Although Brighton’s clubbing credentials are rarely challenged, there hasn’t been a fitting platform for the full range of musical delights it offers. Now Boundary Brighton is set to represent our small but vibrant local scene. Coming to Stanmer Park on Sat 17 Sept, it’s the product of a collaboration between party promoters LWE, a range of local venues and some of the world’s biggest clubbing brands. “We sat down and had a discussion about it,” says The Arch’s owner, Sammy Verghese. “Looking at LWE’s past events, we thought… well we didn’t think. We jumped on it straight away!” One of the city’s most iconic spaces, dance music history is soaked into every brick of his seafront venue. Now 15 months into its current incarnation, the club has established itself with a string of sell out shows regularly attracting DJs like Carl Cox, Fatboy Slim and Eats Everything. Now Boundary sees their forward-leaning curation teamed with vibrant global clubbing brand elrow.
A Barcelona-based club brand famous for crazy, hedonistic parties, elrow is the creation of the Arnau family. They produce unique and immersive experiences which put the fun back into clubbing. Now their special type of magic is coming to town. “There will be a lot of production and a lot of décor. It’s just pure craziness… They’re pretty much the frontrunners in doing this stuff. A festival is an immersive experience, it’s a full day out. You’ve got a field to put on a show to thousands of people, so why not add in stuff that nobody’s doing?” Each of their events uses a different and elaborate theme, totally transforming every venue they come to. This full assault on the senses will be further enhanced by the selection of international talent of The Arch stage. Artists like Seth Troxler, Richy Ahmed and Solardo are all set to unleash the perfect, unforgettable party atmosphere.
Launched in 1982 as a monthly magazine, Mixmag have covered every corner of the dance music spectrum. As a brand they’ve always been associated with leading events across the globe, continually pushing the boundaries with their approach to throwing parties. At the forefront of documenting the electronic music phenomenon, Boundary Brighton sees them team up with legendary venue Concorde 2. This revered local clubbing staple has brought some of the biggest DJs and live bands to Brighton over its 21 years. So it’s fitting these two clubbing institutions are to join forces for the festival. “It’s nice to see a refreshing twist on a festival,” says Concorde 2’s Sam Dixon. “It’s a well thought through line-up. I’m really looking forward to it.” With an eclectic approach to programming, the venue continues to support the grassroots local scene, whilst mixing in some massive international acts. “I’ve worked with LWE up in London,” chimes in Adam Flexer, the C2’s Venue Programmer. “They’ve got a great thinking body behind them. They’re really intent on making this a festival about Brighton. I think the line-up really reflects that, it’s broad and eclectic.” The joint area will feature a beautiful façade, and offer a personal feel different from your normal festival arena. Craig David is to bring his TS5 project to the stage, topping a large line-up of genre-pushing artists. Wilkinson’s huge D‘n’B sound, Bondax’s infusion of R&B, down-tempo and house, and DJ set from Groove Armada and Jungle are all set to rock the Boundary Brighton crowds. “LWE come from a clubbing background, so understand what people want,” Flexer continues. “They’re a market leader in that respect. For a big London promoter to come down to Brighton but be in touch with its scene and involve the local promoters, it breaks down a lot of politics. I agree with their ethos – the stronger we are collectively, the stronger the scene will be.”
As London’s biggest underground event organisers, LWE have made their name by producing parties in unique and unusual locations across the capital. Constantly working to create diverse and immersive experiences, they work with some of the world’s most influential artists and labels. Now their mission is to create something memorable for Brighton & Hove. “It’s not been as simple as coming to town and slapping up a few posters,” says Dixon. “The amount of communication between the venues and the Boundary team is great. We’ve been creating an experience leading up to the event.” Known for great sound, attention to detail, big lighting rigs and impressive special effects, LWE has become a byword for exceptional parties. For next month’s event they’re collaborating with Brighton’s cutting edge venue, Patterns. Regenerated by London’s Mothership Group, this club continues to honour its site’s longstanding musical heritage. Working with promoters and artists on a local and international scale, it has hosted a cutting edge series of events for Brighton.
To keep things suitably eclectic, the festival will also see the erection of the Boundary Bandstand overlooking the site on the hillside. It’ll feature a joyful mashup of styles, from reggae and jungle to breaks and turntablism. Here there’ll be a grassroots DIY mentality, featuring artists like the wonderfully eccentric jazz outfit Bob Kerr & His Whoopee Band, or Mr Wilson’s Second Liners – where New Orleans meets 90s rave classics. Bursting with colour and sound, the stage will also host winners from local busker and DJ competitions, with a few international heavyweights popping up in between.
Brighton’s defining venues have been brought together, each creating a list of artists which perfectly reflects their distinctiveness. The aim is to create a community-focused, boutique-style festival, which can stand its ground on an international scale. “Conceptually, I can’t believe no one else has done it before,” confides Verghese. “LWE have done it the right way. Before they’ve made any announcements, they spoke to all the promoters and clubs on the scene and packaged up something which is set to be pretty amazing!”
Boundary Brighton comes to Stanmer Park, Brighton, on Sat 17 Sept.
Photography by Khris Cowley