Rob da Bank and co are bringing the spirit of Bestival across the solent to Southampton on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May for the Bank Holiday weekend. Common People is the latest venture from the world famous creative team, and promises a welcome weekend of fun and escapism with headline appearances from the enduring party master Fatboy Slim and the multi-talented Grace Jones.
The two-day metropolitan festival is situated on Southampton’s common in the heart of the city, providing ease of access and the perfect opportunity to give the festival experience a try without having to worry about your outdoor camping skills. Plans are to transform the beautiful site into the kind of wonderland you’d expect from the Bestival team, with unique staging accompanied by oodles of other activities to keep festival goers occupied from Yarnbombing, to Hoedowns, Trapeze Lessons, and a session with Mr. Motivator himself to name but a few.
With headline duties taken care of by Fatboy and Grace Jones, other mainstage highlights will be provided by American rap trio De La Soul on the Saturday, along with violin wielding quartet Clean Bandit. Also worth catching are Years & Years who are fulfilling the prophecies of countless Sound of 2015 lists they featured on, and are going from strength to strength, recently topping the charts with their single ‘King’. It’s also pleasing to see support for acts a little closer to home, as The Novatones and Band of Skulls, both hailing from Southampton take to the mainstage.
The festival also has its own VIP experience on offer with a bespoke area celebrating the Common’s rich history. A luxurious getaway, The Nook provides a chance to relax away from the crowds with its own private cocktail bar, a giant hat tipi, main stage views, and access to premium toilets. VIP ticket holders are also entitled to fast track entrance to the festival.
Also on offer is the Big Top to help you get your fill of grooves and beats. Hosted by Southampton’s biggest promoters Junk Department and DBP/Warehouse Respectively, their lineups each offer a fine selection of the best in electonic music. The Saturday sees world renowned Junk Department take charge of proceedings, with their residents Luca Pilato and Jordan McKinley on the decks. UK techno will be well well represented by Dense & Pika who will be joining house and garage maestro Huxley, and remix wizards Wave & Odyssey on the bill. Dense & Pika will also be arriving in Southampton a little sooner for a Pre Party at Switch May 10th to give a little taster of what the festival is all about. Deep house giants Dusky round it all off nicely as the tent’s headliners.
On Sunday DBP and Warehouse will take the reigns, and if you’ve ever been along to Switch you’ll know exactly what to expect from this lot. Topping the bill is Chicago’s own Derrick Carter, but the party doesn’t stop there with Toyboy & Robin and chart topper Second City joining him on the decks as well as many other proven local names like the High Tide DJs, Foor, ThemAgen, and BITR8 & K1R3Y. Festival creator Rob da Bank will also be showing up for a set that is surely not one to miss.
Meanwhile, The Uncommon Stage will be the proving ground of the stars of tomorrow. Curated by Rob da Bank himself, this lineup represents the esteemed DJ and festival organiser’s own personal selection of the best undiscovered talent. The Uncommon Stage is also the place to drop by to catch performances from the winners of ‘I Want to Play at Common People’, a recent competition run by da Bank in collaboration with Southampton’s The Joiners, and Southsea’s Pie and Vinyl.
Formed in Southampton by songwriter and vocalist Jacob Scott, Pale Seas provide the perfect act for a south-coast festival. The band’s melodic tunes are a breath of fresh air, their laidback guitar work drenched in the perfect chillout vibe and underpinned by swelling soundscapes.
Headliners don’t really need a mention at this point, but just in case you had any doubts it’s worth noting that Rob da Bank has let slip that Fatboy has something rather special up his sleeve for his appearance at Common People. Fatboy’s most recent hit ‘Eat Sleeve Rave Repeat’ has become a motto almost synonymous with festival lifestyle. Of course with an extensive back catalogue of hits and plenty of historic sets he’s no one hit wonder and the perfect DJ to champion Southampton’s new festival.
Prepare to be absorbed into the sonic dreams of Mitchell Stevens, debuting a brand new live show his set is sure to be a treat. As an artist Mitch has gained a lot of notoriety on the Southampton scene in recent years, now living in London, he makes a welcome return to play at the Uncommon Stage on Sunday. For a more in depth look at what you can expect from Cholombian have a read of our recent interview.
Day, weekend, family and VIP tickets are all available. Situated on Southamtpon Common, the festival is within walking distance of Southampton Central train station and The University of Southampton bus interchange.