January is surely the perfect time to get sweaty at an indoor festival (in fact it’s pretty good for an outdoor one too, especially if it involves a ton of illuminations).
And a two-dayer right on the cusp of February – when most well-intentioned ‘dry’ resolutions have long been torn up – is even more welcome. So look no further than Richmix in Shoreditch on January’s heroic last weekend.
What to expect? Only a slew of performances from over 25 bands and DJs across four stages, all brought to you by some of the most dynamic talent in east London, including the folk behind (woop) Glastonbury’s legendary Shangri-La.
The emphasis is on what they call “the perfect festival experience”, with indoor areas to chill out, a fully converted disco lift to navigate between the stages and even a silent disco café.
Musically it promises to be something of a preview of this year’s festie season – so there’ll be Latin grooves, Afrobeats, tropical bass, Balkan beats, urban, acoustic soundclash, reggae-dub and tons more.
Highlights include (on Friday) Brass Off, with each band playing a full live set, after which they go head to head, track-to-track, horn-to-horn, with the audience choosing the ultimate winner.
Meanwhile Saturday night includes playful Bristol-based act Mama Jerk and the Ladyfingers, whose self-professed disregard for any kind of genre makes for what they call “organised chaos tinged in psychedelia”. Meanwhile, over in the Folk Ghetto is Kefi, who celebrate their Greek culture and traditions with dub-inspired sounds.
In the Polka Club is the 15-strong ensemble BCO: Grime Orchestrated, a collection of South London MC’s performing covers of classic grime beats, fresh material and unexpected mash-ups.
And up in the Tropicarnival main space are all-female 9-piece group Colectiva (see main image, above), exploring the uplifting space between Afro-Latin music and jazz while espousing themes of sisterhood and female empowerment.
It’s official: festival season 2020 starts right here, people.