Hospitality in the Park
On the 22nd September, Hospitality in the Park (HITP) opened its gates for the third year running. As it’s one of the last festivals of the season the event was sold out; 12,000 ravers made their way through the muddy realms of Finsbury Park to skank and dance all day to a reputable drum & bass lineup.
Respected DnB acts from several labels including Hospital Records, RAM Records and Metalheadz played amongst other stage hosts such as Med School (XL), Run Vaderz, Main Squeeze vs WAH WAH 45s, We Love Jungle and Outlook Festival to create one of the UK’s best dance music events of the summer. With a lineup that gave punters a chance to explore and listen to every relevant DnB artist in the contemporary scene, Hospitality takes pride in offering an impressive range of artists from original LTJ Bukem to Barely Legal. The lineup of HITP 2018 held itself as one of the most impressive specified festival rosters of the summer, giving us no excuse to hide from the weather and miss out on a day of celebrating the culture of drum & bass.
Despite the sad, grisly weather and the continuous rainfall, there were no qualms upon entry after discovering all stages were inside huge tents – giving a sigh of relief for those who committed to their carefree festival wear outfits and white trainers (yes we made that mistake). The weather did not prevail spirits, and festival-goers trooped through a full day of drizzle, sliding through the mud between each tent to see their favourite acts round off the summer 2018 festival season.
The production and organisation of HITP 2018 was impressive. Being the first drum & bass music label to host their own festival, they know a thing or two about hospitality and how to throw a party. The third year of this show coexisting with sister events such as the newly born Hospitality on the Beach and Hospitality in the Dock, alongside various other events hosted by Hospital Records, just proves the success, love and passion this label puts into each event and helping to continue their reputation as a leading name in the drum & bass world.
The overall layout of the festival and proximity between each stage made navigations between acts smooth, allowing everyone to freely move about and explore each tent despite the awful ground conditions. Lighting, lasers and visuals had everyone revelling in an aesthetic dream as Mefjus B2B Calyx & Teebee & Jakes laid down the heavy beats in the Let It Roll tent. With a large portal-like screen transporting punters into a pictorial daze, coinciding with the madness of the beats, made for an incredible set. Other standouts for production included the large towering warehouse structure of Med School (XL) that gave pure Boomtown-esque, underground rave vibes, making anyone excited to clamber inside to see the likes of Lenzman ft. Children of Zeus & DRS and LTJ Bukem & GQ. The Outlook festival stage also boasted impressive production; a greenhouse-style tent that hosted hundreds of revellers within ‘glass’ windows to showcase what Outlook can bring to the UK. The sounds of Chimpo B2B Barely Legal, Ocean Wisdom and Goldie & Lowqui transported everyone back to Croatia and had festival-goers believing if you just closed your eyes and ignored the rain, you were right back in Pula’s abandoned fort.
Overall, the lineup for HITP 2018 made the day one to remember, covering a variety of sub-genres that attracted an extensive audience of lovers of rollers, neuro, jungle, liquid and all things in between with a BPM ranging from 140 – 180. If you’re into your drum & bass and haven’t yet, we’d recommend checking out some of Hospital Records’ other parties for top quality music, DJ’s and an atmosphere which makes everyone feel right at home.
One of the biggest highlights of HITP 2018 was tucked behind the chaos at the We Love Jungle tent. Pioneers of jungle and drum & bass swamped the lineup with the likes of LTJ Bukem, Grooverider, Kenny Ken and Ragga Twins to name but only a few of the unforgettable acts amongst this multi-genre lineup. Not only is their presence enough to make any underground bass music fan buzz, but the 93-97 history sets are something that can be classed as unforgettable – showing the true cultural path and gateway made from the music; with Jungle Warriors (Potential Badboy B2B Kenny Ken B2B Remarc B2B Ragga Twins) mixing old school reggae tracks and even a hint of an acid sound that shaped most of the early famous jungle tunes.
Performances from the likes of rapper Ocean Wisdom and King of the Rollers were at the top of the league, with one set not being enough for the King of the Rollers who then joined Shadow Demon Coalition – really showing off their ability to change things up, giving an insight to the darker side of the drums and powerful rollers within the genre.
Sound systems and speakers cannot be faulted either with the rumble of the drums being felt through your body, most notably during dnb mogul Alix Perez’s set in the Let It Roll tent. As High Contrast took to the stage for his live set, real euphoria and happiness filled the air as the crowd belted ‘If We Ever’ in unison at the top of their voices – like the true drum & bass family we are, proving this tune to really be the soundtrack of the summer for many.
But, it was not only the music and acts that shaped the day. Production levels, lighting, organisation and stage designs such as Med School (XL) were all tip-top, creating a whole new experience for rave hungry punters. 2018 sure proved that Hospitality in the Park is way more than just a dnb festival in North London on a rainy day in September. It has love and soul. And, we hope will continue for many years to come.