On a soaking Good Friday, Hospitality in the Dock returned to take over the former shopping centre turned events space of Tabaco Dock. As the rain poured, an excited crowd queued outside the venue. Refusing to let the weather dampen their spirits.
With a similar stage set up to last year the first floor featured the Great Gallery, a large open space with lasers flashing overhead. Here a who’s who of Hospitaltiy’s biggest DJ’s and MC’s hosted the main festivities for the day. Opposite to the Great Gallery was the smaller Jungle Jam stage, which as its name suggested showed off a more old school sound.
Headliners Camo and Crooked took an early slot, a somewhat unusual time for headliner acts but no one at their gig seemed to care. They embarked on a set that incorporated a lot from their new album exhibiting their broken beat style of drum and bass that has become their trademark. With the crowd going crazy as Good times and the Bad merged seamlessly into If I could. New material wasn’t all that was on offer, with classics from Zeitgeist such as Ember and Loving you is easy all eliciting strong reactions. The set then built up to climax with their numbers remix. All fans of Camo and Krooked could leave satisfied having seen showcase nearly all elements of their varied discography.
Hidden from view below the depths of the everything going on above was the Car Park, here in the claustrophobic setting of a concrete corridor, Undivide, a project between drum and bass event curators Hospitality and The Blast showed off Drum and Bass’s darker sound. With names like Kill Box and Bad Company dominating the line-up. The narrow winding corridor punters needed to take to reach the stage and music on show, created a dark but exciting feel to the stage, separated from the world above.
Metrik then took to the stage in the Great Gallery. Playing a no frills and highly enjoyable and energetic set, which never fails to get a festival crowd going. As the day drew to a close, the headliner at the Jungle Jam, Etherwood closed out the night with a debut live set. Etherwood himself playing lead guitar and vocals with a full band supporting, he showed off tracks from his three albums. His melodic soulful music translated well to an acoustic medium. Creating a set which was ideal whether you wanted to sit back and chill or keep on dancing. It was the perfect set to close out the day. With guest appearances from Zara Kershaw for hit track Souvenirs, it all combined to add an extra layer of authenticity to already impressive set.
Leaving the venue, it seems that as Hospitality continue to put on event after event. The question is less can the Hospitality put on their own festivals successfully, and more how big will the Hospitality events brand grow to be. With the current formula of new musical ideas mixed with old ones, as well a friendly and devoted crowd of fans, it’s hard to see the growth of festivals and events stopping any time soon.