My experiences with drum and bass lie within the realms of jump up and jungle – having only ever attended Playaz at Fabric (which just so happened to be my first ever rave) and Breakin’ Science. They’re the kind of events where you are likely to hear Bricks Don’t Roll and Mr. Happy get wheeled up at least 5 times throughout the night and (reluctantly) will be engrained in your head for the following week. With that in mind, drum and bass events are seen as a special occasion wherein I strive to release all my energy and skank to my heart’s content.
Hospitality In The Park wasn’t like any of my previous experiences. The festival hosted 8 different stages dedicated to a variety of different styles of the genre. The festival offered punters a unique experience to revel in the dubstep scene that once thrived in the city by bringing the Deep Medi crew to Finsbury Park. It was the variation that I lusted for at events like Breakin’ Science and Playaz. You were surrounded outrageously enthusiastic fans who were ready to show you their dirtiest bass face.
Throughout the day, we explored every tent, truly immersing ourselves in the sound spectrum of the genre. At Let It Roll, we were faced with aggressive, jittering low ends from artists like Black Sun Empire and Audio, who represented neurofunk to the fullest. At the Invaderz tent, you were faced with the rolling rhythms from the aptly named King Of The Rollers and Blackley. Hospital Records hosted London Elektricity Big Band, who gave an outstanding orchestral performance of cult-classics and Roni Size celebrated the 20th anniversary of New Forms with a spectacular live rendition.
At Fabriclive, Calibre played a minimal rolling set that bellowed low end through our riotous selves, whilst My Nu Leng closed with their signature bass-heavy style. Mala finished up his Deep Medi bonanza in true style with a diverse set that ebbed and flowed through dubstep and grime, opening with the beautiful unreleased hype-track Egoless – ‘Empire Of Dirt’. The Deep Medi head honcho had the crowd going wild with The Bug’s ‘Leng’ and closing with the monstrous new release from Joker ‘Mad Night’. The only downfall of the entire festival was the Med School stage that was crowd controlled, inevitably ending up with 45-minute queues to see the likes of Etherwood and Calibre and DBirdge’s debut back-to-back for Marcus Intalex’s tribute set.
Overall, Hospitality gave London the party it deserved, bringing a breath of fresh air to the festival circuit. It is important now more than ever that parties like this exist in the city with authorities continuing to clamp down on nightlife and push thriving communities out. The label has found its London home and hopefully, it is here to stay.
See full photo diary below.