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Lovebox Saturday

by Gaby Whitehill

And they said it would rain.

We enjoyed another day of blazing hot sunshine yesterday, as the thunderstorms and torrential rain forecasted failed to materialise. It could have been luck…or maybe there’s something special about Lovebox.

We spotted countless weird and wonderful acts wandering through the site as soon as we arrived, including a troupe of dancing mechanics. Meanwhile, Perhaps Contraction and Roundhouse Brass Ensemble’s had heads turning with their spectacularly macabre afternoon parade. The bevy of colourful, at times creepy, circus performers was truly something to behold.

Meanwhile, there were some serious summer vibes happening at the Red Bull Music Academy, where Soul Clap brought the party with a delectable cocktail of disco, funk and techno. A short hop away at the Big Top saw rising electronic duo Bondax inspire mass singalongs to their summery, signature tracks ‘Gold’ and ‘Baby I Got That’ in the packed-out tent.

All this dancing had made us rather hungry, so we made our way to Popdogs’ stand, where we enjoyed one of the best hot dogs we’ve ever had. It was so good that we had two in a row (we’re not proud).

As the sun began to set on Lovebox-goers, crowds gathered at the Main Stage in anticipation of the legendary Nas, who took to the stage to perform his seminal debut Illmatic in full. The crowd roared along in earnest as the rapper aired classics such as ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell’ and ‘The World Is Yours’, leading him to declare “I can feel the love here”. It may sound cheesy, but you could.

It was up to one of London’s most multitalented and exciting exports, MIA, to wrap up Lovebox – and the rapper did an excellent job of it with a high-energy, career-spanning set that never let up. With the first few rows of the crowd having been given neon glowsticks to wave around as the sky darkened and the last two hours of Lovebox drew to a close, it was a fittingly colourful, euphoric end to two of the most feel-good and fun days we’ve had in a long time. ‘Til next year, Lovebox.