Common People Southampton 2017 – Reviewed!

Common People might be the littlest sister of UK behemoth Bestival, but it certainly packs it’s own unique punch. Held on Southampton Common (with a twin over in Oxford now too) it’s a two day hedonistic escape without the sleeping-on-a-rollmat or not-showering-for-four-days element, and as such, is an altogether pleasant affair.

Saturday sees the likes of Elvana (Elvis fronted Nirvana) doing, well… exactly what it says on the tin I suppose, and Loyle Carner whipping a tshirt around the stage and rapping hits from his debut album, to a sun-drenched and almost feverish front row made almost exclusively of ladies. Over on the Uncommon stage, local lads Fever are whipping up a storm with their classic punky rock vibes to a packed tent.

The arena itself is decorated with a well-known Josie Da Bank feel to it, silk flags flutter in the breeze and there are fairy lights, lanterns and rainbow streamers everywhere, but it’s the heart installation which simply reads ‘Manchester’ which stands out the most. After such a terrible event, it’s affirming to know that people will still make their way to a festival like this, but the increased police presence was very noticeable.

Despite the somewhat sobering feeling of walking past armed police to enter the festival, the atmosphere is free spirited and fun. The Kids area is packed with people attempting circus skills, hula hooping, bubble blowing and getting their faces painted. Hidden away in a magical little copse, it really does have that hazy secret summer feel to it, and the Jam Jar Bar is serving up delicious treats for the bigger kids. Did someone say Rhubarb Martini?

Over in The People’s Front Room, which is dressed up as a shabby-chic front room in case you were wondering… people are grooving along to funky sounds, but it’s pretty tightly packed so we’re off to check out the food options, which never disappoint at CP. Back in the dark old days of UK festivals your best hope was paying over the odds for some soggy chips and a distinctly grey looking burger, but at Common People your culinary compass can spin all around the world. From Paella to Macaroni Cheese, to thali boxes or soft shell crab burgers, there is nothing common about this menu. We can particularly recommend the brie, pear and walnut from The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Co. which was pretty flippin decadent.

Back at the main stage there are rows upon rows of screaming, glitter-bedazzled girls greeting a very dapper looking Tom Odell who is playing a roaring set from behind his giant centre-stage piano. Calling out “Southampton! Closest I’ll get to a home gig this season, back home, back in the badlands” Tom is returned with a chorus of “Marry me Tom!” from a group of young ladies who look like they might faint at any moment. One particular hardcore Odell fan has actually travelled with her father and sister from Brazil to see him here, now that is commitment!

Next up is Sister Bliss playing a Faithless DJ set in the deep evening sunshine which naturally has everyone up and dancing. ‘We Come 1’ is so heavy it rattles the panels of the helter skelter and Bliss looks right at home here in her sequinned bomber jacket.

Over to Pete Tong and The Heritage Orchestra to bang out some Ibiza classics and honestly, it is overwhelmingly amazing. Conductor Jules Buckley stands, arms spread wide in front of three tiers of orchestra and Pete Tong perched amongst the rafters at an LED lit mixing desk and they begin. It’s a strange sensation knowing these classics to be, to put it bluntly, somewhat simple musically speaking – but hearing them performed by the orchestra just brings them to a whole new level. Massive hits such as Fatboy Slim’s ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and Faithless’ ‘We Come 1’ get the full orchestral treatment but bathed in lasers and smoke. It’s strangely satisfying and retains the intensity of the original tracks. Pete also pays tribute to Manchester noting that it’s ‘on our minds’ before introducing Ella Eyre to sing ‘Good Life’ and Rudimental’s ‘Waiting All Night’ which are insanely good. Finishing up with Becky Hill on ‘You Got The Love’ has the whole crowd singing along and Pete Tong quips “We can’t pretend to go off and come back on again, there are too many of us!” as they close the show. With a mass surge out of the gates and into the town, day one of Common People is over and it’s been a blinder.


Sunday on Southampton Common seems a lot quieter, there are a smattering of people milling around for the first bands but it’s pretty sparse, at a guess some people went very hard last night and are nursing some pretty epic hangovers today.

The Novatones who come out strong and belt around the stage with their classic punk rock sound and jumping antics, it’s a great set and a shame so few people were out to see it. The Black Kat Boppers make short work of getting everyone who has made it in, up and dancing some sort of hybrid swing-come-dad-moves.

to being ‘stuck in traffic’ Nadia Rose appears to have all but missed her slot and Calum Lintott, who has just finished a set on the Uncommon Stage is hauled in to fill the time. He looks nervous as hell at first, forgets to plug in his guitar… “That’s a good start isn’t it! I did not expect to be doing this today” and waves awkwardly at his family out in the arena, but he pulls off a frankly fantastic second set anyway. Even the security guards are clapping along by the end and Calum seems pretty stoked about getting to play the main stage, ‘English Daisy’ and ‘Baby I’m Insane’ are going straight on the playlist.

Whilst Signals are mid set-up and sound check, Nadia Rose finally makes it to the main stage – albeit shoe-horned into the side with the DJ booth, accompanied by a large posse. Rocking a red bomber, with matching trainers and visible pants, as well as her signature space bun hairstyle – she is every bit the rapper celebrity the young front row have come to see. Busting out ‘Skwod’ and ‘Boom’ she has boundless energy and is absolutely fierce in her delivery, but it was maybe a little unnecessary of her to complain that “I’ve got a short set today, because I was put on late, but whatever” when it doesn’t seem like anyone was really at fault for that.

A brief but substantial downpour sees herds of people diving into bars and tents for shelter, which Amy MacDonald finds highly amusing “It seems a lot of people are scared of a little bit of rain… that’s a drizzle in Glasgow… southern softies eh?”. Standing in front of a broadway-esque red ruched curtain, the Scottish musician plays a storming set highlighted by recent hit ‘This is the Life’ but the rowdy contingent of Common People are squished side by side into the rainbow-ribboned Uncontained Stage area for Fat Man Scoop. Stalwart of the school disco, Fatman Scoop is of course playing an absolute cheese-fest of hits. Rocking lounge shorts and pool slides he leaves the decks to dance with three stunned kids who’ve been pulled from the crowd for DMX’s ‘Party Up’ but decides to get them to cover their eyes for his brief bout of topless shimmying. Good call Scoop, good call. ‘Be Faithful’ is exactly as obnoxiously loud and fun as you’d imagine, and with the appearance of Goldie, it’s just what we needed to get out of the grim weather funk.

Over on the main stage the House Gospel Choir are giving huge club hits in their distinctive style, notably a cover of Robin S’ ‘Show Me Love’, to a massive crowd. Up next British Sea Power aren’t garnering the same sort of response due to their softer, melodic sounds, but the front few rows seem to be die-hard fans who are absolutely loving them and their strange selection of stage-foliage.

Natives are shredding the Uncommon Stage with loads of people dancing and jumping around in the tent, and the bouncy castle has been dried and re-opened to hordes of terrifyingly fearless children. With a single experimental bounce and what thankfully was a minor collision with a manically grinning cannonball of a small girl, it’s time to escape to safety. Off to a less violent affair, lashings of glitter makeup from Dust & Dance and obligatory hair braiding, before heading over to see Wild Beasts. Flanked by flashing panel lights and a giant backdrop from their latest album ‘Boy King’ they have a distinct electronic rock sound that is definitely piquing some interest in the now quieter arena. I think they’re going to be the hot playlist add following the weekend, but I’m not sure they’re quite what everyone was waiting for.

Groove Armada pick it back up with a solid set of classic dance music, and I know it’s specifically listed as a DJ set but they really are holed up at the back of the stage behind a giant table. Why can’t DJ’s be at the forefront and engage with the crowd in any way other than that wistful sort of pointing into the sky reminiscent of Steve Zissou? Anyway… as they continue through the set the crowd builds and gets increasingly rowdy, during a remix of Breach’s ‘Let’s Jack’ security are rushed into the main stage pit to hold the barriers as people push against them whilst dancing.

After a couple of choice cocktails at The Day of the Dead Bar it’s down to Sean Paul to close out Common People 2017. Swaggering onstage in a dusty trenchcoat and a pair of sunglasses, Sean Paul looks every bit the nonchalant celebrity, but as ‘Get Busy’ begins it’s clear he is here to move and shake that thing as much as the crowd is. Flanked by two extremely energetic dancers, Sean Paul makes his way through a plethora of his classic hits such as ‘Baby Boy’, but it’s his version of Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ that we are both wincing at, and simultaneously loving. It also then mixes into Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ and honestly It’s hard to assign one feeling to something like that. To explain, he changes the words… a lot. Enough to have no idea what’s going on except for the tune.

Calling out “We’re bringing you music from around the world tonight… we’ve got music from Jamaica, we’ve been to Australia with Sia… the UK with Ed Sheeran… who wants to go to Trinidad and Tobago with me?” we can’t help but think he’s playing the metaphor because his driver (easily spotted by being the only one at the back of the crowd sporting a full suit and tie) is looking horrified at the idea of driving anywhere other than home after this.

The crowd is getting considerably louder and wilder as the show goes on, and during ‘Temperature’ two girls are hauled over the barrier by security for having a scrap over which one can get closer to Sean Paul. It’s 50-50 on the funny/baffling ratio. Ending with a chant of “Say no no no, we ain’t going home” is fun until it’s actually time to go home and return to the real world, but at least there’s a bank holiday tomorrow to recover. Oh Common People you have once again been superb, with your eclectic mix of music, beautiful décor and incredible extra-entertainment options you are really anything but common, and you know it. Roll on 2017, and if you can’t wait that long for your fix, there’s always the larger scale Camp Bestival and Bestival to continue those CP feels.

Common People Announces Sean Paul and Pete Tong Plus Many More

But that’s not all, The Common Stage will see sublime dancefloor duo Groove Armada hitting the decks to provide their own inimitable brand of booty shaking brilliance with appearances from Wild Beasts, Foals (DJ set), The Selecter + The Beat, Saint Etienne, Amy MacDonald, House Gospel Choir and Lucy Leave On Saturday in Oxford, while South Park’s Sunday mainstage action will see BRITs Critics’ Choice winner 2017 Rag’n’Bone Man’s staggering vocals and gospel-powered grooves, plus music from Becky Hill, The Cuban Brothers, Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana and Coldredlight.

And in Southampton, The Common Stage will see BRITs Critics’ Choice winner 2013 Tom Odell’s charismatic swagger and rave legends Faithless on the ones & twos, plus there will be appearances from Loyle Carner, Becky Hill, Stefflon Don, Seán McGowan, Kassassin Street, Elvana: Elvis Fronted Nirvana and Black Kat Boppers on Saturday. And Groove Armada, Wild Beasts, British Sea Power, Amy MacDonald, Nadia Rose, Novelist, House Gospel Choir, Signals and The Novatones will appear on Sunday.

Filling your dancing boots throughout the weekend, the Uncontained Stage will be jumping with My Nu Leng & M8s and very special guest Goldie, Novelist, Redlight, GotSome and Klose One, all stepping up to the plates to drop bombs on Saturday in Oxford and Sunday in Southampton, while hands in the air behaviour will come courtesy of Moxie presents On Loop featuring sets from Joy Orbison, Midland, Kornél Kovács, Felix Dickinson and Or:la on Saturday in Southampton and Sunday in Oxford.

Discovering new music is what gets the man like da Bank out of bed in the morning, it’s the very the lifeblood of the Bestival team! So, we’ve teamed up with fellow new music evangelist and Oxford institution Nightshift once again to showcase the best new local bands alongside some of the most exciting acts around on the Uncommon Stage, including ShaoDow, Zaia, The Balkan Wanderers, Jess Hall & Barney Morse Brown, Kanadia, Vienna Ditto, Death of Hi-Fi, Leader, Young Women's Music Project, Rhymeskeemz, The Shapes, Low Island, Desert Storm, The Epstein, Little Red, The Pink Diamond Revue, Catgod and Slate Hearts.

And continuing our long and illustrious partnership with The Joiners in Southampton we are delighted to present Beans on Toast, Black Honey, Natives, Happy Accidents, Cassava, Fever, XOCKHA, Feeble Grandpa, Scarecrow Boat, Nakamarra, Gun Shy and Deltorers.

Oxford will see universal dance adventures at The Pig’s Big Record Club Stage, hosted by the Shellac Collective 78s DJs and ensuring the party always swings, there will be a host of local DJs from Southampton and Oxford across the weekend.

With amazing music keeping your feet moving throughout the bank holiday weekend, we’ll be bringing a little taste of our legendary madness and mayhem ramping up the Bestival antics to transform Common People into an amazing festival wonderland, with plenty of our off-the-wall shenanigans including boss boogying at the Disco Shed in Oxford, and the World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle in Southampton, plus both shows will have the old-time pleasures of Vintage Funfair Rides, surprising Pop-Up Performances, brass-powered Horns of Plenty in Oxford, and Saints Brass in Southampton with the savoury delights of Scrumptious Street Food, decadent drinkies from Cocktail Bars, a fantastic Kids Area with the gymnastic pageantry of Circus, Face Painting, Crazy Inflatables, and much more!

The first Boundary Festival crossed some serious borders. Review 2016.

Pushing the parameters of what is jovially known amongst us music journalists as ‘festival season’ lies Boundary Brighton. Boasting an impressive line-up for its inaugural year, this one-day dance music extravaganza definitely made its mark. Exhibiting an impressive list of DJ’s and acts across four stages, the festival collaborated with clubs and venues across Brighton alongside party innovators Elrow, music publication Mixmag and the infamous LWE to curate something pretty brilliant to witness.

 

 

The main stage combined one of Brighton’s most beloved venues, Concorde, with the go-to publication for all things clubbing and dance music; Mixmag. Artists such as Bondax and Groove Armada (DJ set) took to the stage, as well as the energetic Gentleman's Dub Club, a delightful surprise, whose combination of ska and dubstep, suited appearance and Yorkshire accents over reggae vocals, brought an incredible live show. A DJ set by Wilkinson closed the stage down with an immense stamina and an energetic collection of tunes.  

 

 

Notorious party-starters Elrow teamed up with Brighton’s The Arch – formerly known as Digital – to create a colourful psychedelic stage. If you haven't yet heard of Elrow, that's about to change, as the Barcelonian party enthusiasts have been putting on nights left right and centre; most notably the Ibiza classic Space. The Vibrant tent hosted the likes of Solardo, Seth Troxler, and Richy Ahmed all cocooned in a tent trying to be Woodstock, yet sounding pretty far from it.

 

One of London’s biggest underground events organisers LWE teamed up with Brighton club Patterns; still relatively new on the club scene since the death of Audio not too long ago (may it rest in peace) and I must say, whoever had the idea to build a fake London Warehouse as the set up for an inside stage was a genius. Entering the ‘building’ transported you into a club-like arena, where the likes of Jackmaster, Joy Orbison wowed the crowd, as well as sets from Patterns residents themselves. Last but not least, Boundary also set it’s very own bandstand. The smallest stage but still able to attract a crowd, the masked man Jaguar Skills played a hit-heavy set, albeit sounding a little rusty.

 

The man of the hour award definitely goes to Craig David and his new DJ project TS5. After the build up of one of the biggest revivals in garage history, Craig David’s comeback is definitely going strong. Though rumours of TS5 being a little rusty are still floating around, by the time the headliner hit the stage you could tell he’s cleaned up his act and his setlist was selectively fine tuned to please everyone from the 90’s kids in the crowd to old school garage fanatics. Being a fan as I am, I must say I’m probably a little biased but listening to Fill Me In and Seven Days live was enough to complete my summer of festivalling and if the attitude of my fellow punters in that crowd was anything to go by, I’m guessing they’d agree with me.

 

Craig David/ TS5 headlining the main stage.

 

This being said you can tell Boundary is still finding its feet. Though it’s had some great ideas and, in my opinion, had a pretty successful launch, it could do with a few tweaks. There’s no specific wristband system so punters are let in with no chance of re-entry if they leave, which would be fine if it didn’t make for a very confusing entry, there are no maps or clear labels as to which stage is which and punters have to check paper set times to make sure they catch who they want to see, It’s also pretty small. Though it held a 20,000 capacity, the festival site felt similar to a village fete making the four stages feel pretty squashed together. Nevertheless, in a way, this worked as a positive, as it promised big, energetic yet friendly crowds for each stage.

 

 

The acts themselves put on a great show, but with the renowned names on the bill and the brand of Brighton nightlife surpassing the name of the festival itself, this is hardly surprising. Though despite each stage’s own collaboration, all the music did feel a bit samey, samey. DJ’s and dance music aren’t always all too different and you come to appreciate the skills of each act you see, as well as their ability to captivate a crowd, but maybe next year it would be good to focus on a specific subgenre for each stage instead of mixing it up across the board. Do this, and Boundary could quite possibly become the next dance/club pilgrimage of the summer.

 
All images provided by www.visionseven.co.uk for Boundary Brighton.

Boundary Brighton, Second wave of Artists announced!

Working with tireless passion and meticulous detail the team behind brand new music festival Boundary Brighton add a star-studded cast of acts to their debut show. With the bar set high, new acts includeCraig David, Groove Armada, Jackmaster, Richy Ahmed, Jaguar Skills and many more, to dance-out the summer at Stanmer Park on Saturday 17th September 2016.
 
Craig David has taken 2016 by storm and will headline the festival with TS5; expect a forward-thinking trip to nostalgia; with a heavy emphasis on party. Expect an eclectic mix of bangers from old school anthems and future classics. Commenting on the show, Craig David said "I can't wait to bring 'TS5' to Boundary Brighton! Trust me it's going to go off big time!"
 
Groove Armada will bring one of their famous DJ sets to the first event. Constantly moving and evolving you can expect a set that goes through the very best In house music.
 
Jackmaster has a mercurial ear for making people dance, breaking down the barriers between fun, underground and commercial, he'll always leave you with a smile on your face.
 
When Richy Ahmed is on a lineup, you know the party is going to have some heavy heat. Having earnt his stripes curating some of the DC-10 lineups in Ibiza, he's become a trusted ear within house and techno.
 
One of the most naturally gifted DJs on the planet, Jaguar Skills is insane to watch when he's in full flow. Tweaking every single knob on the mixer, his technical wizardry puts others to shame. From rock to rave, hip-hop to rap; he'll be mixing it all up with ninja skills.
 
Iron Dread, the righteous rhyming Lioness will bring her junglist flow to Congo Natty's set. A proper party starter she'll bring a touch of carnival to Stanmer Park.
 
Boundary is all about doing things a little differently, so we've called on the eccentricity of Bob Kerr and his Whoopee Band, a mad cap jazz outfit formed in 1967. They're as brilliant as they are utterly insane. They are joined by Mr Wilson's Second Liners – A New Orleans band are bubbling over with serotonin infused 90's rave classics. An anarchic extravaganza, bursting with colour and sound, rallying impromptu raves at every turn.
 
Toni Varga has built a career on connecting with the audience, which has made him a staple on the Elrow lineups globally. He'll be bringing his experiential electronic rhythms to the Elrow stage.
 
With previously announced acts including Seth Troxler, Wilkinson, Bondax, Jungle, Snake Hips, Toddla T, Tom Trago, Gentleman't Dub Club, Submotion Orchestra and Congo Natty, Boundary Brighton's debut show will offer a vibrant array of music to keep festival-goers on their toes and dancing throughout the day. 
 
With further surprises yet to come, presale and first release have completely sold out with second release tickets running low.
 
 

Groove Armada, Norman Jay and more added to Masked Ball Festival

Having recently announced plans for their ‘decade of decadence’ 10thanniversary festival, The Masked Ball can now reveal that Groove Armada, 2ManyDJs, Norman Jay MBE, London Elektricity and many more are also set to join their creative weekender on 20th – 22nd May
 

 
The 10th birthday Masked Ball – this year staged over three days, each with its own very special vibe – will boast 12 elaborately-themed arenas,
 
There'll also be whole new area modelled around 'A Manor House' – a stately home inhabited by the most debauched and demented members of the aristocracy, complete with its own unique take on the traditional garden fete and featuring bizarre attractions like live pig racing, a huge waterslide and hot tubs.
 
Shaping up as what’s set to be an incredible showcase of talent across the electronic music spectrum, the first to join festival headliners Basement Jaxxand Jungle is Groove Armada, who will return to Porthleven after making their festival debut back in 2014. Eclectic selector’s 2ManyDJs – the touring alias of Belgian outfit Soulwax – are also billed, whilst purveyor of ‘Good Times’, the legendary Norman Jay MBE, will deliver a masterclass in turntablism for partygoers seeking an injection of funk, soul and jazz. Elsewhere, an appearance from drum and bass institution London Elektricity is scheduled alongside MC Dynamite, with creative party-starters krankbrother no strangers to the festival’s themed proceedings.
 
With a host of support also coming from the likes of Solid Steel’s DJ Cheebawho will be providing an extra special tribute to the late great David Bowie, as well as Stockholm club scene stalwart Mad MatsThe Masked Ball’simmersive offerings will be just as impactful – providing a multi level party kingdom where themed venues range from the outrageous to the downright spectacular. Expect a myriad of rooms, dancefloors, dens, hidden bars and even bathtubs that are all themed around a majestic stately home, making The Masked Ball’s ‘decade of decadence’ milestone one certainly to remember.
Line-up:
 
2MANYDJS, BASEMENT JAXX, GROOVE ARMADA (DJ), B.TRAITS, BEN PEARCE, JUNGLE (DJ), JULIO BASHMORE, LONDON ELEKTRICITY & MC DYNAMITE, MIKE SKINNER (DJ), NORMAN JAY MBE, PAUL WOOLFORD
 
APRÉS, BOCA 45, BRANDON BLOCK, DAYTONER, DJ CHEEBA ‘SOUND AND VISION’ (A TRIBUTE TO DAVID BOWIE), CRAIG RICHARDS, DAYTONER, DJ GRIFF, HEAVENLY JUKEBOX, HORSE MEAT DISCO, JAC THE DISCO, KRANKBROTHER, MAD MATS, MONGOLIAN DISCO, PBR STREETGANG, PETE FOWLER, PETE ISAAC, PETE WIGGS, RAF DADDY, ROBERT OWENS

Bugged Out Weekender 2016 Review

What do you get if you throw 50 of the biggest names in house, techno, garage and grime into Butlins with thousands of other party hungry ravers from across the country that are beyond fed up of the January blues? The biggest party this side of winter, that’s what. Who ever thought up the idea of getting DJ's to play at what is usually a relaxed, child-friendly family holiday resort is, unquestionably, a genius. Because it works unbelievably well…

BOW2016 - Luke Dyson - 83 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

After resurrecting Floorfillers Club Classics from a dusty glovebox early on during our Friday afternoon journey, it proves the perfect soundtrack to get us in the mood for a weekend at Butlins.

As soon as we've checked in we head to Spar for some essentials. Though, instead of the usual mum-friendly songs on its radio, it's a Bugged Out Weekender takeover as Skream's ‘Midnight Request Line' subtly makes itself heard. And it's not just the corner shop with an unusual soundtrack. The lifts, too, reject their usual music as Artwork preaches, "What comes up must come down" and "don't forget to eat before the pool party" as just two of the cheeky remarks to guide everyone along…

BOW2016 - Luke Dyson - 3 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

Heading into the main pavilion we’ve no idea what to expect. Greeted by a man in full Star Wars attire, we zoom past retro arcade games to check out DJ Barely Legal's grime and bass-heavy set. Not much later and we’re running into Reds – 'the home of the Redcoats' – as B Traits drops Barnt's face-melting techno thumper, 'Chappell' … everyone’s practically forgotten we're in Butlins by now. 

Instead, we could be at any of the country's best clubs. With an unexpectedly strong sound-system, a good-sized stage, expansive dance-floor and incredibly on-point strobe lighting set up – Reds is where we spend most of our nighttimes…

Groove Armada put in a set full of euphoria, dropping 'You've Got The Love' to arms-in-the-air effect. There's almost a Bestival vibe to the night so far; one group of lads sport homemade ‘to dare is to disco’ printed t-shirts. Everyone’s just high on happiness.

BOW2016 - Luke Dyson - 15 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

Meanwhile, in the more intimate Escape setting Erol Alkan is delivering the perfect electro set, and DJ EZ takes a packed Centre Stage crowd on a one-hour journey of past, present and future hits.

Grime, house, pop and garage – you name it EZ's playing it. From Bieber ('Where R U Now') to Stormzy ('Shut Up') to AJ Tracey ('Naila') to Chase & Status ('Hypest Hype') and even a weird-but-it-works edit of The Clash ('Should I Stay Or Should I Go?') …it's a bit like being at Oceana on a Saturday night. 

BOW2016 - Luke Dyson - 24 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

Saturday afternoon rolls round too quickly and before we know it it's time to start drinking again – plans to explore Bognor’s beauty are fast disappearing…

Armand Van Helden, following Eats Everything’s energetic house and techno, plays a 90's throwback set – attracting one of the Weekender's biggest crowds and a whole lot of confetti. It’s all about unashamed fun as Mouse T’s ‘Horny’ is met with two guys waving their half-eaten carrot and cucumber in the air like glow-sticks. Completely ridiculous, it seems we are at Butlins after all. 

This is all going on whilst Mumdance takes a smaller but focused crowd through a hard-hittIng ear-punishing soundscape of electronic bleeps and bass in The Escape; whilst back on the Centre Stage, Skream and Jackmaster are preparing for Bigger Than JESuS with Armand and Eats, who see us through the rest of the night perfectly. 

With Jackmaster behind the decks, Skream adds a new string to his bow, acting as a sort of hype-man by coming crowd level to encourage a clap along; at Bugged Out Weekender the fun never stops…

TomHorton-BuggedOutWeekender-2016-374

 

With it being the last day at Butlins, it’d be shameful not to check out a pool party. Inflatable’s, slides, wave machines, a lazy river, hot tub and dozens of dinghy's are just the tip of the iceberg – because it’s soundtracked by house and disco purveyors Bicep, a duo who’s 2015 was nothing short of amazing. As Sunday afternoon's go, this one takes the crown.

TomHorton-2016-01-17-BuggedOutWeekender-9744 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

Come midnight we're straight down the front for Glaswegian star-in-the-making Jasper James's brilliant house and techno set. There’s not one track that misfires throughout Jackmaster’s housemate’s 90-minute set. We even watch man on his own, at least 70-years-old, throwing some crazy shapes; whilst a group of guys physically bow down in front of Jasper.

With the whole crowd applauding and having the time of there lives, there's an energy from the constantly on-point track selection – highlights: Emmanuel Jal ‘Kuar’ (Henrik Schwarz Remix) and Lil Louis and the World ‘I Called U (The Conversation)’ – that's been, so far, unmatched…

That is the case … until The Black Madonna puts in an effortlessly show-stealing performance. Most artists would struggle to follow a great set like Jasper’s, but Marea Stamper takes the pressure completely in her stride. Having played a show in Istanbul on Friday, it wouldn’t be wrong to expect she’d be just a bit tired, but no. Contrastingly, it’s rare to see a DJ getting as involved as The Black Madonna does. She looks completely at home behind the decks, putting in the most eclectic – and easily the best – set of the weekend.

LUKE DYSON PHOTOGRAPHY_4776 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

From driving, vocal house to heavy, relentless techno, via personal highlights: Green Velvet and Harvard Bass’s sonically blinding 'Laser Beams' and Jimmy Edgar's ground-shattering 'Let Me Tell You' – The Black Madonna keeps the audience dancing like it’s their final night on earth.

It's clear from her hand claps, hair flicks and exuberant moves that she's up for a proper party. I could carry on with how great it was – especially the tribute to Bowie near the end – but The Black Madonna summed it up perfectly on Twitter: “I was maniac raving out here! … I literally don't know if I've ever danced as hard as I did on these last two shoes”. We couldn't have put it better…

Closing out Reds for another year, Bicep take the reigns for a set that ends up extended by an hour – because it was so good. Opting for Hubie Davison's brilliant 'Sanctified' to open, they don’t put a foot wrong from thereon. House music legend Kerri Chandler, meanwhile, provides the perfect send off at Centre Stage with a New York classics set full of soul and piano chords aplenty. Veering from a rapturously received ‘You’re In My System’ to ‘Lost In Music’, there’s no age limit. 

LUKE DYSON PHOTOGRAPHY 5043 - summerfestivalguide - Flickr

“I’ve been raving since 1986,” explains a middle-aged man dressed in a flowing metallic cape with a neon pink flashing cupcake attached to his head. “It’s real music,” he gushes. “I do struggle to keep up these days, but I manage … somehow!” And that’s what the Bugged Out Weekender is all about. Offering fun for everyone, it doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are, when you get to Butlins all your inhibitions are forgotten. As the banner inside Reds reads …

‘IT’S JUST A BIG DISCO!’

Clean Bandit, Groove Armada, Eton Messy and more set for Corona Sunsets

After a triumphant debut, Corona SunSets will be making its way back to the stunning shores of Weston-Super-Mare on the 11th July. This next edition will see chart toppers Clean Bandit headlining the beach-fronted festival with a whole host of amazing electronic acts!

One of the planet’s biggest selling dance acts, Groove Armada, are set to make their Griffin Stage DJ debut at Corona SunSets festival. Groove Armada have been a staple to the electronic scene for the past 20 years and will be bringing their sublime sound to the west coast. Rocketing to fame in recent years, new kids on the block and tastemakers of modern clubland, Eton Messy, are also joining the bill along with Bestival boss Mr. Rob da Bank, Berlin’s Claptone and Janis Jakobsons AKA Uppfade.

Groove Armada said “If you like a GA sunset with a twist of lime, Weston super-Mare is the spot. Join us beachside, July 11th”

The Crown Stage will be hosted by a combination of Bristol's finest party starters, Motion, Team Love andThe Blast who will bring some of their favourite acts to the stage to party into the night, including the mightyCrazy P, legendary disco don Greg Wilson, carnival king Toddla T feat. MC DRS and a very special live performance from Jus Now.

Corona SunSets Festival at Weston-super-Mare will not only showcase an impressive line-up, but will also offer unique tastes and flavours courtesy of globally-renowned chef Andre Amaro, with his delicious wood-fire-based cuisine, and the Shaker Boys who will concoct Corona-based cocktails.

Festivalgoers attending SunSets will also have the opportunity to visit a festival marketplace offering local crafts and clothing, experience relaxing activities, including therapeutic massages, and encounter creative characters such as Corona Goddesses and Nymphs who embody the spirit of SunSets.

Corona Sunsets kicked off in the brand’s home of Mexico to a sold out crowd in Playa del Carmen on May 2. The event, held at Mamitas Beach Club, was a unique experience for fans in that market and featured global and local music artists such as Laidback Luke, DJ Robin Schulz and Mexican Institute of Sound. In addition to Mexico and the upcoming festival in the UK, SunSets will be introducing four additional large-scale, but still intimate and laid-back, festival experiences in Italy (July 25), Spain (Aug 13), China (dates TBC), and Australia (dates TBC).

Corona SunSets will additionally bring over 150 SunSets events in more than 20 markets including Rio de Janeiro – Brazil, Santiago – Chile, Toronto – Canada, Goa – India, Okinawa -Japan and Dubai. “Music is a passion for our fans – along with travel, food and culture,” said Steph Okell, Marketing Director UK for Corona. “The Corona SunSets platform gives us an opportunity to combine all four into an immersive experience around the world.”

Love Saves the Day Review 2015

The Bristolian two day event kicked off to a sunny start, bringing in flocks of hipsters from far and wide to Eastville Park. Saturday was a sell-out with queues of up to two hours to get into the festival site and huge lines for both the bar and toilets too. Despite the lack of amenities the curation of the festival was really well done, with all tents hosting an array of sounds for all tastes. With lots of Bristol performers, caterers and exhibitors, Love Saves the day 2015 definitely seemed a joyous celebration of the cool and diverse city.

Established as one of the best and biggest selling electronic acts, Groove Armada was one of the most legendary names to perform at Love Saves the Day this year. The relaxed and chilled vibes of daytime main stage instantly filled into a crowd of avid fans eagerly awaiting the electronic music duo. At the first kick drum the crowd went wild, kicking off the party atmosphere at main stage. Playing samples of 'I see you baby' the duo quickly move on delivering to a sea of raised arms and shoulder riders. Towards the end, the crowds attention began to slant just before teasing us with the legendary party anthem 'Superstylin' then kicking into it in full at the end just in time for sunset.

Cloud 9 presented by Apex proved to be tent for the party atmosphere hosting the likes of Tourist and Gorgon City. Tourist- a Grammy winning artist is certainly grabbing the musics lovers attention and 2015 has been a good year for him. As well as an excellent musician, he proved himself as a phenomenal DJ for Saturday Love Saves the Day. At no point did the crowds attention seem to stray. Gorgon City also provided a high finish to a night for the house/ garage fans.

The London singer/songwriter Jessie Ware, turned out to be a wonderful wind down a predominantly DJ and dance night. With some technical difficulties at the beginning Jessie Ware smoothly brushes it over by greeting the crowd. Her soulful and flawless voice eased us into sways of utter blissful happiness. Right before the end of the set Ware announces to 'slow dance with person you are standing next to' to which we complied singing the heart stopping 'Wildest Moments'. With the stage lights now turned off and heading back through the cold, the atmosphere of sheer satisfaction was upon the crowds face as you could hear passers-by singing Jessie Ware lyrics.

Saturday’s sunshine and atmosphere was the perfect way to really kick off the festival season and although the prior weather reports suggested otherwise, Sunday’s proceedings started in much the same way. Again, queues for the bars and toilets were a slight annoyance, even though tickets were still available on the door but it was nowhere near as bad as the first day. Perhaps the fewer people seeing the entire festival through were really making the most of the penultimate bank holiday before Christmas!

Giant illuminated signs outside the festival gates informed Sunday’s crowd that it was ‘party time’, and if any of the stages at Love Saves the Day lived up to this promise, it was the ‘Shambarber’ stage. Tucked away in the corner of the site, sheltered from the wind by the Paradiso tent and a slightly quieter bar ;) – this place was alive with festival spirit. It was a suntrap, with Dirtytalk and Jethro Binns providing the perfect accompaniment of feel-good house tunes making it really difficult to leave.

After a day outside, it was time to get some shade inside the paradise stage – one of the festival’s two larger tents. Floating Points’ stepped out, accompanied by a familiar face in Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), who must have been getting into the zone for his set later in the night. Floating Points’ impressed with yet another feel-good festival set – something he can be relied on. Whilst scatterings of electro-funk and disco took the premise, it was his own record ‘Nuits Sonores’ which really stood out as being something special.

After this a set by Daniel Avery which was again a lot of fun (although a little tamer than the last time I saw him at Manchester’s Soup Kitchen) it was the turn of Four Tet to take to the stage once again. Four Tet is an artist in the true sense of the word and once again he sculpted the perfect set to close the festival for the Paridiso tent’s crowd. He threw out tunes from every corner of the world, with samplings of African music seamlessly transitioned into deep electronic soundscapes. He treated our ears to some of his own tracks, with the reaction of the crowd to the haunting ‘Angel Echoes’ standing out as a highlight to the whole festival.

The time had come to get ready to round off a really memorable weekend and it was down to Harlem’s own Azealia Banks to close it out in style. Whilst Miss Bank$ has been known for a number of high profile arguments with other certain celebrities in the past, at love saves the day she let her music (and dancing) do the talking. Donning her sparkly purple jacket and white high tops and joined by her backing dancers, she covered and owned every inch of the stage. Singing and rapping along to songs which ducked and dived between hip-hop and popular dance in style, she brought her A-game from in the opening song of ‘Idle Delilah’, continuing to impress through to her arguably most famous track in ‘212’. There was no grand exit from Azealia – a simple ‘Thank you Bristol’ and she was gone.  

Love Saves the Day add Groove Armada, Jackmaster and more

With just over seven weeks to go until Love Saves The Day sets up in it's new home at Eastville Park, more big names have bene added – including chart-topping dance duo Groove Armada – to a stellar music line-up, which already includes headliners Jessie Ware and Azealia Banks

Love Saves The Day will see over 300 acts perform across six stages to 30,000 people. Weekend tickets are already sold out, and day tickets, which are still available for Saturday and Sunday are expected to sell-out in a matter of weeks.

As the festival moves to a bigger, better site in Eastville Park this May (Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th), Love Saves The Day is pulling out all the stops with a line-up that will put it firmly on the map as one of the UK's most exciting music festivals. 

ARTISTS ADDED

Joining Groove Armada – as new additions to Saturday's line-up – are DJ and co-founder of the 'Numbers' record label, Jackmaster and Bristol born and bred RnB singer, Raleigh Ritchie, whose star has risen rapidly since the launch of his debut album in 2013. 

There's also plenty of good news for dub, reggae and roots fans who can look forward to a heavyweight line-up of living legends over the weekend including David Rodigan MBE, Horace Andy and Jah Shaka with a special all-day session from the epic Channel One Sound System.

STAGES

With six stages to choose from, Love Saves The Day fans will be spoilt for choice in Eastville Park this May. 

On the Main Stage, huge international artists like Groove ArmadaJessie Ware and Azealia Banks will play alongside up and coming local acts like singer-songwriter Rae Morris and the hyperkinetic Trinidad/Bristol collaboration, Jus Now

The Paradiso Stage – with its 'cosmic, exotic Arabian Nights vibe' – will be dedicated to house and techno with an epic big-room line-up on the Saturday featuring Tale of UsJackmaster andGeorge Fitzgerald. On Sunday, the stage will feature cutting edge sets from the likes of Four Tet, Errol Alkan and Daniel Avery

The 'tribal, tropical, carnival' themed Apocalypso Stage will have more of an underground slant featuring the skills of Âme, Craig Richards and Leon Vynehall on Saturday. Sunday will be hosted by prolific producer Shy FX with a massive line-up of dub, drum 'n' bass, grime and garage legends including Wiley, Skepta and David Rodigan

Over on Cloud Nine, nu-house and bass will be order of the day with big chart names like Gorgon City and Hannah Wants alongside rising stars of the West, like Gotsome, on Saturday and bass heavy grime, garage and dubstep on Sunday featuring Redlight, DJ EZ and Newham Generals.

On Saturday, the Just Jack extended family will take over the 'love shack' themed Brouhaha Stagewith house and techno selectors Soundstream and Dyed Soundorom on the bill. Sunday will see the legendary Channel One Sound System take up residence, hosted by Bristol institution,Teachings in Dub

House, techno and disco will be in abundance over at the Cocktails & Dreams 'beach hut' with an all-star selection of Bristol's most prolific party starters including Icarus, Apex Collective, Stamp The Wax and Dutty Girl

Huge lineup announced for The Big Feastival 2015

On the music bill, The Big Feastival welcomes Groove Armada (DJ Set), to headline the main stage on Friday 28. Fresh from winning Best British Female at the BRIT Awards last week, iconic songstress Paloma Faith will bring the weekend to a close on Sunday 30 August.  With the Saturday Special Guest Headliners still to be revealed, this year’s festival is set to be the best yet.

Also on the bill and making her debut at The Big Feastival this year is popstar Ella Eyre, the voice of massive hit singles “Waiting All Night” and “Gravity”. Legendary hip-hop star and DJ, Grandmaster Flash will also make his first Feastival appearance alongside festival favourites The Cuban Brothers, much-loved DJ Norman Jay MBE and beat boxers Duke, all announced to perform across the weekend.

Groove Armada said: "The second most important thing for us when we're planning a gig, with the first being music, is where we're gonna have dinner. So on that basis this show is properly gonna go off, gourmet Groove armada style."

Saturday’s headline performance, the full line-up of music acts, satellite stages and brand new music workshops will be revealed soon.

Known for bringing sensational culinary talent to the stage, The Big Feastival has announced the initial programme of chefs set to join Jamie Oliver this year. Two Star Michelin masters Raymond BlancAshley Palmer-Watts and Nathan Outlaw will all grace The AEG Big Kitchen, alongside critically acclaimed rising star James Lowe and the inspirational Monica Galetti.  The irrepressibleGennaro Contaldo makes a welcome return as everyone’s favourite Great British Bake-Off finalist Richard Burr gets set to make his debut.   

Brand new to The Big Feastival for 2015 is the Healthy Living Zone, dedicated to the art of healthy eating and wellbeing. Health food pioneers Deliciously Ella, Livia’s Kitchen (Olivia Wallenberg)Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley will head up a specially curated programme of events. Festival-goers will be invited to recharge their batteries with fresh festival fare from the Health Hub, serving everything from freshly pressed juices to sushi.  The Kitchen Counter will feature talks and tutorials while The Action Station will re-energise even the sleepiest of heads.

To feed the foodies, the ever-popular Street Food Alley returns to the festival with the best of British street food.  Visitors are invited to sip, sample and shopThe Producers Markets, cook up a storm in The AEG Cooking Club and get behind the grill with the all new Weber Grill Academy On Tour.   We are delighted to have the Birra Moretti Experience providing that ever needed drop of refreshment, and with pop up dining experiences still to be announced, there will be something on the menu for everyone.

The Big Feastival boasts an enviable line-up of children’s entertainment across the weekend including Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park, Little Dudes’ Den, The Big Top, The Village Green Games and the iconic Vintage Fairground.  The full programme of fun and games and this year’s Very Special Guests will be announced soon!   

Jamie Oliver – 

"I can't quite believe we're headed for our fourth year at Alex James' farm – Feastival just keeps getting better every year. It's already got an incredible line up for music fans and foodies, and I know that we'll only add to it over the next few weeks. As usual, I can't wait!"

Alex James – 

I’m excited to have everyone back to the farm. Three days of great music and delicious food, plus plenty of fun for the kids, it’s the perfect bank holiday weekend. And this year is set to be the best yet.”