Shockout Festival 2018 – The Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, UK

Following on from the success of Hospitality in the Park and following in the tracks of great festivals like West Fest, Shockout came to the Royal Bath and West on an absolutely freezing February night. The cold and remote location certainly didn’t stop the thousands of revellers who arrived – all keen to hear their favourite Drum and Bass artists.

The set up for the festival was impressive, set out across four large covered stages. As well as a variety of fairground rides and outdoor chilling spaces. Though quite how much use these got with the icy conditions is unclear.

The festival was centred around the Blast Stage, which played host to the bigger names on the night. A long, cavernous warehouse with a handy balcony for those who weren’t feeling being in the thick of it. The stage was complete with giant flashing screens, which added to the already dizzying light show. The production value put on for a one-night festival was certainly impressive. Featuring the likes of bass house/ bass line artists like Holy Goof, Flava D and My Nu Leng. As we arrived, Holy Goof was in laying down a strong set, playing tracks like Gammy Elbow VIP, the party was in full swing.

The stage also played host to festival headliner J Hus, who certainly was not without his mandem when took to the stage. Performing the highlights from his breakthrough album Common Sense. Mr White Benz Black Benz, had the crowd singing along for the full 30 minutes of his set. His inclusion on the festival line-up had seemed unusual given the focus of the festival but proved to be a welcome addition. Adding a bit of Afro Bashment spice to proceedings.

What most people were here to see though, was pure unadulterated drum and bass. Which was in plentiful supply on the Hospitality and DNB Arena stage.

At the DNB Arena stage, Kasra & Randall presided over a packed tent. Playing a jungle heavy set, which very much favoured new school rather than old school. Though that didn’t faze anyone there who were giving it their all. The Prototypes didn’t let the energy slip as they followed, playing a dark heavy set.

Over on the Hospitality stage, all the Hospitality mainstays were present. London Elektricity, Etherwood, Nu:Logic, the list goes on. Playing under a sweeping laser show, below the iconic Hospitality H, High Contrast played a euphoric set that really captured Hospitality’s sound for the past few years. Full of high synths and upbeat drums, he ended his set with a bang with his own Goldigger remix.

The highlight of the night though proved to be Metrik. An artist who consistently plays a hard-hitting set ideal for a festival crowd. Incorporating drum and bass classics like Afterglow, mixed with massive drops. As well as giant tracks in their own right like the Pendulum remix of Voodoo people. The crowd was moving for the entirety of his set.

Local legends. My Nu Leng closed out the night. Who after overcoming some technical difficulties played a characteristic bass house heavy set that was the perfect note to end the night on.

As the time came to go, and one pulled on their second or third jumper before heading into the night. All that was left to reflect was that Hospitality continues to go from strength to strength. Each year coming back something new and bigger. One thing unmentioned so far but what makes each of these festivals a pleasure is the crowd. Hospitality events pull in crowds that are here to have a good time but in the nicest ways possible.