Setting yourself up as the last festival of summer is always going to be a bit risky in the UK. And set on the penultimate weekend in September, Hospitality in the Park caught the full force of the wet end to the British Summer.
Many punters were put off by the weather, as despite selling out, the festival site was emptier than in previous years. Those that did turn up though were determined to not let the weather dampen their spirits. A task made easier by being treated to who’s who line-up of international drum and bass. Featuring the likes of Noisia, High Contrast and Goldie.
Set across Finsbury Park the festival was set over six stages each one showcasing a different facet of Drum and Bass. With the likes of SPY and Jungle Jam holding it down on the We love Jungle stage. While drum and bass’s darker and rougher sound was on show over on the Let it Roll stage, where Ed Rush, Mefjus and Noisia led the line-up.
The Medschool tent presented artists from Hospitality’s alternative label. Set in a mock-up warehouse it certainly replicated the dark, sweaty and exciting environment. There Lenzmen alongside Children of Zeus laid down a smooth liquid drum and bass set, easing everyone through the afternoon. This was followed up by BOP who played an upbeat set full of garage influences giving his set a distinct bounciness, which was easy to groove along to. The crowd certainly loved it.
The centerpiece of the festival though was the large Hospitality tent, which played host to all of Hospitality’s biggest names. With a heavy sound system and dirty big subs, the stage was completed by dazzling laser shows all backed by the famous Hospitality H. Metrik took to the stage to perform a characteristically heavy and crowd pleasing set. He tore through drum and bass classics like Blood Sugar by Pendulum and his new collaboration with Friction, Ultrafunk. All this left the crowd whooping and cheering.
The highlight of the festival though was High Contrast’s recently pioneered live set. Backed by a drummer, trumpeter, guitarist and two huge-voiced vocalists. High Contrast took full advantage of the possibilities a live set has to offer. His soulful euphoric form of drum and bass translating well to the big stage. With roaring guitar solos and amazing vocalists who took on the passionate screaming of his vocals of High Contrast’s productions with gusto. It all combined to create an euphoric uplifting set. The crowd was loving it. As the group tore through High Contrast’s extensive production catalogue, with fan favourite Remind me and God Only Knows creating great crowd sing-alongs.
As the night wore on and with ground became increasingly slippery and more and more revellers stacking it into the mud. It was time to call it a day. Following the trail of mud and glitter, like some type of festival Hansel and Gretel, Hospitality certainly continues to deliver top class drum and bass to the people of London. Come rain or shine. Look forward to catching you all back in the park in 2019.