31 Aug Dizzee Rascal, Stefflon Don and more celebrate South West Four Festival’s 15th anniversary in style
August’s last bank holiday weekend offered a huge range of musical events, one of which was South West Four, celebrating its 15-year anniversary with a stacked line-up.
Frequent rain showers and mudslide-friendly weather wasn’t exactly the sunny climes of Ocean Beach, but if you missed out in Ibiza this year, SW4 Festival was the place to fill your need for superstar sounds, sights and (some) sun.
Five stages divvied up the many musical talents on offer, showcasing the sounds of EDM, techno and drum & bass on day one, while leaning more towards afroswing, hip-hop and reggae on day two.
Dizzee Rascal, accompanied by his personalized Raskit-theme microphone, kicked off his set on Saturday with old school grime hits from Boy In Da Corner like ‘Jus a Rascal’, as well as more club-focused smashes including ‘Dance Wiv Me’, ‘Holiday’, and ‘Bassline Junkie’.
Nadia Rose followed and her all-female crew of dancers performed ‘Skwod’, ‘Tight Up’ and more during her main-stage set. Jax Jones, the man behind many chart-topping hits over the last few years, didn’t play any games as he drew in a massive crowd providing vibes upon vibes, spinning mixes with his recent tune ‘Ring Ring’ with Mabel and Rich the Kid and many more.
The Heldeep Arena also hosted one of the most anticipated artists of the day, Idris Elba, who played back-to-back with Low Steppa to an overflowing audience who poured very far out of the tent. Despite arriving late, he was worth waiting for as he threw it back to some 80’s and 90’s classics remixing them with current bangers.
Saturday was successfully concluded by headline act Marshmello. Dressed in his usual uniform, a marshmellow head mask, he lit up the stage in every sense of the word. His hot set featured a massive selection of the latest artists and he kept the crowd buzzing throughout his 3D performance, making for a truly end to the first day of SW4 Festival 2018.
The second day of SW4 had a wider range of music with something for everyone to enjoy, showcasing acts such as Big Tobz, Lethal Bizzle, Kojo Funds, Steel Banglez and P Montana, Flux Pavilion, Wilkinson, General Levy, DJ EZ, Stefflon Don, Craig David and the final headline act, Chase and Status.
Grime and garage was a big sound on the final day, as Toddla T performed on the main stage, followed by old school garage-fans favourite Craig David who presented his TS5 set playing ‘7Days’ ‘Rewind’ and more throwback RnB anthems.
The Capital Xtra tent was a mini-festival in itself, with an impressive line-up of artists and producers. Steel Banglez and DJ P Montana hyped up audiences by playing the producer’s back-to-back bangers such as ‘Bad’ ‘Your Lovin’ ‘Fisherman’ and more.
Kojo Funds bought a different flavour to the stage, but he amplified the already energetic crowd as he delivered an extraordinary performance of his best hits, including ‘Dun Talkin’.
Manchester-born Bugzy Malone overtook the main stage and reigned in a massive crowd despite the rain, delivering an energy-fueled performance of his top bangers. Following him and joined by her team dancers, Stefflon Don sang and showed her dance moves in an excellently choreographed routine whilst singing ‘Tight Nooki’ ‘and more tracks off her newly released album SECURE.
Perhaps the biggest highlight was Chase and Status who closed the festival weekend in style, performing hits ‘Take Me Away’ ‘No Problem’ and ‘Blind Faith’. The duo alongside stage performer and MC Rage kept the party going until they closed their set with an echoing applause.
The two-day celebration of 15 years of SW4 existence was concluded in a way truly unique to the festival and the years to come are sure to live up to their last, as SW4 Fest proves to only get better.
Check out Plugsville’s highlights of SW4 Festival below. All photos by Kirin Sall.