Sundown Festival 2018

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Once again a hectic summer music diary ends with my local festival; Sundown. Handily based on the Norfolk Showground (and ten minutes from my home!) it has grown over the years to become far and away Norfolk's premier music event of the year.

This year saw Shawn Mendes and Clean Bandit headline, alongside a Chase & Status DJ set, Sigma, Bugzy Malone, Wilkinson, Krept X Konan, Sigala, DJ Zinc and the ever green jungle don Andy C.

Spread across an ever expanding site it features a huge main stage, two large dance tents and the improved Koppaberg arena out in the woods . It's well thought out with some impressive fairground rides thrown in and easy access to the campsites. And the organisation is fantastic with plenty of staff and volunteers keeping the festival running and safe. However I would like to see some more litter pickers working throughout the day.

As much as the main stage is a strong draw, the festival seems more geared towards the impressive dance tents. This year I was only there for the Sunday and witnessed Andy C draw another vast crowd leaving his Ram Records tent at capacity. The sound was incredible with bass shaking my bones, as it should. I caught the impressive Delta Heavy and Calyx & Teebee in there too. DJ Zinc I hear obliterated the same tent on the Saturday with some top quality bass music, before heading over to the Mystree Stage to drop a 'history of jungle' set, which he is entitled to do as one of the original jungle DJs.

The sound levels seemed way lower in the Castle tent for Gorgon City, but maybe that's down to the drum & bass shattering my ear drums earlier. Still, it was packed there too with a lively crowd singling along to each of their hits. Redlight also played an incredible set, I'm told.

Over in the Koppaberg Arena Camelphat dropped some some nice chunky house to a lucky crowd, due to its carefully controlled capacity limits. More people seemed to be outside trying desperately to get in. Perhaps next year they will increase the capacity. Radio 1's Monki played an excellent set beforehand too, as did Solardo I hear.

However my highlights were two main stage artists. First up at the more commercial end of drum & bass was Wilkinson performing live, complete with an impressive drummer, guitarist and singers. It was a barn-storming set which went down very well. But best of the day was local lad Sigala performing his already impressive array of dance hits alongside a couple of talented singers. It was a feel good set which seemed perfect with the sun still high in the sky. He knew how to work the crowd and even stopped to get them into his live Instagram feed with his phone. Perfect for a crowd with an average age somewhere around eighteen.

Sundown is what it is. A final tear up before the kids head back to sixth form or University. The last opportunity of the summer holidays to blow some steam off. Get down there next year if you're a fan of the rowdier end of the musical spectrum.

Published on 05 September 2018 by Paul M. Jones

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