Live music will soon return to Southampton Common as Rob Da Bank and his team bring Common People back to the city over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. After the success of last year’s inaugural festival, headlined by Grace Jones and Fatboy Slim, the Bestival crew have expanded the festival to also host an event in Oxford’s South Park over the same weekend, with the two locations each hosting the same core line-up, with certain local tailorings.
Heading up the Saturday lineup on the south coast is Craig David, for what is set to be his first headline performance in his hometown since 2013. This time, he brings his dynamic TS5 live setup, which incorporates live DJing alongside his regular vocal performance. Katy B, his collaborator on ‘Who Am I’ with Major Lazer, will take the stage on Sunday ahead of Duran Duran, the legendary 80s new wave group whose latest album Paper Gods was recorded with Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers and released to critical acclaim last year.
Inside the big top, People Just Do Nothing’s Kurupt FM ensemble, who appeared with David on BBC Radio 1Xtra recently for a rendition of ‘Where Are Ü Now’ combined with ‘Fill Me In,’ will lead the way on Saturday alongside the Hospital Records stable of drum and bass artists, including London Elektricity and Camo & Krooked. David Rodigan’s Ram Jam reggae outfit brings the likes of My Nu Leng and Zinc on Sunday, with mysterious duo 99 Souls also taking a turn on the decks in the afternoon.
The stages will also welcome unsigned local bands from the ongoing series of ‘I Want To Play At Common People’ battle-of-the-bands at The Joiners on St. Mary’s Street. Over 120 entrants have been narrowed down to three heats, the first of which took place on 16th February. The remaining rounds – judged by da Bank, the BBC’s Melita Dennett, and The Joiners’ Ricky Bates – take place on 31st March and 21st April, with tickets available now and priced at £3 per heat directly from the venue.
In true Bestival spirit, Common People promises to be a sun-kissed family-friendly weekend extravaganza with a circus, bouncy castles, and a knitting tent to provide gentle distractions from the stage action. For the older visitors, London Road nightlife spot Junk is to co-host a Bollywood Cocktail Bus, with DJs known from their ‘Not Your Thing’ event nights, and the Jam Jar Bar will be open all weekend for all your rhubarb martini needs.
For more information on the lineup, tickets, and venue, visit Common People’s website via this link.