Review: Gala Festival 2017

Art & Culture

Gala Festival made a welcome return to South London's Brockwell Park. The day started out drenched in glorious sunshine as over 6,000 revellers made their way to the sold out festival.

The line up was impressive, with disco stalwarts such as Nicky Siano of Studio 54 fame, Crazy P and Horse Meat Disco poised to play. The festival site itself was relatively small made up of three stages- the main stage close to the entrance, adorned with a handful of disco balls and green foliage, the Horse Meat Disco dome that was presented as camp as you'd expect from the legendary DJs. Silver mannequins -nipples covered to protect their modesty- sat amongst sparkly, cotton wool clouds, with purple plants, pink flowers and butterflies hanging from the rafters, fairy lights and, of course, disco balls. The smaller of the three stages sat a little down the hill, through haybales. The close proximity of the three stages and the bars on the outer edges of the site made for easier navigation after a few shandies.

Food at the event was provided by some of London's much loved street food vendors ranging from ridiculously meaty burgers from Honest Burgers, tasty hot dogs from Oh My Dog, Made Of Dough and Bill Or Beak. As well as the two regular bars serving the usual festival worthy cider and beer, there was also a small rum shack to the left of the Horse Meat dome peddling potent, but delicious, rum cocktails.

Perhaps what stood out most about the day was the crowd. Even as the heavens opened and emptied huge drops of rain onto the dancers below during Nicky Siano's set as he played a whole heap of classics including Tom Browne's 'Funkin' For Jamaica', the ecstatic smiles, some a little more 'smily' than others shall we say, never left their faces. The huge mix of ages was also something beautiful to behold. With those seemingly just starting out on their musical journies dancing side by side with an older generation who would have been privy to witnessing this genre when it first began to emerge. 

The day ended on a high with Nottingham born collective Crazy P gracing the crowd with their inimitable live show as the sun set a delightful orange hue. Singer Danielle's voice never faltered, the whole band sounding as perfect as a mastered record. From then, it was on to the Crazy P after party at Brixton Jamm, umbrellas at hand.

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