Review: Lovebox 2012

Posted by Judy Johnson On Thursday, 21 June 2012 13:30
Moustaches not optional
So you may know that I lost my UK festival virginity last year with Brighton's Shakedown - which, looking back, knowing that it only lasted one day, mostly poured with rain and ended quite promptly, I now see as a warm up to my festival of choice this summer: Lovebox. 

The event

Lovebox is a three day festival in London, set in Victoria Park (close to Mile End station in East London). I'd always noticed the posters before and always been impressed with the lineup - so this year I finally decided to go. 

The best bit about it is that there's no camping involved - a thirty minute tube journey there and back each day meant I could have a decent sleep in my own bed, a much-needed shower, and pack a more sensible bag with each new day (it took me until day three to learn to charge my phone and bring tissues). 

The event is really well organised. I got my all-important wristband in the post about a week before, headed there after work on Friday and went straight in, save for a quick bag check. It's a huge place, and it was busy (especially on Saturday, the bigger day of the three) but there were enough toilets, staff and stages to make it an enjoyable experience. 

The food is impressive - Mexican, vegetarian, burgers, fish and chips, pie and mash and plenty more were on offer as well as bars selling not-too-overpriced drinks (£4.50 for a glass of wine - that's London for you) which didn't get too crowded. 

The music 

Obviously, the lineup was the highlight. During my two and a half days, I saw: Stooshe, Maverick Sabre, Emeli Sande, Chaka Kan, Rita Ora, Friendly Fires, Sam Sparro, Hot Chip, Crystal Castles, The Rapture, a load of DJs I don't know and the brilliant, show-stoppingly awesome Groove Armada - who returned for their tenth birthday and absolutely made my Saturday. 

There was also a brilliant little tent by the main food area which played some irresistible dance music (yes, like that Peter Kay sketch where you dance as you walk, like an absolute moron); we also paid £2 to go into a 'hotel' disco which was very small and crowded, full of half naked and mostly gay men and had a stage that was home to a lot of drag queens who put on a great show. 



Rain or shine

Of course, the make or break moment for a festival is when the heavens open and all mud breaks loose. The weatherman told us we were going to drown in a month's worth of rainfall in one weekend, but what actually happened was there was one shower on Saturday night which didn't touch us since we were so close to the stage, and instead I wound up with two sunburned shoulders. 

My low expectations meant that having two dry days was like having Christmas twice - I was so happy that we could just get on and enjoy it without feeling soggy, I did that stupidly British thing of commenting on it way too many times each day, then 'touching wood' to be sure I didn't jinx it. Mock me all you like, but it worked...

The Friday night was fun, Saturday was hectic but the most memorable of the weekend, and Sunday was wonderfully chilled out. It's so easy to get to the front of the crowds without feeling claustrophobic (I panic otherwise) and I caught up on new music, heard bands I'd never have known about and danced the night away until Sunday when my legs finally gave in post-Chaka Kan. I can't wait to go back again next year!

My top ten tips for surviving Lovebox (or any) festival:

  • Take tissues and hand gel. Expect the worst in the toilets!
  • Use the gents for shorter queues on all days except Sunday which was very gay-friendly
  • Don't trust the weatherman. Check in the morning each day 
  • Wear a good pair of boots (wellies weren't needed given lack of rain) that you don't care too much about - and don't wear stilettos for goodness' sake. We witnessed this!
  • Take something waterproof/warm for when the weather misbehaves
  • Be sneaky. I squeezed a mini bottle of wine into the inside of my umbrella and smuggled it in!
  • Wear sunscreen (see shoulder comment). You're outside all day - that's all the reason you need
  • Take cash with you - the cashpoints charge and Mile End doesn't have many between the station and the park
  • Be prepared to see a lot of festival 'mean girls' - you know, the ones who think they know 'festival chic' but actually look like they stepped out of a Miss Selfridge catalogue. With a spray tan on the way. Don't worry, you and your poncho look cooler
  • Dry shampoo is your best friend - as are these festival beauty essentials, and yes that is a shameless plug for my own work. You're welcome!
Did you go? What did you think of it?
Reactions:  

1 Response to " Review: Lovebox 2012 "

  1. Anonymous Said,

    A Hipflask is definitley the way to go at festivals to get past all the over priced drinks!

    Alex

     

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