London’s beautiful Beckenham Place Park will once again be filled with lights, echoes of bass, and thousands of Drum & Bass fanatics this year for Hospital Records’ Hospitality Weekend in the Woods, which is scheduled to take place the weekend of 17th and 18th September. The highly anticipated full lineup of stages and artists was just released, and the global Drum & Bass community is buzzing. From melodic liquid to heavy hitting, rib cage rattling jungle, upbeat rollers to the symphonic sounds of the Outlook Orchestra – this year’s festivities will have everything to satisfy the Drum & Bass masses.
Weekend in the Woods will feature five stages in total, with different labels representing the stages on the two festival days. The main stage, of course, will be brought to you all weekend by Hospitality, featuring performances, both solo and back to back, by iconic artists such as High Contrast, who will be gracing us with a ”20 years of High Contrast” set, Camo & Krooked, who will be playing back to back with Mefjus, a pairing we all want to see more of this year, Kings of the Rollers & Inja, Flava D, Winslow, Makoto, and many more. With hosts on the microphone such as Linguistics, Ruthless, Conrad, Fava, and Dynamite MC, among others, the festival’s mainstage is set to blow our minds and completely fill our little Drum & Bass hearts.
An addition to this year’s lineup that I am confident stood out immediately to everyone is Fabio and Grooverider, who will be blessing festival goers with a full orchestra performance with Outlook Orchestra. You will be able to catch what will surely be a goosebump inducing performance on Saturday on the Hospitality main stage. After witnessing what this legendary duo gave us with their late January performance with Outlook Orchestra, you can have the utmost confidence that you will be witnessing a musical experience of a lifetime.
I caught up with Joe Goss, Label Manager for Soulvent Records, for some input regarding the lineup for the Soulvent / Flexout stage at this year’s Weekend in the Woods – a festival where the vibes are second to none, he stated. Soulvent Records will be featuring artists such as Mountain and Askel & Elere, repping for the label’s international chapter, as well as artists such as Vektah, representing for the label’s home team. “It’s a real pleasure to share the billing with Flexout Audio, who have been releasing some stellar music,” reported Mr. Goss. Having Halogenix and Skeptical headlining the stage is also “absolutely unreal,” he stated, two sets not to miss – and planning what sets you want to see is something all festival goers will want to do ahead of time, per his suggestion.
Calibre Presents will be a returning stage in the Woods this year, hosted by the likes of SP:MC, Ad, Fokus, and Koast. Calibre himself will be performing with the mighty DRS, a set I am sure we all are looking forward to. There will be a back to back set with Dillinja and Benny L that will keep you on your feet, as well as sets from artists such as Doc Scott, Breakage, and a jungle set by Tasha, which is bound to exceed expectations of even the most deep-rooted, steadfast junglists.
The mighty A.M.C will be making an appearance on the Undivide stage, a definite highlight of the entire weekend. First Ladies Harriett Jaxxon and Mollie Collins will be taking the Undivide stage by storm, and the harmonious duo Koven never disappoints. Fabriclive’s stage will be hitting us with a set from the iconic Jumping Jack Frost, who will be playing back to back with DJ Ron. Danny Byrd will be bringing his unmistakable sounds for our auditory pleasure, and a threeway back to back set from Sam Binga, Foreign Concept, and Hyroglifics will be a set that no one will want to miss from the Fabriclive stage, which will be giving us Cleveland Watkiss and Dread on the microphone, amongst other crowd hyping MCs.
A back to back set with S.P.Y and Randall has all of us looking forward to what the Spearhead stage will bring, as does a set from label owner BCee himself. LSB and Etherwood, two absolutely euphonic musicians, will take us straight to euphoria, and with hosts such as Stamina and GQ, the Spearhead stage is ready to take festival goers on the musical journey we all are craving. Roni Size back to back with Bryan Gee, who will be bringing us a V Classics Set, will be headlining on the Rupture stage, and a set everyone should be looking forward to witnessing, and a Blue Note set from DJ Storm makes Rupture’s lineup even more enticing.
The stage being brought to festival goers by Born on Road and Run in the Jungle will be featuring a lineup that, personally, got my heart pounding just by reading the names on that list. With General Levy, DJ Hype, Harry Shotta, and Eksman, headlining – and support from artists such as Natty Lou, Gray back to back with Crossy, D*Minds back to back with Taxman, and a threeway back to back set from Aries, Kelvin 373, and Selecta J-Man – I can hardly find the words to describe my excitement. And when you add stage hosts such as Trigga, you can know that there will not be a still body in the crowd.
Shogun Audio will be hosting a stage on Sunday, bringing us headlining sets from DJ Marky and GQ, as well as DRS featuring Dogger. Shogun will also be hitting us with sets from artists such as Glxy, Lens, Technimatic, and the insanely talented duo that is Pola & Bryson. With hosts including MC greats such as Visionobi and Duskee, the Shogun stage will be bringing an experience that festival goers will never forget.
In reaching out for comments and input form artists on this year’s lineup, I had the pleasure of speaking with MC Fava, who will be hosting on three stages this year – Hospitality, Spearhead, and the Soulvent / Flexout Audio stage. Fava looks forward to this event, which he said features “amazing artists on incredibly good stage setups, mixed with open minded and passionate people from all around the world and the very best food trucks around.” When asked what he personally is looking forward to most, Fava replied stating “I am very much looking forward to being on stage with Nastia from the Ukraine, the iconic electronic music artist, promoter and label owner. Expect something special from this amazing power pack of a woman who really thinks outside the box.”
If you have not experienced a Weekend in the Woods, you can look forward to “a very lovely ground with nice little walks to all the really powerful and exciting stages,” according to MC Fava. “Some are hidden in the Woods with a more intimate vibe, and built with a whole lot of love – others are in huge, half-open tents, delivering the magical and inimitable ‘Hospitality Festival Vibe,” he added. The presale wave of festival tickets launch this coming Monday, 28th February, at 11am (GMT), with general sale beginning Wednesday, 2nd March, at 11am (GMT). You can head to hospitalityinthewoods.com to sign up to be alerted of the ticket drop, to get answers to questions you may have, to view the phenomenal weekend-long lineup in full, and for information on Beckenham Place Park, including travel to the site and nearby accommodations. I look forward to seeing you all in the Woods, and to coming together again to celebrate our love for this music and our culture, especially after the last few years of uncertainty and grief – with the production and quality that only Hospitality can provide.