Festival season is officially here! And with it, we have a brand new weekender celebrating the best in Afrobeats, Reggae, Hip-Hop and UK sounds to look forward to. Taking place in the heart of Croydon at Lloyd Park – a new location for festival goers - The Ends Festival is arguably the most anticipated Festival of the year, with iconic New York rapper Nas, Afrobeats king Wizkid and Reggae legend Damian Marley confirmed to headline for the inaugural event, which will run over three days from 31st May to 2nd June.
A first for Croydon, The Ends Festival will see 15,000 music lovers each day takeover Lloyd Park, with the festival aiming to engage and inspire local, national, and international communities through a world-class and diverse pool of talent on show. Significantly, the festival is also partnering with Croydon Music and Arts Council to promote local and homegrown talent, where they will be running The Croydon Council stage, which will feature local artists across the festival weekend. The objective is to provide a platform for 14-30 year old musicians in the hopes that they can follow in the footsteps of those who came before them.
Aside from the headliners, the festival will see Rap royalty and legends, De La Soul mark their 30th anniversary of their critically acclaimed debut album ‘3 Feet High and Rising’ and their return to Croydon for the first time since 2006.
Dominating Saturday is an array of Afrobeat and Dancehall talent including Maleek Berry and Kranium – both who continue to catapult their respective genre’s to new heights on a global stage.
U.S. “TrapHouseJazz” singer and multi-instrumentalist Masego, will deep dive into hip-hop’s jazz roots whilst blending with his signature saxophone ensuring the days programming, with IAMDDB, Nao and 20 year old guitarist Mansur Brown also on board for a Sunday of smooth and soulful flavours.
Steadily beginning to rival fellow Nigerian Wizkid for his Afrobeats crown, Burna Boy is another artist you cannot miss, as runs through hits including ‘Sekkle Down’, ‘Ye’ and ‘Rock Your Body’.
Dominating global radio and streaming waves, Latin Grammy Award-winner J Balvin dropped his critically acclaimed album ‘Vibras‘ last year, which put him at the forefront of the burgeoning Latin sounds coming out of the Americas, with the Colombian fresh off headlining Coachella and another unmissable spectacle on Sunday night.
With UK Funky legend Donaeo another noteworthy addition to Saturday’s main stage, there’s a crop of rising talent on the lineup we’d seriously recommend you make time for, with influential Afrobeat artists Juls and DJ Spinall set to bring their eclectic productions on Saturday, and rising UK Miraa May, Amber Olivier and friend of About To Blow, North London’s Benjiflow making an appearance for a performance a lot of us have been waiting patiently for.
With Kiarn Eslami, the festivals founder and Croydon local, declaring “there is no line up like this anywhere else in the UK – people feel they are part of a movement” in a recent interview, expectations are high, and with such a diverse and eclectic lineup of offer, it’s hard to disagree with Eslami.