Shockout Festival 2018 Review

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Shockout Festival, the UK's newest winter event committed to drum and bass, made its inaugural debut this year in Somerset. We headed down to the event to see what this new kid on the block was all about.

Shockout Festival is brought to you by the creators of Hospitality In The Park, Hospital Records and the mighty rave makers, The Blast. These guys are the masterminds behind hosting huge nights in Bristol’s most treasured venues Motion. Set in The Bath And West showground famous for similar events such as NASS festival.

We set off on our journey from London to Somerset, Saturday evening. The three-hour car journey was a lengthy one but it was definitely worth it, driving past the old cobblestone houses and the long country roads meant that we weren’t far away from the festival. Driving into the venue we saw fairground rides and heard the sound system from a distance, seeing hundreds of revellers with smiles on their faces as they all made their way to the entrance. The queueing system was very well organised, unlike other festivals there was no need to wait around for three hours, thank god! We managed to get in past the barriers and into the festival at a speedy pace.

J Hus killing it on stage
PHOTO CREDIT: Shockout Festival

The venue wasn’t like any old festival with outside stages, no. This was the perfect venue for a winter festival. The stages were inside the warehouses which meant we were kept out of the cold weather. The interior of the rooms were very spacious with an impressive four stages spread across the festival. These consisted of The Blast stage, The Hospitality stage, Drum And Bass Arena x On A Mission x Run and Area 4. Luminous lighting and alluring production meant that the production set the scene for what was to come. The site was fairly small which meant that navigating to find your favourite artists was no hassle. There was no having to call your mate because you’ve lost them walking through a crowd. Sounds like heaven if you ask me!

One of the best things at the festival was the sound system. The sheer quality of the speakers meant that we were able to listen to the likes of Nu:Logic in crystal clear quality even at the back. Thankfully the Shockout team didn't look past them. Although it was a festival dedicated to drum and bass, Shockout Festival hadn't forgotten other genres. J Hus performed his successful album Common Sense on The Blast Stage and the crowd definitely seemed to like his afro bashment beats. It was great to see such a mix of music, ranging from jump up to liquid drum and bass. The hardest part was having to decide on who to see live out of Hype B2B Hazard or Mampi Swift B2B Crissy Criss.

The Blast stage
PHOTO CREDIT: Shockout Festival

Highlights included The Prototypes wowing the crowd with their heavy dark rollers. Catching a glimpse of the revellers two-stepping to Hype B2B Hazard was a treat, boasting some of their classics mixed with drops we weren't expecting. As a lover of all things music, we headed down to see basslines favourite Darkzy at The Blast stage full of upbeat bass and four-to-the-floor rhythms.

The crowd was pumped for some of their favourite drum and bass acts with artists like Nu Logic and King Of The Rollers in the picture. It was nice to see a mix of festival goers walking through the event and hearing different accents from all over the UK. The staff were very attentive and there were no bad vibes here. Locals and the festival goers were extremely friendly making the atmosphere much more enjoyable.

On That Note

There we have it, folks, Shockout Festival is a great addition for someone who appreciates drum and bass and can’t wait for the summer to see their most loved artists. Overall I would say the atmosphere was definitely different compared to other festivals I’ve been to. To see everyone coming to one place to enjoy the different genres of music was an unforgettable experience. I would recommend every music lover to visit and see what the hype is all about. Hospital Records and The Blast Bristol have outdone themselves… will you be going to Shockout 2019?

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