What to expect from Sundown Festival
12:29 30 August 2014
Norfolk Showground is more used to countryside activities — but this weekend it will again be the site for some altogether more urban sights and sounds.
Who not to miss
• John Newman — Thanks to his guest appearances on two chart hits by Rudimental, the Yorkshire singer became a household voice while his solo material marries retro blue-eyed soul – strings, saxes, dry backbeats and Newman’s crooning – with contemporary pop.
• Ellie Goulding — She headlined the royal wedding reception in 2011 but here the Brit Award winning, chart-topping pop queen will be doing her disco-meets-electronica thing.
• Katy B — Fresh from a spot at Notting Hill Carnival the Rinse-backed urban singer fuses UK funky, dubstep-lite and ravey dance productions also packed with huge choruses.
• Neon Jungle — Aged between 16 and 20, Shereen, Asami, Jess and Amira are like the girls making all the noise on the school bus with influences from Foo Fighters to Bob Marley, Italian opera by way of Beyonce; they’re hard to categorise.
• Jess Glynne — If her name doesn’t ring a bell, her voice will; the young singer sang on Clean Bandit’s Rather Be and Route 94’s My Love, meaning she had two Number One hits before she even released a solo single.
• Pusha T — One half of rap behemoths Clipse arrives at Sundown with his massive beats and powerfully complex rhymes as featured on his solo album My Name is My Name.
• Loadstar — If you like drum and bass, of the the twisted, techy variety, this duo will be right up your street.
• Ella Eyre — Another off the Brit School conveyor belt who has guested with Rudimental, sung with Naughty Boy and Wiz Khalifa, Tinie Tempah and Professor Green and picked up a BBC Sound of 2014 nomination for her distinctive throaty, biting vocals.
Some of the biggest names in urban music will be taking to the stage for the Sundown Festival, a two-day festival that is bigger than ever this year as it continues to rival more established events.
The festival is now in its fourth year. Organisers have once again assembled a genuinely impressive line-up of talent that reads like a who’s who of recent chart toppers, including Chase & Status, Tinie Tempah, Zane Lowe, Katy B, Foxes and Pusha T on the Saturday, with Ellie Goulding, John Newman, Clean Bandit, Neon Jungle, Ella Eyre and Jess Glynne on the Sunday.
All About She, Sasha Keeble and Virus Syndicate are among the Saturday afternoon performers, with Intensi T, Hatty Keane and M.O on the Sunday afternoon line-up
Elsewhere, number one selling artist Second City, Copyright and Christoph join House specialists Defected Records as they host Sundown’s dance Stage 2 on the Saturday night. Loadstar, Frankee and Mind Vortex will join drum and bass label RAM Records’ takeover for the Sunday.
Four ways to survive Sundown Festival
Stylish, bright and practical
Like any Saturday night out, you want to be looking your best when strutting around the festival site. But you do not want to be standing in flip flops, shorts and T-shirt when the skies open and the ground becomes mud soup. The answer: mix your favourite clothes with something practical.
Protect your tent
With unpredictable weather, thousands of people, and the chance to have the odd beer or two, it is likely a tent mishap is not far around the corner. So bring gaffa tape to mend those broken poles and keep a handful of spare pegs close at hand.
See a new a band
The biggest names in urban music are taking to the Main Stage, but don’t be afraid to stray from the masses. Up-and-coming acts are performing on both stages over the weekend.
Can you take the kids?
Festival organisers want it to be as child-friendly festival as possible. That said, there is no entry for under-5s and under-14s must be accompanied
More than 40,000 people from across the region and beyond — including thousands of youngsters from Norwich, who perhaps still can’t quite believe its happening again, right on their doorstep — are expected to descend on the Showground, topping the 38,000 who attended last year.
Many will be making a weekend of it and either camping on the site or checking into nearby hotels and bed and breakfasts, offering a late summer boost to the local economy.
All camping tickets sold out months in advance and they will be able to start the party early with a special opening night bash in a Big Top on Friday night exclusive for those camping. That’s a first for this year as is the addition of posh ‘Glamping’ from Yippee Yurts for those wanting on-site luxury.
Tinie Tempah headlines Sundown for the first time, with the We Bring the Stars Out, Children of the Sun and Lover Not a Fighter singer leading the line-up on Saturday’s main stage.
Also performing on the Saturday, Chase & Status — aka Saul Milton and Will Kennard — one of the UK’s biggest electronic acts, are renowned for their explosive live sets.
Their first two records More Than Alot and No More Idols saw the duo segue effortlessly from underground dance heroes into a chart-topping juggernaut that has seen them go on to produce tracks for some of the biggest names from Rihanna to Example. Meanwhile, their latest album, Brand New Machine, is a genre-blending, euphoric collection of hip hop, dubstep, house, garage and jungle featuring the prime of the UK’s best new vocalists, including Moko, Elli Ingram and Louis M^tters.
The anthemic new record was made to be heard at a festival, so make sure you’re down at the front and more than ready to dance yourself stupid for this one.
Brit-Award nominee Ellie Goulding, regarded as one of the most versatile and eclectic female singers in the UK today, headlines the main stage on Sunday. The Starry Eyed, How Long Will I Love You and Burn singer has not only enjoyed huge solo success, but has also landed hits in collaboration with a number of Sundown artists, and is welcomed to the festival for the first time.
Fellow Brit-Award nominee John Newman will also make his first Sundown performance on Sunday’s main stage after becoming one of the hottest artists to have soared into the public psyche with the number one hit singles Feel the Love and Love Me Again.
Cambridge electronic pop troupe Clean Bandit, who broke through spectacularly in January with Rather Be – the most successful single of the year, and the first to stay at Number One for four weeks since 2011 will bring their appealing, intelligent sound, which uses synths, violins, drum machines and a rotating cast of vocalists, to the Sunday night.
Festival spokesman Dion Clements said: “Sundown has enjoyed incredible success in quickly establishing itself as one of the UK’s best live music events to end the summer season.
“Tinie Tempah and Chase & Status are like established Sundown royalty, while Ellie, John and Clean Bandit offer Sundown festivalites the chance to see them perform here for the first time.
“With our unique mixed offering of the top urban, pop and dance acts, Sundown caters for a massive range of tastes in the music spectrum, bringing together a diverse music audience for one huge weekend.”
Last year was the most successful year so far she added, and they hope to further build on the success this year with word now spreading for beyond the region.
“Last year was the biggest yet. We had people coming from Scotland, Birmingham and Wales, all over the country. The word has definitely spread about Sundown. It’s the festival-goers that make it such a fantastic experience. They play a big part in creating the amazing atmosphere.”
• Sundown Festival takes place at Norfolk Showground from August 29-31.
• Weekend tickets without camping from £65, day tickets £36.50 (Sat/Sun). VIP tickets including back stage access also available from £136.50.