The versatile and much-loved Stanmer Park played host to Boundary Brighton’s inaugural year on Sat 17 Sept. An event made by Brighton, for Brighton, Boundary enlisted the help of local clubs Patterns, The Arch and Concorde 2 to make their debut in the festival world one to remember. The 18+ festival was a refreshing, and frankly charming, mix of locals and visitors with great attitudes spearheaded by the impressive production.
As the festival got busier, unfortunately the weather got worse. That didn’t stop any of the revellers, of course, who danced the cold away despite many not wearing much mid-September. Spirits were kept high by walking entertainment, such as a samba band and circus-style stilt walkers touring the site, and a plethora of fabulous food and drink offerings. Frontier’s beer/cider bar kept us happy enough, though Sauza tequila set up shop for attendees to cheers and chuck shot after shot down their necks. Face/body painting, ice cream trucks and American street wear stalls lines the perimeter of the event – something for everyone. A great array of food was on offer too – we beelined the Duck Burgers stall for a tasty snack – including pizzas, Patterns’ The Dog Haus and even a renovated caravan (called The Cosmic Caravan), offering vegan and veggie delights like vegan hot dogs, halloumi wraps and, rather more strangely, watermelons. Very Brighton.
Party brand elrow, a dynasty of elite Spanish promoters who have forged a legacy over five generations, teamed up with The Arch to create a very unique stage. The former’s props and decorations (think neon peace signs, psychedelic flowers and sunshines) gave such an individual feel to this quarter of the festival. Revellers had inflatables and showering confetti to contend with while raving to the likes of Toni Varga, Solardo, Seth Troxler and Richy Ahmed. Patterns and London Warehouse Events (LWE) quite unsurprisingly held their own at the so-titled London Warehousing & Co. Its exterior made to look exactly that, the inside transporting you right back into festival-mode with its modest interior of grass and fencing. Their line up definitely got people moving, Jackmaster, Tom Trago, Gerd Janson and Joy Orbison each stealing the show in this stage’s headline positions. If you were lucky enough to get in past the queue of what looked like hundreds by the end of the night, you’ll know exactly how suited Patterns and LWE are in creating something special.
Boundary itself linked its name to one synonymous with Brighton. The Boundary Bandstand was certainly a favourite for many punters, myself included. We were certainly being treated by the curators of the festival as they spanned reggae, jungle, breaks, turntablism and generally a roots-focused, DIY mentality. Featuring Jaguar Skills, Toddla T & Serocee, Congo Natty and more, the whole place was jumping. The highlight for me was certainly Krafty Kutz b2b A. Skillz who brought a seamless mashup of songs famous and lesser-known, new and old to the party. Flawless mixing at its best made the Bandstand stage the one to be at. The main stage – supported by Mixmag and the local legends of Concorde 2 – brought us some of the biggest acts and DJ sets from the likes of Groove Armada, Wilkinson, Jungle and Bondax, before the day’s headlining star: Mr Craig David himself. Bringing his TS5 show, like an intimate version of his DJ sets with plenty of singing along, we had a great combination of classics from the man himself and other more unexpected ballad-droppers like Mariah Carey. He put on a great show to close the festival and still, despite writing a week after the event, Fill Me In is going around and around in my head.
After the proverbial dust settled, Paul Jack (Boundary Brighton’s main man) told me, “a new festival and a new concept is very difficult to launch in the current climate – plenty of lessons to learn from – but overall it feels like it was a great success with lots of positive feedback both on the day and post event. Ideas are already forming as to what we can do next year… watch this space!”