This year’s lively edition of Southbeats marked the end of the summer and the end of the festival season.
Festival-goers spent all day dancing and raving, in horrid conditions, to some of the UK’s biggest artists. The main stage was host to some spirited DJ’s early in the day who, despite the heavy rain, whipped the crowd into a frenzy.
After making it backstage CultivationUK was able to witness some of these DJ’s in their element. James Hype was one of our personal favourites, leaping around and jumping off any platforms he could find. Kent’s very own Shapes and A Plus, real name Arron Crascall – a social media comedian turned DJ, also gave energetic, bouncy sets to a spirited crowd.
UK Rap was also well represented on the KISS main stage. Hardy Caprio, the Croydon MC who has had an immense year earning millions of streams, lit up the stage and had the entire crowd singing his popular hits. Seeing this backstage was an uplifting moment. Not3’s could not make the festival but was replaced by the equally popular Yungen – who also performed at Southbeats last year. The crowd took to Yungen who also played a number of his chart hits. The boundless rise in the popularity of UK Rap was most definitely on display at Southbeats this year.
Across the other side of the festival were the Drum and Bass and House/Techno tents. These were a solace from the wet and muddy surroundings. These tents, as always, were animated and wild. The popular SASASAS returned to rural Kent for a second year giving an electrifying performance. Wilkinson gave a crowd-pleasing, exciting set while Andy C, a legend in DnB and Jungle, headlined the RAM stage.
Area 10, also known as the house tent, was a dreamy, otherworldly area where familiar 4×4 drum patterns played throughout the day. MK, who has had a breakout year, headlined this stage. Other acts included Route 94 and Danny Howard.
The rounding off of the festival began with the prominent TQD, a bassline and garage group formed of Royal T, DJ Q and Flava D. A smaller but dedicated crowd raved in the heavy rain with TQD – they played a dynamite set full of bassline bangers. Bugzy Malone was the penultimate act on the main stage, after blowing up a few years ago, Bugzy has been on an ascending trajectory and this was evident among the crowd who went wild for the Mancunian. The legendary DJ EZ finished the festival with a set to remember. Festival goers and DJ’s from earlier in the day flocked to the main stage to see their hero – EZ played a number of garage classics and crowd pleasing songs amongst the huge pyrotechnics to end the day.