5 Favourite Musical Acts at Festivals 2017

Here’s a list of my favourite musical discoveries and sets – consisting of bands, artists and DJs of lots of different genres – that I saw during festival season this summer! Those festivals included BoomTown Fair, South West Four and Bestival.

1. DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow was a completely new musical discovery for me – I’d never heard of him before Bestival, and only gave him a listen a week or so before going when someone recommended him to me. On first listen I was a bit unsure – it seemed kind of too hip-hop for me, as that’s a new genre for me and was even newer at the time of listening (as I’ll talk about in the next artist in this list), but I gave it a fair chance. Then I tried a different song – and was plunged even further into confusion as this song felt like a completely different genre than the one before, and I started to get into it. And then I listened to his album Entroducing all the way through and really started to enjoy it. He was on our mental list of acts to see at Bestival, not really somebody we were dying to see, but someone we thought we’d enjoy. And while wandering around looking for some music, me and another person fell upon his set and I was blown away. You know you get those live musical experiences – the ones that make you think “music is amazing”, and you’re so happy to be in the right place at the right time, and don’t want the set to end? That was DJ Shadow. He absolutely killed it, and I just wish I could relive it again. Safe to say I’m a fan now, hah!

2. Loyle Carner

The first I heard of Loyle Carner was on the way to his set at Boomtown, where it was so packed people were spilling out of the tent and we didn’t even get inside. But from what I did hear my interest was piqued. In the time between Boomtown and Bestival, I listened to him more, knowing he was at Bestival and I started to want to see him more and more. And then, Sunday of Bestival, the weather was so bad the arena was shut for an hour or so, at exactly the time Loyle Carner was supposed to be performing, and he wasn’t rescheduled. So I still haven’t seen him, but would like to! He’s the first hip hop artist I’ve ever enjoyed, and I’m still exploring the genre at the moment.

3. Midland

Midland is a DJ that set my Bestival off to a very good start. My friends had gone to see an act I wasn’t that interested in, and rather than stand through it I got myself a drink from someone I knew working the bar, wandered into the Bollywood tent and stayed there for 2 hours haha. I see quite a lot of DJs, but this was my first time seeing Midland, and he was really, really good. Really knew how to deliver an energetic set, an awesome selection of tracks that I wish had been recorded so I could listen to again!

4. Camelphat

While on an excursion to find some food while the rest of my friends were still dancing away to something on main stage at South West Four (I’m not a big fan of main stage acts, and my belly was rumbling), I was looking for somewhere to relax while I ate my big, classic festival dinner of paella. I sat and watched Camelphat and really, really enjoyed it – adding them to the list of DJs/acts I’ve seen by myself through wandering aimlessly at a festival haha (alongside Odesza at Bestival last year, and Midland this year, although I had some sort of intention of Midland despite being by myself!). I want to see them again when I’m not stuffing my face with food, and will drag my friends along next time – just like I will to Midland, hah.

5. The Specials

Not a new musical discovery, but I only really knew a few of their songs before seeing them at Boomtown, and I wanted to include them in this list because they delivered such a fun and energetic set! They performed at Lion’s Den at Boomtown, and it really set the fun vibe that followed for the rest of the weekend. The perfect start to the evening before we started wandering around Boomtown’s psy forests, into the craziness of downtown, and getting lost in the microvenues!

Summer 2017 has been good for seeing live music! ๐Ÿ™‚

The only downside to music this summer is I don’t feel like I really got my garage fix – although there was a tonne at Boomtown, somehow we kept missing it all, and the hunt for garage each night became elusive and crazy, as we started off the evening looking for it and got distracted by something else (easily, easily done at Boomtown). (Guess I’ll just have to go again next year to get my fix, hah.) I had some fun at Bestival listening to some garage, just not enough for my fix! We also tried Kurupt FM but their set was a bit too grime for me. I’m going to Boundary festival in Brighton soon as the last day festival of the ‘summer’, and TQD are there, so maybe I’ll get it then! The other disappointment was of course Loyle Carner, which couldn’t be helped, but he’s on my music bucket list to make sure I see him at some point.

Who did you enjoy this summer?

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