Review: Garage Nation at The 02 Academy, Bournemouth

On the 10th December, one of the biggest garage events in the UK, Garage Nation, returned to the O2 Academy in Bournemouth. Garage Nation is a successful clubbing and music brand, which started in 1997 and has since then enjoyed unquestionable growth. With a huge lineup boasting the biggest names in the scene including Majestic, DJ Luck and MC Neat, DJ Cartier, Oxide & Neutrino and many others, the night would inevitably impress.

The doors opened at 10pm and immediately a large queue formed outside, slowly granting people access to the renowned venue. When we finally entered, the Academy was bustling with people jumping about and singing along to a mix of old school garage classics, grime, bassline and drum & bass.


The energetic atmosphere dispersed around the intimate venue, and it didn’t take long for the dance area to fill up with people raring to listen to their favourite hits. Opening with DJ Listener, followed by Oxide and Neutrino, the night was already off to a massive start. DJ Cartier and B-Live, as usual, had a wicked set and ensured the night continued to provide unstoppable energy. Tunes such as ‘Little Man’ by Sia and ‘Sincere’ by MJ Cole only helped. DJ Luck and MC Neat never fail to get a crowd going with such ease, especially when old school garage tracks like ‘A Little Bit of Luck’ and ‘Masterblaster 2000’ are dropped. The crowd were wild and lapped up every little bit of buzz drawn from each of the DJ’s sets.

Majestic performed his 2016 hit ‘Raised in the 90’s’, which was a huge success with the crowd who sang every word in unison and danced in approval throughout. He also dropped various songs from the new 2016 ‘Pure House and Garage’ album that he mixed together. Well known garage act Oxide and Neutrino played their own vintage garage classics ‘Bound 4 Da Reload’ and ‘No Good 4 Me’ with everyone inside the venue on their feet, guaranteeing there was not a dull moment throughout the night. Ending the evening on a high with Bugzee, the DJ/producer rounded off ecstatically with a range of all genres including a number of bassline and drum & bass hits from DJ Q, Hazard and many others.

We had a quick chat with DJ Cartier about his set at the event, ”Bournemouth is always a wicked place to DJ but tonight was even better than normal as it was a really mixed crowd who didn’t just want old skool classics they were embracing a lot of the new bits too which is great as a DJ who plays the full spectrum of UKG.”


All staff members and security were friendly and helpful with all queries of the night from start to finish. Although the drinks in the venue were pricey, it did not put a downer on the evening. The venue, although relatively busy, was still very spacious allowing everyone to combine their own dance moves however they liked without interfering with others.

After most attendees pre-booking, only a few tickets were available on the door. This made it evident that the popularity of Garage Nation is increasing tenfold, just in time for their 20th Birthday Celebration commencing in 2017. Alongside the celebrations, Garage Nation Festival will be making a return for the second year as well as Garage Nation in the Sun, a 5-night raving holiday. Make sure you check out their events at

Venue – 7.0

DJ/Band – 8.0

Music – 9.0

Overall – 24.0



Tobi Stidolph

Press Manager & inSYNC Writer


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