Review: Docklands Festival 2019


Not much that you wouldn't expect from a night club run festival, but enjoyable nonetheless.

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As predicted when considering what to expect at Docklands Festival 2019, there were countless scenes that should be left in the dark – think jaws swinging, eyes rolled back and people collapsing with lack of security aid. Time of year and weather didn’t particularly help create a wonderful atmosphere either, though the circus tent sets created shelter, and many festival goers oddly seemed to enjoy the mud puddles; reverting back into their toddler Peppa Pig stage of life and splashing about.

Docklands fest had a shocking age range in attendance, with mums, dads, nans and grandads amidst the student-heavy crowd. This made for a strange experience, seeing the tipsy older generations get into the music just as much as the seshy students. Though this proves the DnB-full event was clearly made for anyone into this genre of music, not just a young audience. Other shocking aspects of the festival were the averagely priced fun fair rides – costing just £4 per dodgem car (e.g. £2 per person) – and tasty food, particularly Woodfire Pizza who provided fast-paced woodfire pizzas to the hungry crowds.

Highlights of the event were the sets by Wilkinson in the On a Mission tent and Jag Skillz on the Foreverland stage. Both created wild crowds and impressed with their skilful DJ-ing. The Dock, Dockland’s Switch-run mainstage seemed to gather far smaller crowds, with On a Mission certainly proving to be the most popular stage – evident through the heat of the tent, presumably from an excited and packed crowd. Foreverland also grabbed a lot of attention, boasting the festivals best décor (giant mushrooms, women on stilts, an 80s-acid trip combination), promising an exciting night out at the upcoming Switch/Foreverland event this November 23rd.

Considering the popularity, décor and sets in the other tents, The Dock stood little chance of impressing with its standard club music that lacked as much skill and wasn’t all that interesting. Headed by Patrick Topping, who later went on to deliver the Switch after party, The Dock really didn’t seem to impress quite like its rival stages. Unsurprisingly, this meant that Topping’s after party wasn’t much to remember either; playing a similar set to his Docklands performance, and providing nothing that you wouldn’t have already heard at a regular Switch night out.

So, if you don’t mind getting muddy, seeing some frightening sights and getting seshy with wild older generations, then Docklands 2020 (which I’m sure is bound to happen due to the success of this year’s Docklands) might just be for you.


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