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LIVE REPORT: Hospitality In The Park
Denzil Bell , September 28th, 2018 15:26

The rain may have won the battle, but drum & bass won the war at this year's installment of Hospitality in the Park

When I wake up on the day of Hospitality In The Park to grey skies and chilly winds, it's clear that this isn't going to be smooth sailing. It is a well and truly dreary day, one that wouldn't change an iota. The rain is constant from the off, at first its depressing, but my friends and I persevere for the good of the festival. The wet weather had won the initial battle, but we would not let it win the war.

As we push through into the warmth of a tent, the electric vibes of the Hospitality roster help to lift our spirits. Acts such as S.P.Y, with his liquid drum & bass wash over us and transport the crowd to an ethereal plane. But the celestial dream is short-lived; at first the constant d'n'b was bearable, but after a while, it feels like a drill is being pierced into my ear. If I was drunk, I’m sure the jump-up set from Alix Perez would have been enjoyable; but I am stone sober, watching zombie-like punters move erratically to head-banging jungle.

At this point, I needed to find music that would be easy on my ears, so I head to the Outlook tent where I knew there would be some hip-hop. Let me set the scene; I am now in a greenhouse stage, which makes me feel like a plant in a botanic garden. I need some good music to flourish and UK rapper, Ocean Wisdom, gifts me with the perfect mental stimulation. He is the highlight of the festival so far and commands the masses with his masterful flow and astute crowd control. He finishes his performance with his breakout single featuring Dizzee Rascal, ‘Revvin’’ and his bad boy lyrics whip up the crowd into a frenzy.

They say when it rains it pours and Foreign Beggars appear as manna from heaven for us hip-hop heads. As expected, the dynamic duo do their thing, with Orifice Vulgatron setting the stage alight, armed with a nasty flow and an abundance of swagger. He is also rocking a Kaepernick football jersey in support of fighting for your rights – oh so hip-hop and a throwback to political groups like Public Enemy. As we leave the now steamy greenhouse, we face another type of fight – the brutal foot battle against the outside mud of misery. It feels like I’m travelling over a slippery mine field, where I am liable to fall over at any time. Thankfully we are able to escape the treacherous slope of sludge; just in time to see the festival’s finale – an epic set from DJ Danny Byrd and MC GQ.

Danny Byrd finishes off the night the right way, delivering a stream of happy go lucky d'n'b, mixed with booming trap 808s. From the lights, to the music, to the crowd; the atmosphere is electrifying and the intense strobe lights take us away on a space odyssey, with GQ leading the charge and Danny Byrd bringing down the hammer with an almighty drop. All in all, the festival ends on a high, with Danny Byrd finishing of the event supplying us with drum & bass of the highest order.