Shakedown 2012 – Review

246553_513903978638269_2039646913_nIt’s midday, Saturday 6th October, and the SoapBox team are stuck in a queue to enter Stanmer Park. Once the crowd control gave in to the enthusiastic crowd, more affectionately known as the general public, a stampede through several inches of mud began. After overcoming yet another queue (to get tickets checked along with bags and pockets, safety first and all that), we made it in!

As you could see from our pictures, the field had been set out with an impressive main stage, DJ tent, funfair rides, food and drink vendors in addition to the well hidden VIP area. The park, for one day only, had become the ultimate venue for Shakedown’s eleven hours of madness!

The day began to kick off the moment people came through the gates, having spent enough time waiting and lining up, everyone was eager to start spending hard earned cash to replenish bloodstreams with alcohol. With that in mind, the atmosphere built up nicely, with everyone looking for a good time and a good place to see where the next act was performing. Sammy G opened the main stage, putting on a strong performance that gave the whole site an idea of which stage would be their favourite place for the day. As the main stage began to fill up with people preparing for Mok and The Special Ks, the Supercharged Arena (big blue and yellow tent) played home to Rob O Donnell and Brimmer, the opening DJ sets that allowed the ravers to get ready and the majority to get sweaty. Without most of the people knowing, Ms Dynamite then swapped times with B Traits following an incredible set from The Prototypes that proved the DJs were here to stay all day and night for anyone that would join them.

As the organised madness continued over at the main stage with Clement Marfo & The Frontline throwing some serious shapes with hard sounds from a seven piece collective to back it up. After the set, those who had left the tent prior clambered over each other to witness Shy FX putting on possibly the best set the Supercharged Arena saw all day. Shy FX, who is a veteran after many years on the turntables, knows exactly what to play, when to play it and how to play it for such an anxious crowd, hanging on to his every beat with keen ears and flailing bodies. At one point, a personal favourite for myself, he proceeded to speed up ‘Thinking Bout You’ by Frank Ocean which then lead into ‘On The Run’, getting the crowd screaming and jumping whilst the SoapBox cameras flashed. Nobody knows exactly how the mellow, soulful voice of Frank Ocean slotted into his mix, but I guess that shows Shy FX’s true talent!

Whilst the tent played host to all that madness, the London-based R&B trio Stooshe lit up the main stage. However, despite their great performance, it seemed more people drawn to the Supercharged Area to experience Shy FX – they were right to do so. Friction then followed in Shy’s footsteps by playing up to a crowd that was already hyped enough, and continued to play the set of his life, even enough to compete with FX’s crowd pleasers. Friction’s energy and momentum was empowered by the crowd of ravers, which seemed to be growing by the minute, despite the ridiculous idea of putting barriers around the tent, making yet again more queues for something the people had paid for, this seemed to cause more problems than it solved – even us, the photographers had to be pushed about in the queue whilst carrying expensive equipment… Nevertheless, the crowds were not discouraged and continued to pile in, creating a sensateonal vibe within the tent, as well as a monsoon of sweat. The sweaty conditions produce some comical moments. One of the best was a guy at the front of the crowd in the Supercharged Arena pressed against the barrier, covered in fake tan that he’d applied earlier that morning… Probably not the best of ideas. But as long as you keep “being reem” eh?

The VIP area seemed to have lots of potential, with a fairly big area set out with chilled sofas, a big bar and possibly the longest/narrowest dance floor that’s ever been set up in a tent. The only negative about this was that there was just too few people to fill it up and give off a great atmosphere unlike the other stages, but the potential was definitely there.

[But wait, there’s more! Click on the second page below!]

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