Brockwell Park was buzzing with excited energy on Friday 3rd September, packed with hundreds of music fans keen to hear the sounds of the eclectic mix of underground talent who were booked to play Wide Awake‘s debut festival. Postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the appetite for hearing live music was unsurprisingly tenacious from the moment the festival gates opened and watching the crowds dance and sing along to the likes of IDLES, Goat Girl, black midi, Lena Willikens, Black Country, New Road and headliners shame gave us an overwhelming sense of joy (heavily aided by multiple cans of Red Stripe.)
We’ve condensed 10 hours of live music down to 5 key points that we’ve filtered through our GIHE lens and shared them with you below…
1. Self Esteem is a beacon of hope
Rebecca Lucy Taylor and her bandmates delivered a truly empowering set during their headline slot on the Moth Club stage, complete with a stunning light show and dancers too. When Taylor walked on stage with the words “But There Is Nothing That Terrifies A Man More Than A Woman That Appears Completely Deranged” lit up behind her silhouette, we knew we were in for a treat. Her powerful voice and relatable lyrics filled the tent with a sincere and playful joy.
2. Porridge Radio are great
We’re well aware most people already know this, but Brighton four piece Porridge Radio really impressed us with their stellar mid-afternoon performance on the Bad Vibrations stage. Fronted by captivating vocalist & lead guitarist Dana Margolin, the band ripped through their setlist full of indie bangers with impressive flair. We’ll definitely be catching them live again in the future.
3. Stumbling across a new favourite band feels just as good as re-visiting old favourites
We’ve missed the electric feeling that flows through your cells when you unexpectedly hear a great song in the distance by a new band you’ve never seen live before. Porridge Radio are a prime example here, but we also found ourselves drawn to the sounds of Snapped Ankles and The Murder Capital on the Moth Club stage, as well as Mandy, Indiana‘s set on the So Young stage. We were sad to miss Dream Wife, who had to cancel last minute due to contracting Covid-19, but GIHE favourites Goat Girl distracted us from this gap in the line-up with their charming yet brooding set on the main stage.
4. Brockwell Park is an ideal location for a music festival
We may be saying this solely because 2/3s of GIHE are based in South London, but Brockwell Park felt like the perfect location for a day of indie, leftfield and electronic music. Packed with independent food & drink stands as well as the main bars, it felt like we’d been transported out of London for the day when the sun was shining and the music was blaring from all directions.
5. We’ve really missed music festivals
From running into old friends, making new ones in the queues for the portaloos and generally just watching everyone else have a total blast, Wide Awake really made things feel “normal” again for a split second. We’re hoping that next year, everyone will feel confident enough to come back to Brockwell Park to sample some of the incredible bands and artists who made the festival feel as exciting and unique as it did this year.
Photo Credit: Luke Dyson (www.lukedyson.com)