For the third consecutive year, one of the most successful Garage events of the late 1990s-2000s, Garage Nation, took over Streatham Common on Saturday for a festival of UK Garage, and presented the One Dance Outdoor Festival on the Sunday. We went to Saturday’s event which started on a typical summer’s day in London. Temperatures reached highs of 16 degrees with something like 90% precipitation at times, your average weather for a British summertime festival. However, that did nothing to dampen the hyped crowd who were gearing up to 2-step to some of the biggest names in UK Garage.
Warm ups started from midday with notable sets from Mike Delinquent and highlights included Live PAs of Show Me Love by Robin S and Sambucca by Dennis G. Luck and Neat took the festival into the late afternoon with sounds of jungle garage, performing Little Bit of Luck and there were UK funky sets from DJ Ng and Coldsteps in the tent. Romeo, Lisa Maffia and DJ Cartier set the tone for a later performance from Kele Le Roc whose amazing rendition of My Love was a welcome injection of beautiful R&B vocals. Artful Dodger didn’t disappoint, who, alongside classics such as Moving Too Fast and Re-Rewind, dropped Stormzy’s Shut Up which made the crowd go bananas.
The main stage was wrapped up by 11pm by DJ Pied Piper, MC Creed and PSG and those coming back for round two One Dance the next day were in for more from Artful Dodger, Luck and Neat and Pied Piper.
The day was a soaking success and although there is some repetition of acts on the both days, there’s no doubt that the three year old festival is now an important yearly tradition for dedicated, Moschino-wearing Garage heads, enthusiasts and anyone else looking for a good time.