Words by Andy Xu, pictures by Southport Weekender.
Billed as “the world’s friendliest festival”. Southport Weekender came to Finsbury Park on (mostly) sunny Saturday. The festival geared itself mainly towards old school house, disco and funk. Attracting an older crowd, the atmosphere was far less boisterous than most festivals, especially ones in London. This didn’t mean they were any less up for it, they just expressed their turn up in a much more measured way. Set out on a compact site with 6 stages, there was always a lot of music choice though the sound clash from so many stages together, meant you didn’t want to spend too long between them. Kicking off the festivities was The House Gospel Choir. Taking a medley of house and disco tracks and injecting a strong helping soul and funk, the group laid down an energetic set. Backed up with brass and percussion, each member had the opportunity to lead and solo, showing their own styles before rejoining the chorus. All this combined to create something strong and uplifting that if this is what a new season of glee would sound like, everyone would definitely tune in.
A blast from old school hip-hop history came in the form DJ Jazzy Jeff. Coming all the way from Philadelphia, his set started slowly but built into a medley of hip-hop and rap classics that he’s known for. He had the crowd cheering and jumping.
The MC even had the good grace to humour everyone with line, “I think England might win the world cup”. Winning a few cheers. David Morales, a long time fixture on the house scene served as Southport Weekender’s esteemed headliner. He took to the stage showcasing a funkier form of house, which seems to have fallen out of mainstream fashion recently, but still has a large crowd supporting. Especially among the older crowd it seems. Everyone was getting down to the beats that’s for sure.
As the day drew to a close Southport Weekender seems like a little gem on the London festival scene. With less of the franticness that seems to surrounds a few of the other festivals. It’s a more chilled but no less fun day out in the park.