Soundclash Festival

Soundclash is quickly coming to represent the last hurrah of the great British festival line-up. Taking place in Autumn instead of at the height of summer, it’s the perfect chaser to take away the post-season blues, but it still offers plenty in its own right.

Soundclash is really going to appeal to those who wouldn’t think of missing festivals like BoomTown and Awakening. Edging away from the rock you might find at Leeds or the pop you’d get from Party in the Park, Soundclash is mainly a techno, hip-hop, dance, and garage affair. In fact, it feels like a one-day version of your favourite underground festival, and, at a scant £40 each, tickets come at a fraction of the price.

This year’s Soundclash took place on October 1st at Somerley House in Ringwood, Hampshire. Despite the small budget, it provided music fans with plenty of bang for their buck. 20,000 people took in the talents of 75 DJs across 6 different stages. House music was definitely the focus, but you could also kick it at the retro stage. The festival even offered an array of fun fair amusements to liven up your day during breaks from the tunes, and production was truly top-notch. Think laser, light, and LED shows aplenty.

That makes you wonder just how the organisers pulled off such an event without jacking up ticket prices. They certainly didn’t cut any corners when it came to the acts. Soundclash has developed a reputation for drawing top talent, and 2016 was no exception.

Headliners for the night were Groove Armada, who took to the main stage to deliver a phenomenal show highlighted by dazzling effects. They got the stage as warm as possible for British DJ and Radio 1 presenter Mistajam, who entertained with fresh hip-hop and grime. Other top acts included DJ Fresh, who currently has over 2.5 million record sales under his belt, plus a score of top acts drawn from Southampton and Bournemouth nightlife.

You might be forgiven for being a little disappointed when you hear that the music all ended at 1am, but fret not. Soundclash teamed up with the nearby Switch nightclub; anyone with a Soundclash wristband was granted free entry. It’s a pretty perfect match since the nights of October are rarely as pleasant as those in July or August.

With Soundclash 2016 a resounding success, it seems more than likely that the festival will return again for a 5th time. In fact, tickets are already available for their 2017 Springtime kick-off event, which will take place on Sunday 30th April.

Bestival Soundclash 2016, Wiz Khalifa & Sean Paul

Bestival’s fusion of globally-renowned headline acts with a high-energy festival scene has quickly helped to make it one of the UK’s most intensely popular events, and this year’s Bestival is going to head to whole new heights.

In fact, they’ve just announced that Wiz Khalifa and Sean Paul will headline on Sunday night to bring the festival to an awe-inspiring climax. Perhaps inspired by the Red Bull Culture Clash, Bestival will be making hip-hop meet dancehall for a head to head shakedown between these two huge names of urban music. This soundclash should be something to remember, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone whose heart hasn’t started pumping harder and faster after hearing the news.

Wiz Khalifa and Sean Paul have both taken to the idea in style. Sean Paul was ready to let us know that: “I’ve heard the grand finale on the Sunday night is the best festival spot in the UK and I’m gonna bring the fyyyaahhh.” Khalifa was no less ecstatic: “Can’t wait to be back in the UK and perform at Bestival. The fans here have such good energy, it’s going to be lit.”

In all honesty though, nobody seems quite as thrilled by the idea of the Bestival soundclash as Rob da Bank himself.

“We love a big finale at Bestival,” he said, “we also love hip-hop and dancehall and a massive soundsystem super clash between Wiz Khalifa and Sean Paul seems like a solid plan to close off another big weekend of music, of raving, partying and expanding your minds at Bestival.”

And why not?

This soundclash is more or less a UK festival first, so Bestival are about to step boldly into the great unknown. Pretty fitting really when you consider this year’s futuristic fancy dress theme. Rob has let us know that this will be “a Bestival unlike any other”, featuring “futuristic new stages … from every decade and every genre.”

The Cure, Major Lazer, and Hot Chip will also be headlining on the Isle of Wight this year, and we’ve just heard that Glass Animals and Crystal Fighters have also been added to the bill. Sunday night will see Khalifa and Sean Paul as the biggest draw, but you should also check out Purple Rave; Rob, Tayo and a number of other DJs will be performing an audio-visual tribute to Prince.