Preview: Best of the Fests – Lovebox

July 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Reviews

Jez Slater, our resident music expert and guide, gives you the lowdown on one of the coolest festivals to grace our summer and screens… Lovebox.

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An unusually bright and clear weekend last year found me in the lush surrounding of London’s Victoria Park, moseying down to one of the newer highlights of the ever expanding festival season for my first experience of the good will, good time vehicle that is Lovebox. Lacking the rampant commercialism and predictable lineups that have come to define some of London’s lesser weekenders, I was chuffed to find an inclusive, eclectic vibe that swept me on into a memorable couple of days that has now become firmly locked into my summer schedule and, in this sucker’s opinion, should yours. This weekend thankfully sees the return of the ever expanding Groove Armada curated spectacular, as it once again takes crams in an impressively diverse mix of artists over 8 stages.

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Starting out as a club night at the dawn of the millennium the event quickly metamorphosed into a one day event on Clapham common before the weight of its popularity propelled it on to its current sprawling heady heights. Maybe its partly because of the way The Armada (as we know them) have embraced multimedia in promoting the fest. Their site invites you into the experience- says: ‘take off your shoes, show us your photos and see a video of last year or two.’

The downlow- biggest film set at a fest- gets set up

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With the simple yet fantastically difficult to pull off remit of mixing classic artists with innovative and eclectic new sounds, Tom and Andy’s success feels well deserved. This year’s lineup is once again testament to their skills in providing unexpected treasures in the midst of solid gold. This time around, the shindiggery features enough genre spanning wonderment to keep the most discerning music fan entranced. The likes of the always fantastical Flaming Lips, the energetic message that is Manu Chao et al and of course the Armada themselves will punctuate the main stage. But you don’t have to look too far for the more than worthy alternatives of Liam Finn, The Young Knives and The Go Team plus countless others. Chuck in some yoga workshops, a flying circus and a fun fair and you have a weekend of scant compare. If you’re not one of the lucky golden ticket holders you can still pick up full weekend and Sunday passes for a truly reasonable £65 and £35.50 respectively. Way cheaper than what the scalpers are flogging them for elsewhere.

I’ll see you there. I’m going this weekend and we’ll give you the full account next week on www.onthebox.com.

Oh and have a look at the site and buy tix here