

The countdown is on to Sundown Festival 2016 in what is becoming renowned as the music happening to see out the last rays of the summer season.

With a third stage added at the Norwich venue for this year, there are more acts, more music and more choice.

An easy vibe, friendly crowd and variety are key in this urban, dance, pop and drum n bass mix and this year is no exception.

Warming up on Friday night is the big top campers party with Radio 1 DJ Danny Howard, best known for presenting his show Dance Anthems, which kicks off proceedings with stomping tunes until the small hours.

The festival proper begins on Saturday with a headliner classic of  Chase & Status after main players including chart topper Jess Glynne, UK rapper Kano, British rap favourite Dizzee Rascal, future pop sensation Becky Hill and respected British rapper and politically motivated icon Ms Dynamite

The Defected in the House stage includes Sonny Fodera, Sam Divine and DISKT while over in the UKF stage are mash up legend Jaguar Skills, reggae DJ pioneer David Rodigan, My Nu Leng and MC Dread.

Sunday fires off in all directions in the musical maelstrom that is Sundown with a main stage headliner of Jason Derulo. He takes to the stage after acts including Years and Years, grime duo Krept and Kronan, breakthorugh X factor star Fleur East and Sigala Live.

Over at the second tent the stage is set today by global dance brand Ministry of Sound with headliner Amine Edge and Dance, Redlight, Blonde and Low Steppa among the acts.

The third tent on Sunday becomes the drum n bass arena with crowd pleaser Wilkinson, Friction, the ever popular Goldie, Warning favourite Hazard, Dimension, Dillinja and Culture Shock.

Alongside it all throw in some fairground rides, stalls and a crowd that never feels overwhelmingly large making it both a perfect season closer for die hard festival fans or the ideal place for teenagers to cut their teeth in a safe and manageable sized festival world.

Either way, enjoy. The line up is randomly eclectic – but is sure to keep those dancing feet happy all weekend.

TICKETS: Sundown Festival 2016 is from Friday September 2 to Sunday 4. Tickets start at £46.75 for a day pass up to £121 for a weekend pass with camping at the Norfolk Showground venue. 

Camp Bestival announce Cosmic DJ lineup

Team CB are very excited to announce the DJ line-up for this year’s Camp Bestival Outer Space extravaganza. And you can be sure that the moon walk is just one of the signature moves that we’ll be busting out as we reach for the firmament of dancefloor stars who’ll be keeping us space raving family style all weekend long at Lulworth Castle at the end of July.

Astro-mixmaster Rob da Bank says: “We always like to get the whole family dancing at Camp Bestival, so this year I’m really chuffed that we have some proper DJing legends who will be more than familiar to mums and dads but who will definitely get the kids up on their feet and partying. From the legendary Sasha, Hacienda giant Greg Wilson and lifetime Camp Bestival resident David Rodigan to amazing family ravers Big Fish Little Fish and Fun DMC, not forgetting Pan’s People, we’re all going to be spoilt for choice!”

Heading up our cavalcade of cosmic explorers, and providing a golden opportunity for parents to relive their intergalactic youth, we are ecstatic to welcome Sasha back to Space Camp Lulworth. A veritable rave god, Sasha is a man who knows how to take a crowd on a voyage into the unknown and we can’t wait!

The legends don’t stop there as we will also have hacienda stalwart Greg Wilson’s Super Weird Substance, reggae great David Rodigan MBE who will present Ram Jam featuring sets from Trevor Nelson, Wookie, Kiko Bun (live) andVenum Sound and rare groove kingpin Norman Jay MBE will be making good on the ones and twos. Plus, we will have sets from Acid Housewife featuring Lottie & Smokin Jo, and English Disco Lovers.

Pioneers of family clubbing Big Fish Little Fish will be back to rock the tots once again and there will be beats and bass for big and little kids alike with sets from Fun DMC, the Kids Disco with Pan’s People, Nutty’s Disco and Junior Jungle Rave who are guaranteed to make the little’uns jump up.

Jason Derulo, Years & Years, Dizzee Rascal and more for Sundown 2016

Sundown Festival returns to Norfolk Showground in Norwich for a fourth year with a huge line-up of the biggest and best names in contemporary music. Delivering a mix of the most sought after names from all corners of the pop, urban and dance music landscape, Sundown brings together everything that is vital in music right now for an amazing live music experience. This year the festival expands even further adding a third stage and collaborating with some of the most revered brands in underground music.

In five years Jason Derulo has risen to one of the best-selling, radio-dominating pop and urban artists of the day, selling over 50 million singles worldwide and racking up over two billion views on YouTube and one billion plays on Spotify. Headlining on the Sunday, fans can expect a huge show featuring the likes of ‘Talk Dirty’, ‘Wiggle’, ‘Trumpets’, ‘Whatcha Say’ and many more. With one huge headliner still to be announced this promises to be the biggest year for Sundown yet.

With five UK number 1 singles to her name including her collaboration with Clean Bandit on huge Grammy Award winning hit ‘Rather Be’, Jess Glynne is one of the UK’s brightest stars. She will undoubtedly have the Sundown crowd singing along to a hit laden set whilst London hip hop and grime hero Dizzee Rascal will bring his signature party sound to the Showground. 

Years & Years were the big crossover success story of 2015 and their up- tempo brand of synth-pop spawned huge chart hits such as ‘King’ and ‘Desire’ and in Olly Alexander the band have a genuine, bona-fide pop star. Also performing will be Fleur Eastwho has become a household name since competing on X-Factor and released one of the biggest tracks of 2015 in ‘Sax’. 

A world famous name in house music Defected Records will host the second stage on the Saturday with renowned party startersSam DevineSonny Fodera and DJ S.K.TGet ready to raise those hands and party as one of the world’s most loved house music parties keeps the Sundown masses dancing all night long. 

Undeniable masters of bass UKF are the Hosts for Stage 3 and proudly present a dual headline show featuring Jaguar Skillsshowcasing why he is the ultimate DJ ninja and the legendary David Rodigan MBE bringing the sound of dancehall and reggae to the East Coast. Fast rising Black Butter up and comers My Nu Leng will keep it deep and on point. 

Dance music royalty Ministry Of Sound will be presenting the second stage on the Sunday with heavy bass courtesy of French production duo Amine Edge and DANCE, genre blurring Bristolian and Lobster Boy head honcho Redlight and serious bass head Low Steppa all taking to the decks.

The legendary Drum and Bass Arena celebrate a huge 20 years in the game this year and will host chart topper Wilkinsonwhose anthem ‘Afterglow’ was an instant classicRadio 1’s d&b don and Shogun Audio boss Friction and the classic jungle sounds of DJ Hazard.

Saturday 3rd September

Main Stage 

Headliner TBA

Jess Glynne 

Dizzee Rascal

Stage 2 – Defected 

Sam Divine 

Sonny Fodera 

DJ S.K.T 

Stage 3 – UKF 

David Rodigan & Jaguar Skills

My Nu Leng 

Sunday 4th September

Main Stage 

Jason Derulo 

Years & Years 

Fleur East 

Stage 2 – Ministry of Sound 

Amine Edge & Dance 

Redlight 

Low Steppa 

Stage 3 – Drum & Bass Arena

Wilkinson 

Friction 

DJ Hazard 

Major Lazer & LCD Soundsystem to headline Lovebox 2016 plus more

Now entering its fourteenth year, London’s favourite festival Lovebox returns to its home in Victoria Park for its biggest year yet.

Having already announced two explosive, London exclusive headliners, in the form of the long-awaited reunion of LCD Soundsystem and global phenomenon Major Lazer, the two-day celebration of music, food, fashion and creativity unveils a ram-packed, genre-spanning and era-defining billing.

From the hottest zeitgeist acts to established legends, hip hop to dance, grime to electronica, it’s a fully-formed line-up that cements Lovebox 2016 as the musical event of the summer.

MAJOR LAZER (FRIDAY)
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM (SATURDAY)

WITH (IN A-Z ORDER):

ALAN FITZPATRICK – ANDRES CAMPO – B.TRAITS – BIG NARSTIE – BILLY KENNY – 
CHET FAKER – CHRONIXX –
THE COMPOZERS – CRAIG RICHARDS CRITICAL SOUNDSYSTEM: KASRA B2B IVY LAB B2B SAM BINGA FEAT REDDERS –
DAVID RODIGAN MBE – DE LA SWING – DIPLO – DJ BARELY LEGAL – DJ HYPE & MC IC3 FORMATION – FRIEND WITHIN –
GEORGE CLINTON PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC – GEORGE PRIVATTI – GOLDLINK – HANNAH WANTS – HOT BLOOD – JACK GARRATT – JACKMASTER – JAMIE WOON (LIVE) – JORIS VOORN – JUNGLE – JUSTIN MARTIN – KANO – KIASMOS – LUCIANO – MIIKE SNOW – MØ – MELÉ + MONKI’S NRG FLASH  – ODESZA – OH WONDER – ONEMAN B2B MY NU LENG – PATRICK TOPPING – PREDITAH – RICARDO VILLALOBOS – RICHY AHMED – RITON – RUN THE JEWELS – SG LEWIS (LIVE) STEVE LAWLER – STORMZY -TERRY FRANCIS – T Q D (ROYAL T B2B DJ Q B2B FLAVA D) – WAZE & ODYSSEY

ALL WEEKEND LONG

FABRIC LONDON
EXCLUSIVE FESTIVAL DEBUT

ELROW PRESENTS SAMBODROMO DO BRASIL

MUSIC, MISCHIEF AND DANCING AT THE CARNIVAL BANDSTAND “TROPISKARNIVAL” PRESENTED BY GLOBAL LOCAL, VINTAGE REMIX AND WORMFOOD

SPIN AROUND AT THE BUMP ROLLER DISCO

NEW VOICES AT THE VOICEBOX WITH ROUNDHOUSE AND APPLES & SNAKES

FASHION AND BEAUTY BOUTIQUES
LONDON’S TASTIEST STREET FOOD
AND MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON…

Opening for Major Lazer on Friday are cult favourites Run The Jewels, the critically acclaimed rap duo who have released two of the best mixtapes of the past few years and carved out a reputation as one of the best live acts on the planet. This incendiary double act, AKA Killer Mike and El-P, are one of the most charismatic and compelling acts in hip hop today, merging socially conscious lyrics with huge beats. They’re the perfect act to fire up the crowd in time for Major Lazer’s headlining slot.

The voice of Major Lazer’s global smash ‘Lean On’, and fast-rising star in her own right will be performing tracks from her highly-anticipated sophomore album, as well as fan favourites from her debut No Mythologies To Follow.

Jamaican superstar Chronixx will be treating the Lovebox crowd to his modern take on reggae, whilst man of the moment Stormzy will be bringing his neo-grime flow and viral freestyles to the Park. Stormzy says: “This is going to be so so sick”.

Hip hop, grime, and drum and bass will all be represented on the Friday, with US rapper GoldLink, D&B producer DJ Hype & MC IC3, Flava D, DJ Q and Royal T’s project t q d, outspoken emcee Big Narstie and D&B collective Critical Soundsystem.

There’ll be unmissable sets from some of the world’s biggest DJs. Before he steps on to the Main Stage Diplo will be spinning solo, Ed Banger alum Riton will perform, as will Lovebox friend and favourite David Rodigan MBE. The unstoppable Hannah Wants, dirtybird co-founder Justin Martin plus Waze & Odyssey, Friend Within and Billy Kenny will also be in attendance and there will be special collaborative sets from the most exciting names on the UK dance scene with Oneman B2B with My Nu Leng plus Melé + Monki’s NRG Flash.

Across the weekend, Lovebox are thrilled to join forces with another London musical institution – the mighty fabric. One of the world’s biggest and best club spaces, they’ll be bringing a killer line-up to a festival field for the very first time.

fabric say: “As an East London venue ourselves we’re especially delighted to be hosting a stage at this year’s Lovebox and to be bringing a whole lot of what we do and the artists we love to the festival.  It’s taken a lot of work from both Lovebox and fabric to make this exclusive concept happen and it’ll be our first time ever bringing fabric to the field.”

On the Saturday, Lovebox are delighted to welcome London collective Jungle to the stage for an England and Wales festival exclusive. The band’s modern take on soul make them a perfect fit to perform ahead of Saturday night headliners LCD Soundsystem who are also known for their innovative interpretations of classic genres. Jungle have developed a reputation for being a formidable, hugely fun live act and as the sun sets on the Park they’ll provide an appropriately atmospheric soundtrack. Jungle say: “Lovebox is legendary and we feel so lucky to be a part of it this year. Nothing beats playing outdoors in your own city… See you in July!”

Some of the brightest singer-songwriters will be serenading the masses, from Australian electronic musician Chet Faker to the experimental, acclaimed Jamie Woon (live) via the folktronica sensation Jack Garratt.

East London’s own Kano will be performing tracks from his long-awaited new album Made in the Manor, as well as classic cuts from his back catalogue.

Some of the biggest names in dance will be spinning, including techno legend Ricardo Villalobos, tech house wizard Craig Richards and producer Terry Francis.

That’s not all – there’s anthemic electropop from duo Oh Wonder, hook-laden Swedish indie pop from Miike Snow, lush electronica from SG Lewis (live), beautifully minimal Icelandic techno from Kiasmos and electronica-tinged rock from Seattle duo Odesza.

Lovebox are honoured to play host to the legendary George Clinton and his funk, soul and rock collective Parliament Funkadelic. Their euphoric live shows are something to behold.

Barcelona party-starters Elrow will also be returning to the Park following several sold out London shows. Their trademark fun-loving theatrics will be reapplied this time in the style of Brazilian carnival for Elrow Presents Sambodromo do Brasil.

Vice music channels Noisey and Thump will return to Lovebox once more to curate their own forward-thinking, individual stages, as will Hackney’s NTS Radio, Soundcrash in association with Clash, Krankbrother and Corona Sunsets.

Kopparberg is set to bring a taste of scandi-cool to this summer’s Lovebox and Citadel with the arrival of the popular Kopparberg Urban Forest.

Carved into the forest will be a woodland bar serving up all kinds of refreshment from the independent Kopparberg brewery in Sweden, including its selection of delicious fruit ciders and the brand new Kopparberg Fruit Lager.

Kopparberg will also be supporting the very best in creative and imaginative live music, by hosting a series of pioneering artists and DJs on its renowned Urban Forest stage.

As well as a thrilling musical line-up, there is plenty to experience in the Park over the weekend. Shangri-La Superstar’s “Tropiskarnival” Bandstand boasts an eclectic programming of world music and dance programmed by Chris Tofu, with performances from the likes of United Vibrations, Temple Funk Collective and Cut Capers.

The Voicebox presented by Roundhouse and Apples and Snakes platforms emerging voices in spoken word and poetry, whilst revellers can spin around to DJ sets at the Bump Roller Disco, sample London’s tastiest street foods and browse the finest fashion and beauty boutiques.

With even more incredible talent still to be announced, this will go down as another unforgettable chapter in Lovebox’s rich history.

Love Saves the Day 2016 FULL lineup announced

Saturday 28th May…

Love Saves The Day are delighted to announce their line-up for 2016. Taking centre stage as Saturday's headliner will be the acclaimed London-based electronic pop group Hot Chip. Everything, Everything, the genre-defying indie rock outfit based in Manchester will also be present, alongside BBC Music's 'Sound Of 2016' hot pick Mura Masa, electronic music duo Maribou State, and Shura, who will bring her hugely impressive catalogue of songs to the Love Saves The Day Main stage.

Other names on the bill for Saturday include American duo The Martinez Brothers who will be leading the proceedings on the Cloud Nine stage, alongside the hugely popular Skream, contemporary London-based trio Disciples, and Phonox Club resident and man of the moment Jasper James.

Bristol based club night Just Jack will also be hosting their very own stage on Saturday, showcasing Berghain resident Ben Klock, Robert Johnson family member Roman Flügel, the highly regarded Joy Orbison and the legendary Paranoid London

Elsewhere, The Dance Off stage will be headlined by the long standing house and garage duo DJ Luck and MC Neat, garage legend Artful Dodger and grime act Bonkaz an artist who has been hailed as one of the key players in the recent grime revival – plus some very special guest to be unveiled.

Other names on Saturday's bill include: Apex Collective,  Banoffee Pies, Christophe, Clean Cut Kid, Colours, Dan Wild, Dave Harvey, Dirty Talk, Feel The Real, Get Born, MNEK, Musu, Pardon My French, SG Lewis, Slix Disco, Studio 89, Teak and Tom Rio

Sunday 29th May…

Day two of the festival welcomes Dizzee Rascal, an artist who's music spans grime, UK garage, bassline, British hip hop and R&B, known for his high energy hits including 'Fix Up Look Sharp' and 'Dance With Me'. Winner of 2014's Best Grime Act at the MOBO awards Stormzy will also be joining on the Sunday, along with Soundclash champion David Rodigan and the hypnotising Warp Record's artist Nightmares On Wax.

From LuckyMe and Warp to TNGHT and Kanye West collaborations, Love Saves The Day also welcomes the highly successful Hudson Mohawke, who will headline The CRACK Stage along with a host of impressive music heavyweights, including the US based African cassette collector, blogger and DJ Awesome Tapes From Africa and Glasweigan producer Rustie. Bristish rapper Loyle Carner will also take to the CRACK stage along with London-based rap outfit Section Boyz.

Chinese Man, carried by the French Chinese Man Records label will bring the sound of hip-hop, funk, dub, reggae and jazz to Love Saves The Day Sunday, in addition to the renowned remixer Mad Professor, and bass player and producer specialising in digital reggae Manu Digital. After curating his own stage in 2015, Shy FX will be back to host the Cloud 9 stage, with very special guests still to be announced. Elsewhere, Sip The Juice take over The Dance Off stage on the Sunday, with Afrika Bambaataa leading the proceedings. 

Other names on Sunday's bill include: Aba Shanti Soundsystem, Alternate DJ's, Billy Disney, Blazey, Blazey, Bodywork, Curtis Lynch ft. Nanci, Dubkasm, DJ Dazee, Durkle Disco, Egoless, Faze Miyake, Hannah Mulvanny, Hot 8 Brass Band, Jethro Binns, Lionpulse, L-Vis 1990 b2b Bok Bok, Mistafire, OBF ft. Shanti D, Sly One, Sprung, RSD ft. Joe Peng and Trevor Sax

Love Saves the Day will also feature the only appearance of the Arcadia Afterburner in the UK this year. The original Arcadia installation, the Afterburner is a 360 degree stage built around a central flaming spire with dance platforms radiating out to a ring of exploding lamp posts. Having appeared at festivals as far afield as New Zealand, Croatia and the United States, and a staple at Glastonbury, the Afterburner is returning home to Bristol to bring the fire to Eastville Park.

MADE Birmingham 2015 Review

Whilst many of the big festivals were coping with mud over the weekend we were thankful that our Brummie feet were firmly on solid ground as we arrived for MADE. With a line up that boasts heavyweight names such as MK, Heidi, Claude Von Stroke, Julio Bashmore and David Rodigan, as well as prominent local acts Tom Shorterz and Adam Shelton, there was plenty for everyone in this urban playground.

MADE is a mini Metropolitan festival that brought ravers from all corners into the heart of Birmingham city. Now in its second year, the site had been expanded to include six stages set across the Digbeth triangle and the Rainbow complex. In keeping with the creative melting pot of the area, that ethos was very much evident in the site production from the epic wall mural by Newso & Gent48, live graffiti art and illustrative signage.

First up was veteran DJ and reggae selector David ‘Ram Jam’ Rodigan on the Heavyweight Bass Champion stage, a boxing ring with caliber of booming bass and DnB acts to match. 40 years in the business and David still knows how to rock a crowd. He invited all the ‘young tongue shooters to take a trip to Jamaica’ with him as he spun tunes from reggae, dance hall and DnB. He bounced around with the energy of a teenager, puffing out his chest and rewinding the decks, it was a pure joy to watch.

Next up was Norman Jay MBE playing from a fire exit high above the car park. The Bloc Party stage set up wasn’t a massive success and it was a shame to see Normal play to smaller numbers than expected. The VIP terrace above the Warehouse offered the best views over the main stage and revellers danced with the inflatables in the hazy afternoon sun. We stopped for some much needed respite with a delicious gourmet pizza from Baked-in Brick.

Back on the Heavyweight stage was beat-box extraordinaire Beardyman and friends for the ‘Bass Battle Off’. DJs Pete Graham, Marc Spence and Santero went back to back with only 7 minutes to impress the audience. We darted round the site, catching glimpses of sets from Korupt FM, Stanton Warriors, and Blonde who performed live as confetti cannons launched multi coloured flakes into the sky of the main arena. Julio Bashmore and Dusky were the stars of the Underground stage as they played to hyped punters in dark sweat-box of a room.

A packed out crowed gathered at the main stage anticipation for the headline act.  It seemed as if most people had come to see MK (Marc Kinchen) as the other stages emptied out. As his first record dropped confetti cannons boomed, followed by smoke jets and fire streams lighting up the crowd. His set was bursting with techno and club classics including remixes of Rudimental’s ‘Powerless’, Bakermat’s ‘Teach me’, Dumont’s ‘The giver’ to the crowd pleasing anthemic sing-a-long moment ‘My head is a jungle’. MK dived into the crowd at the end of his set and was hoisted up on to shoulders for the fireworks finale whilst Low steppa took up the mantle.

We caught up with Pete Jordan festival organiser about the challenges of delivering 11,000 capacity inner-city festival. “Digbeth is a unbelievable place and we had the opportunity to go bigger. We have had a phenomenal amount of support from the council, police and emergency services.”

“Having the indoor and outdoor spaces created a different vibe and we tried to put a bit of personality into each individual stage. Delivering bass music in a conceptual form such as a boxing ring makes people experience the music in different way. To see some of these stages really come off makes me really proud.”

It was clear the festival was a big hit with the punters too. Carly Banks from Staffs said “I have literally had the best day/night of my life!!! so unexpected and so worth it!!!!!”

Despite the terrible weather on Sunday they still had good numbers through the door for Made by Day. The organisers worked quickly to relocate as much of it indoors at the rainbow complex. There was a great selection of food available from gourmet burgers, pizzas, Caribbean, North African, Thai from Digbeth Dining Club regulars, as well as comedy, music and retro gaming from Dead Pixels.

Made my day was a great success and provided thousands with the best in bass and dance to party through day and night. We’re already looking forward to what 2016 has to offer.

 

See the full image set here https://www.flickr.com/photos/summerfestivalguide/sets/72157656009069788