Look, I’ve got to be honest with you: until last July, I was certain that the most fun you could feasibly have in a public park was through carting a disposable barbecue and Poundland sports equipment out on the obligatory sunny day of the year and getting ankle-deep in deceptive mud whilst trying to give a Bluetooth speaker a decent perch from which to propel the music of Carly Rae Jepsen. What opened my eyes and heart was Lovebox, the Victoria Park staple, which paired unusually sweltering temperatures with a two-day bill of some of music’s freshest talent, featuring everything from LCD Soundsystem‘s first London outing since their famous goodbye of 2010 to an all-star cast joining Kano inside the Fabric tent on Friday.
This time around, Frank Ocean is the elusive act trusted with Friday’s headline slot for only his fourth show since the release of Endless and Blonde last summer, whilst on Saturday it is Chase & Status taking top billing with their full-blown live setup. On the main stage over the two days they’ll be joined by the likes of Jamie xx, Annie Mac, and DJ EZ for lovers of the electronic, Kano and Mac Miller for rap, Jess Glynne and Rag’n’Bone Man for fans of voices that sell many an album, RAYE and Anne-Marie for pop’s next big things, and RÜFÜS and Sälen for those who like their music both incredibly catchy and with perhaps arbitrary diaereses.
Over on the Noisey stage, Saturday hosts a showcase of the UK’s best new urban talent with AJ Tracey, MIST, and XL’s New Gen collective amongst the names keeping things warm for Kurupt FM and Andy C, and on Friday it is the turn of assorted critical darlings like Solange, Sampha, Kaytranada, Ray BLK, and Rex Orange County. Elsewhere, club brands Fabric and Abode curate DJ offerings headlined by Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, and Eats Everything, and an assortment of alcoholic sponsors bring in their own touring setups with everyone from Soulection‘s Joe Kay and Jarreau Vandal to Will Smith‘s former partner in crime DJ Jazzy Jeff completing the musical array.
Tickets for Lovebox can be found here.