Photo Credit: Cathy Whatever
The sun was gleaming, the bass was thumping and the atmosphere was vibing. Perfect conditions for Hospitality in the Park 2019.
Over 16,000 Drum & Bass enthusiasts descended on to Finsbury Park for the annual sell-out drum and bass festival. Each year Hospitality in the Park sets a new benchmark, showcasing their vast talent pool within the label, alongside a variety of welcome visitors for the day. Whether your thirst was liquid, neuro, rollers – Hospitality in the Park had it all covered.
“Hospitality in the Park is simply the best day event out there. So many stages, artists, ravers, attractions…it’s like a drum & bass Alton Towers for one day!” – Degs, Hospital Records
Back to back (to back)’s galore
Prior to the festival, there was a lot of excitement for the exclusive duos, trios, and quartets of artists who would usually draw a sell-out crowd in their own right. These did not disappoint.
Much to everyone’s delight, RUN DNB’s Royal Rumble stage was B2B’s for every set (a great place to camp for the day). But there were a number of other stages that featured additional combo-deals, too. A few favourites below.
Break, S.P.Y & Skeptical + GQ
Let me say that again: Break, Skeptical, S.P.Y, and GQ.
This was a rare, potentially never-to-be-seen-again set that had everyone foaming at the mouth to witness. And as expected, the trio threw down a classic set. A personal highlight being when Break unexpectedly flung ‘Dog’s Dinner VIP’ at us. But it was a constant shelling throughout, and their sounds were the perfect fit – unique enough to stand-out from each other, but also seamless enough for a cohesive and compelling 60 minutes.
dBridge & Skeptical + SP:MC
An intimate setting at the Outlook stage, which was tucked away in the corner but seemed to draw a big bunch of educated listeners throughout the day. dBridge B2B Skeptical brought the vibe we were envisioning – liquid, steppers, rollers. They gave ‘Around Me – Klinical’ the standard rewind, sooner after dropping a Mist:i:cal classic in ‘Believe’ featuring Robert Owens; SP:MC giving a shout out to the late Marcus Intalex, and the crowd chanting the lyrics.
Supporting the cause for more women in D&B
Beyond B2Bs, this year Hospitality had its focus on bringing more diversity to the scene. Showcasing more women in drum and bass is high on the agenda for Hospital Records in general – and to support this, the lineup had plenty of representation outside of the usual boy’s club. Not only showcasing scene champions like Kyrist, Flava D, and DJ Storm, but the up-and-coming talents were heavily featured too; with Lens, Frenetic, Sweatpea, 24 Hour Garage Girls, and plenty more. A good look for Hospital and a healthy sign for D&B.
“This was my third time in attendance and second time on stage, and the vibes are just unique. Perfect end to festival season. It was the first time I’d played a PA set at the Park with my mate DJ Lens so there were nerves…but seeing a sea of heads sing words I wrote in my bedroom back to me was something I’ll take to my grave! Incredible. Lens absolutely killed it too.” – Degs, Hospital Records
Mefjus + Makism
Initially we were promised the UK debut of Mefus’ brand new performance concept: Cubed. Unfortunately due to technical reasons we weren’t able to catch it. Nevertheless, his Critical-stage DJ set with Makism was sufficient redemption. Here’s a snippet of the notes I took during his set:
- **Shellshock Remix? Shouts to Noisia!
- “Hit the rooooad jack”
- This is technical
- Mythos VIP now
- He just took Sunday Crunk further than I ever thought it could go.
- Police in helicopter – who doesn’t get down to this?
**Throughout the day many of the DJs were playing Noisia classics – a nod to their contributions following their recent break up announcement.
Camo & Krooked + Daxta
To cap off an amazing day, we got a powerful set from Camo & Krooked on the massive Hospitality Stage. Harking back to range of classics like Take Me Away – Chase & Status, and Stigma – Noisia, played on the biggest rig you can imagine, felt like exactly what was needed.
Lock it in for 2020
As far as drum and bass festivals in the heart of London go, it doesn’t get any better than Hospitality in the Park. The effort they put in was obvious: careful curation of a lineup to meet everyone’s desires, world class stages and sound-systems, and a real vibe that’s not easy to achieve. Hospital Record’s tenure in the scene was on full display.