This year’s August Bank holiday weekend highlights, if anything, the enduring appeal and depth of electronic music as Creamfields, LED and SouthWestFour roll out their carpets for the influx of DJs and live acts shipping in and the tens of thousands of people gathering to see them.
Indeed if its indie bands and heavy rock acts you’re after, you won’t find either in London town (most of them will be at Reading and Leeds of course) this weekend. What was once the Metro weekender, split across indie rock and dance-orientated days, has now been assimilated into SW4’s two day festival, during which house, techno, trance, and electronica will reign supreme across Clapham Common.
Saturday will see many of the super DJs packing out the terraces in Ibiza stop over in the capital, with headliner Armin Van Buuren joined on the Ministry of Sound curated main stage by none other than Sasha, Eric Morillo, and Pete Tong.
Our money’s on the Bedrock stage however, where nestled amongst techno stalwarts Timo Maas and Josh Wink, you’ll find Holland’s techno whiz Jooris Voorn on just before the ever dependable John Digweed.
Not to be outdone, the Gallery’s stage boasts Paul Oakenfold and another Dutch trance superstar in the form of Sander van Doorn. Elsewhere Mark Knight’s Toolroom label hosts a stage with Funkagenda, Benny Benassi, and Knight himself headlining.
Sunday boasts a far more varied bill, which looks almost too good to be programmed – the eyebrow raiser is the return of hip hop icons Salt ‘N’ Pepa, playing their first London show in 15 years, which is surely bound to be a treat. They share the Southern Fried stage with Herve, Armand Van Helden, and label boss Norman Cook who headlines with a Fatboy Slim set.
Carl Cox brings his Ibiza night to curate his own stage, supported by techno giants Dubfire, Adam Beyer and a full live show from Vitalic. Meanwhile A-Trak, Housemeister, Erol Alkan, and Switch all take a bow in support of Boys Noize‘s stage, which will, of course, be headlined by the main man himeself.
Dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass fans haven’t been forgotten either. With a stage hosted by Together, you’ll find the usual suspects: Skream & Benga, Andy C, Plastician, Caspa, Jack Beats, and SBTRKT all in one spot.
Coupled with the afterparties at Ministry of Sound and the Notting Hill Carnival the next day, SW4 provides plenty of ammunition for a long weekend’s hard partying and midweek tales of benders, hangovers and depleted bank balances. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.