It’s hard to believe Lovebox started its life as a club night on Tottenham Court Road in 2002. 15 years later, we’ve outlasted three prime ministers and two mayors – and it’s safe to say we’re taking up a little more room these days.
Lovebox made the beautiful Victoria Park our home back in 2005, and we’ve been a defining part of east London’s ever-expanding, infinitely growing music scene ever since. We love making our small contribution to making this city what it is…and we couldn’t have done it without some key figures over the years.
Which brings us nicely onto our new interview series, 15 Years of Love; conversations with some of the people who have made Lovebox possible for nearly two decades – whether they’re behind the scenes, or on the stage. 15 years of music, 15 years of good vibes and 15 years of love. Next up: James Hillard of Horse Meat Disco.
What year was your first Lovebox?
I was actually at the very first one on Clapham Common. Not in any DJ capacity as we hadn’t started Horse Meat Disco then but I helped to blow up over 5000 balloons to cover the roof of the DJ tent – something that I had got quite good at after doing a few Loft parties with David Mancuso.
What’s your favourite Lovebox memory?
The first year that the NYC Downlow made its debut at the festival. We were all so excited and filled with so much love after the first appearance at Glastonbury a few months previous. The weather was a lot better than it was at Glastonbury. Who would have thought that the Downlow would go on to be one of the best clubs in the world. Well I did! It’s by far the best installation I’ve ever seen at a festival let alone be involved in it.
What makes London such a great city for music and culture?
Diversity and a hedonistic spirit.
Since Lovebox began 15 years ago, what have been the biggest changes in the city?
I like to think that with the forces of gentrification, rising rent and Brexit the young people in London have become much more switched on politically and music and culture has reflected this. In terms of music and nightlife I guess the disappearance of party spaces as well as gay spaces has been an unwelcome commonplace in our city.
What does Lovebox mean to you?
Weekend outdoor rave up on your doorstep!
If you had to pick a song that represents Lovebox, what would it be?
Would have to be something by Grace Jones. Her performance stands out as the best one I’ve seen at Lovebox. Feel Up would be my choice. Although Love Sensation would come a close second, by Lolleata Holloway.
Previously: Jools Butterfield
Photos by Chris Bethell