FOR MOST LONDONERS, WHEN THE WEATHER IS NICE, HEADING TOWARDS CENTRAL IS A MUST. WHETHER YOU ARE THE WALKER THAT WANTS TO EXPLORE THE SURROUNDINGS, OR YOU WANT TO CATCH THAT TAN AS NO ONE CAN PREDICT THE WEATHER TOMORROW, YOU ARE COVERED. HOWEVER, IF YOU TOLD A LONDONER TO HEAD TO ZONE 5 ON A NICE DAY, THEY WOULD PROBABLY REPLY WITH, “WHO’S PAYING FOR THE TRAVEL?” BUT THAT DID NOT STOP 51ST STATE FESTIVAL, WHO, ON THE 6TH AUGUST 2016 MADE SURE YOUR MONEY ON TRAVEL WAS WELL SPENT, AS THEY TURNED TRENT PARK IN COCKFOSTERS LONDON INTO THE LIVELIEST PART OF CITY.
51st State Festival is only in its second year of its existence, so you would be forgiven for thinking it would still be subdued in atmosphere. But on the contrary, it was a festival that had all the elements you would want and more. From the music down to the people, the feeling of positivity oozed out of every pore of the festival with only the expected complaints being about the queue to get in and the queue for food and drink!
“I go to a lot of festivals, but 51st State Festival is actually one of the best ones I have been too, the music is on point the vibe is on point, the music is not new, but we grew up with this music, we went clubbing with this music.” While trying to catch the ever-building drop on the main crowd, myself and Otiss talked about the importance of 51st State Festival. In London it’s easy to get lost in the major festivals, which are now gaining major media attention to their credit. But 51st concentrates on playing music you love and know to the people that are there to truly enjoy themselves.
From 90’s Garage classics, to Motown Soul II Soul and then Barbra Tucker on the main stage tearing down for everyone in attendance. 51st State really had something for everyone. Mixing together, House, Garage, Soul, Reggae with artists and DJ’s spanning from the Caribbean, America and the UK performing. I was genuinely surprised how in each tent I never found myself bored or disinterested, I was in tune with what was going on and always eager for what was next. (Although the Back To 95 tent had me raising one too many gun fingers in the sky as if I was the one performing.)
51st State Festival put on a festival that was well worth the money spent and Sam Jones from Haptic World put it perfectly saying, “Festivals like this, they are more agile and they can be more responsive to where the Zeitgeist goes.” 51st State may never get to heights of a Glastonbury, but to be honest it doesn’t need to. It plays music that will forever give us that feeling of nostalgia but puts it in a way that wherever the Zeitgest decides to go in the following years will still be relatable, and more importantly enjoyable.