After bringing Sean Paul on the stage of our very own Common last year, local festival Common People is almost back, and it’s bigger and better than ever! With a brilliant line-up spanning from ’70s legends to upcoming bands playing across three stages, local food and drink, and the World’s Largest Disco Ball (all this most probably within a half an hour’s walk from most students at our university), May Bank Holiday Weekend promises to be one of a kind.
On Saturday the main stage is headlined by 2000s rebel pop queen Lily Allen merely weeks ahead of the launch of her fourth album, along with Manchester rockers James, veterans Sparks (who are on their 23rd studio album!), and the recently reunited girl group All Saints. These icons are accompanied by indie hopes The Sherlocks, DJ Jasper James, with Honeybloods and Milk Teeth heading up the Uncommon Stage among other fresh rock’n’roll talents.
Sunday has its own set of legends ready to knock it out of the park: The Jacksons (yes, those Jacksons) will hit the stage with undying hits such as ‘ABC’ and ‘I Want You Back’, Boney M. are bringing disco vibes to town with ‘Rasputin’ and ‘Daddy Cool’, while The New Generation, Prince’s band for twenty-five years, will bring one of the world’s greatest musicians’ legacy to the Common. Sunday is also packed: hip-hoppers Jungle Brothers and ‘musical ninja’ Jaguar Skills are joining the fun, along with some more indie-rock bands including local four-piece and Edge-friends Wild Front.
While they definitely can’t go wrong with such a dynamic line-up, the entertainment provided by Common People goes beyond live music. I mean, who can say no to dancing next to the World’s Largest Disco Ball while disco legends are playing the main stage? The organisers themselves are encouraging fancy dress on ‘Sequin Sunday in Southampton’ for what seems to be a rejuvenating day for disco. However, the fun doesn’t stop here; the big attractions also include Bestival’s Inflatable Church, Hampshire Cricket, Llama Karma, the Wall of Death, a bouncy castle, and a vintage fun fair.
Of course you’re not expected to have this much fun on an empty stomach. As always, the festival brings a variety of local street food for everyone to enjoy: from Indian Kitchen to The Gourmet Cheese Company, Kwackers Duck Wraps, and Pad Thai, you’re sure to experiment with some fresh flavours at Common People. This is valid in terms of drinks as well, especially since the organisers are bringing The Great Solent Gin Festival to the table – a festival within a festival (how cool is that?), with more than 50 kinds of gins and its own artisan food market. However, if you’re not a gin fan in particular, there’s craft beer and ale on offer, a cocktail bus, and surely the occasional water.
With music, food, drink, and entertainment for all tastes and ages, Common People is surely Southampton’s biggest event of the year. As organiser and Bestival co-founder Rob Da Bank said, “Come and join the party,” and come you should.
Check out SUSUtv’s interview from last year’s Common People with Becky Hill: