Although only a fledgling festival, it certainly wasn't about to skimp on acts, a festival boasting head liners such as Example and Jessie J certainly was going to put up a fight against some of the other smaller festivals of 2013. Although the Layout was a little jarring, (split into 3 sections, the top end featuring the main stage for acts such as JLS and Amelia Lily, the middle section featuring a second stage for more dance based acts,shops and food stalls including the Ska-BQ (which did the best jerk chicken burger I've ever experienced, but lets not get into that now) and the bottom end featuring a fun fair with the epically named ride, Super Bob.
Saturday started off as a sunny day with a breeze that lent itself to some rather unfashionable burn lines on bottom revealing shorts by some of the festival goers. Although a late opener everyone was in and ready for the first act, after some riling up by the the two compares, the duo (who were not dissimilar to Alan Partridge) roused the crowd with some chants and classic school disco Oggy,Oggy Oggies.
The first act to ascend the stage was a single beat boxer titled as Intensi T, he began to get the crowd going by playing the harmonica not dissimilarly to a steam train, with a bluesy edge. He wasn’t to far off a more industrial Ed Sheeran often getting the audience to join in with parts of songs that were on loop. The only drawback of this act was that he only had one original song, and although this stood out as his best track amongst the covers he performed he lacked the intensity that other beat box artists such as Shlomo or Rahzel had, however that is not to say this wouldn't come with time.
The first commercial act on today was Angel, who mixed up his set with a lot of 90's hip hop influences and covers such as Montel Jordan's 'This is how we do', however he saved his most popular song 'Wonderful' until last, much to the crowds delight.
Photo courtesy of Lee Blanchflower
Jaguar Skills was the unexpected highlight of the weekend, placed early evening on the main stage he mixed old school hip-hop, drum and bass and contemporary with his classic 8-bit video game feel, it was here the crowd started to limp a bit as there was a distinct lack of lyrics for the audience to join in with. Jag Skills soon picked up on this and started to work in songs such as the Beatles 'Come Together', to help pick the crowd up again for the rest of the evening.
Closing the Saturday night on the main stage was Example, his stage presence and exuberance of energy was enough to really excite the crowd as he launched into 'Kickstarts', after continuing with this high energy set including songs like 'Won't go Quietly' and 'Close Enemies', he slows the crowd down by playing 'Watch The Sun Come Up'; a classic festival pleaser. After slowing the crowd down he prepares them by telling them that he “wants circles larger” at which point the beat drops for his final song 'Changed The Way You Kissed Me', and all hell breaks loose.
After the excitement and heavy handedness of the crowd the day before, Sunday morning starts with a much more chilled out feel to it, with most of the crowd sitting on the floor on blankets, although there was the odd teenage girl adorned in UV paint denoting their love for Jessie J and JLS.
The First act of the day is De:Vide, a band featured on the Voice (given the Head liner, they of course gave shout outs to their mentor from the show Jessie J) They filled their set with a couple of their own songs, a cover of The Fugees 'Ready or Not' and not forgetting their audition track 'My Girl'
The Next major band to take note of was another TV Talent; Union J, amongst the screams so high pitched only dogs could hear, they managed to belt out their cover set, featuring Love Story by Taylor Swift, Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis and last but not least their first single 'Carry You'.
However it wasn't until later on in the evening that the Union J boys got a real run for their money. JLS bounded onto the stage like a group of 4 overexcited puppies. Singing, dancing and harmonising so perfectly in time that any aspiring boy band would've had tears in their eyes due to their synchronicity. When they finally slow down for a moment catch their breaths they managed to have a giggle with the fans by reading out the banners they have made for them, of course there are the usual 'JLS we love you Signs', but it wouldn’t be a festival in Norfolk without a sign saying “J.B ride my tractor” now would it? The boys then dedicate their final song to all the 'hot girls' in the audience as they launch into 'Hottest Girl in The World'. And of course it wouldn't be a JLS gig without a classic back flip from Aston would it?
Photo courtesy of Lee Blanchflower
After a half an hour wait and one very intricate stage build later, Jessie J storms on stage with a Rocked up version of 'Price Tag' while wearing a toothpaste green crop top and culottes. She then slows down the band and speaks about how there is no definition of perfection and how her fans should no try to be something their not, which leads into 'Nobody's Perfect', and 'Who you are', after giving the crowd a few moments to wipe away the tears (yes, really). She introduces the backing singers and lets them take centre stage as they are leaving due to the fact two have been signed independently, (which is easy to see why, when they then perform a medley of Michael Jackson and Beyonce's work it out). After a breakdown of old and new songs such as Excuse my Rude, Laser light and Do it like a Dude, Jessie splits the crowd down the middle and gets them to sing independent parts as she leads the crowd into her final song, Domino, which has everyone including the stallholders up and dancing, a positively perfect way to end Sundown's third year as a fully fledged festival, its definitely the one to watch for next year.
The official model agency of Sundown Festival, Next Model Management – one of the world’s biggest agencies – have opened the search for one lucky guy and girl to become the new face of the UK’s most exciting new music festival, and ‘selfies’ are the way to enter
The ‘Next Face of Sundown’ model competition runs from 11 July – 22 August 2013. One boy and one girl will be chosen from the entrants on Instagram and given a VIP package to attend Sundown Festival on 31 August – 2 September in Norwich with a friend
To enter, hopefuls should Instagram ‘selfie’ shots @nextmodelmgmt using #NEXTFACEOFSUNDOWNUK where all entries will be carefully reviewed by Next Models’ top international scouts. One boy and one girl will then be invited to Sundown 2013 to meet Next Models in person and attend the festival in VIP style
The prize package includes an introduction to Next Model Management, with the chance to sign globally, two tickets to Sundown Festival 2013, a camping pitch (which are now sold out) and a VIP Pass which gives weekend access to the ‘Bank Fashion’ hospitality area
Example and Jessie J will headline the festival, with the likes of Rita Ora, JLS, Wiley, DJ Fresh, James Arthur, Union J, Naughty Boy, Jaguar Skills and many more also set to perform the main stage. Rinse FM and Hospitality will host Stage 2 with sets from superstar DJs including Skepta, Redlight, High Contrast, Zinc, Netsky, Danny Byrd, Nu:Logic and Huxley, while Circus, Color and Hed Kandi will host the campers-only after-show Warehouse parties. For the full line-up, visit sundownfestival.co.uk
“This competition is a great way for guys and girls all over the UK to be able to get in front of our model scouts, it’s so easy to just snap a photo of yourself and upload it to instagram. If you have always wanted to find out if you could be a model, this is the perfect chance for you” says Ross Young, head of New Faces at Next Models London
Sundown Festival spokesperson, Dion Clements comments: “Fashion and music go hand-in-hand so, following Sundown’s hugely successful partnership with Next Model Management in 2012, we’re delighted to renew and develop the relationship further”
Four new artists have been announced for this year’s Sundown Festival as the event plays host to a selection of some of the most promising young talent in the UK music scene
Joining the Saturday Main Stage line-up – which already boasts the likes of headliner Example, Rita Ora, DJ Fresh, James Arthur and Jaguar Skills, among many more – are the returning Ria Ritchie and newcomer Amplify Dot, whilst Charlie Brown and Ed Drewett will both join the Sunday Main Stage line-up, which already includes headliner Jessie J, JLS, Wiley, Union J and more
Returning to Sundown Festival after last year’s impressive performance, Ria Ritchie is a talented young singer, musician and song-writer. Having written with the likes of Plan B – who was the first to spot her talents – Craze & Hoax (Emeli Sande, Dot Rotten), Futurecut (Lily Allen, Rizzle Kicks, Olly Murs) and Ben Mark (Take That), Ria was signed to Takeover Entertainment and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and flourished through a process of incessant gigging, including supporting Tinchy Stryder, Example and Wretch32, and big things are expected for her very soon
Amplify Dot is a British rapper whose career kick-started – at just 14 years old – when she jumped on stage and blew the audience away with her impromptu performance at a Missy Elliot gig, after Missy asked if anyone in the Brixton audience could rap. Having worked hard to hone her skill over the past decade, building experience in London and LA, Amplify Dot is now signed to EMI and ready to unleash her vocal talents as a solo artist
Charlie Brown is a rising talent whose debut single On My Way entered the UK Singles Chart at #7 late last month. Having signed to AATW in 2012, Charlie has worked with everyone from Wiley, Jay Sean and The Script, through to high-profile hit-makers such as Fraser T. Smith (Adele), RedOne (Nicki Minaj) and FutureCut (Wretch32), while collaborators on his debut album Dreamstate include Quiz & Larossi, MoJam (Emeli Sandé, Professor Green), Focus (Misha B), and Wayne Rodrigues (Nelly Furtado, Kelly Clarkson)
Ed Drewett is the household-name-in-waiting of UK music, having worked with everyone from Pro Green, collaborating and featuring on the #3 chart track I Need You Tonight and supporting him on three tours, through to The Wanted, as the writer of Lightning and the #1 chart singles All Time Low and Glad You Came
Drewett’s debut solo-single, Champagne Lemonade, was subject to multiple delays, eventually being released in 2010 amid sweeping management changes at his first record label. He finally released his second solo single, Drunk Dial, in March of this year, ahead of his forthcoming debut album
Drewett has also more recently collaborated with Olly Murs, helping to pen songs for Olly’s latest album, Right Place Right Time
The full line-up for Saturday’s Main Stage confirmed so far, now includes, Example, Rita Ora, DJ Fresh, James Arthur, Jaguar Skills, Angel, Little Nikki, Ria Ritchie and Amplify Dot, with Rinse FM’s Saturday Stage 2 including sets from Skepta, Redlight, High Contrast, Zinc, Friction and Huxley, with Color hosting the campers-only after-show Warehouse party
The full line-up for Sunday’s Main Stage is so far confirmed as Jessie J, JLS, Wiley, Union J, Amelia Lily and Tich, with Hospitality’s Stage 2 Sunday line-up hosting sets by Netsky, Danny Byrd, Nu:Logic, S.P.Y, Fred V & Grafix and Metrik, with MCs Wrec, Dynamite, SP:MC and Texas all providing lyrics, ahead of the Hed Kandi after-show closing party, for campers, in the Warehouse
The ‘Circus Opening Party’ on the indoor Warehouse stage – again accessible only with camping tickets – will see Doctor P, Funtcase, Cookie Monsta, Brown & Gammon, Roksonix and Krafty kicking off the weekend on Friday 30 August
Sundown Festival spokesperson, Dion Clements comments: “Sundown has always offered the chance to see some of the biggest names in urban, dance and pop music, but we’re also keen to showcase new talent we know have promising futures; Ria, A.Dot, Charlie and Ed all fill that criteria with ease and we’re pretty sure the audience will be among some of the first music fans to see why”
Tickets are on sale now for Sundown Festival, which will take place at the Norfolk Showground on Saturday 31 August & Sunday 1 September. For more information, or to book tickets for the event, visit www.nationalboxoffice.co.uk, or call 0871 224 1112 / 1113