It is crazy to think that 14-15th July 2017 will be the thirteenth time that Victoria Park will play host to mainstay London festival, Lovebox. Despite festivals coming and going in a ever-competitive industry, Lovebox has remained a comforting constant for almost a decade and a half.
However, despite its longevity, there is nothing to suggest that the organisers are becoming complacent, as 2017’s line-up is arguably the most impressive curation that the festival has seen in its long tenure.
What is so impressive about Lovebox’s programming, isn’t the calibre of the acts booked alone, but rather the obvious commitment that the festival has to showcasing new talent concurrent to household names that obviously sell the tickets.
This is particularly clear with the programming on the Friday, when superstars such as Frank Ocean (see below) and Jamie XX, play alongside artists that have recently sprung onto the scene like Solange and Sampha and also relatively unknown talent like Hannah Faith and Raheem Bakaré.
Below are three artists to look out for at Lovebox 2017.
There are two words that seem to be synonymous with this superstar, enigmatic and talented. The talent is undeniable. Few artist in history have been as critically acclaimed and decorated as Frank Ocean. His most recent album, Blonde, has cemented Ocean’s place amongst music’s elite and has seen the artist tagged as a sonic visionary of his time.
Ocean’s adulation is added to because he also has garnered a reputation for being somewhat of an enigma. For example, despite the critical acclaim that Blonde was met with, Ocean has, as yet, not announced that he will be commencing an album tour. This means that the organisers of Lovebox has secured a coup in obtaining Ocean’s services for the day. Frank Ocean has not performed in the UK for several years and the prospect of seeing him live in Victoria Park is worth the admission fee alone.
Following up his explosive performance at Lovebox 2016, Kano returns to Victoria Park this year after his album Made in the Manor, received widespread praise and was nominated for a Mercury award.
Although Kano has not enjoyed the mainstream success as some of his contemporaries like Skepta and Wiley, it would be remiss to describe this artist as anything other than one of the pioneers of Grime. In a career that has spanned over two decades, Kano has produced some of the most important grime music ever. Since, his debut album Home Sweet Home, Kano has worked with Grime legends like Dizzee and Wiley, but also superstars across other genres like the Gorillaz, Blur and even Craig David.
Kano will sure to bring fireworks when he takes to Lovebox’s mainstage on the Saturday. His set will likely be a mixture of some of his classic tracks as well as a taste of his new material and maybe even what to expect going forward.
There are few artists in the world who are as sought after at the moment as Sampha. Having worked alongside some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Kanye, Drake, Frank Ocean and Solange (the latter two will also play at Lovebox 2017), Sampha’s first solo album, Process, was released earlier this year. The album has been received extremely well and is widely regarded as one of the best albums of early 2017.
In terms of music, Sampha’s smooth combination of electro-soul and RnB could prove to be the perfect summer soundtrack. Despite having transatlantic success, Sampha has remained true to his London roots. For example, much of his debut album was recorded in studios across the capital and this rings true in many of the tracks on the album.
For this globe-trotting superstar from Morden, playing at Lovebox will almost feel like a home-coming gig and this gives the performance the potential to be incredibly special. This is ATB’s pick for Lovebox 2017 and should not be missed at any cost.