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Review: City Splash 2024

City Splash 2024 crowd
City Splash 2024. Image courtesy of Luke Dyson.

Staff Writer Cruz Glynka reviews City Splash, following his list of recommendations for London music festivals you shouldn’t miss in the summer of 2024.

Set in Lambeth’s Brockwell Park, City Splash is a testament to the cultural richness of the area. It pays homage to Britain’s Caribbean ties in a way reminiscent of Notting Hill Carnival. Despite the absence of tropical-like sun, rain, or shine, this year’s festival goers’ remained undeterred by the weather, with numerous people getting their White Air Force Ones muddy in the true British festival spirit.

City Splash 2024 took place on 27 May and featured a diverse line-up with acts like WSTRN, whose genre-bending sounds perfectly embody how Britain’s diversity has impacted its sound. Moreover, the festival offered a great stylistic variety, from dub to UK jungle and garage, providing a perfect illustration of the British Caribbean community’s undeniable influence on the UK’s music scene.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is @nanaking-1-1024x683.jpg
City Splash 2024. Image courtesy of Nana King.

It was amazing to be surrounded by people of all ages who brought positive energy to the event. The Heartless Crew were truly there to satisfy all the ravers, ensuring the crowd always had a drumbeat to move to – one could sense the joy among the audience as they remixed beloved garage songs held deeply within the hearts of many.

We were fortunate enough to have Channel One as well as Iration Steppas to bring the much wanted dub to the festival. Unfortunately, the Channel One crew’s famous soundsystem which allows you to really feel the genre’s rhythms was not there on the occasion. Nevertheless, Channel One still supplied all the positive energy they usually do.

Closing headline performance by Capleton at City Splash 2024.
Image courtesy of Ahmed Idries (@haruki.design).

The festival also undoubtedly delivered everything a dancehall fan could wish for, with outstanding performances by Beenie Man and Capleton. The latter’s performances truly brought “fire” to the event, both in terms of great onstage energy and pyrotechnics. After a long hiatus in performances in London, it was a blessing to have Capleton here again.

Finally, City Splash would not be the same without the food, which constitutes a significant part of this festival. While the lines were a bit long at times, it was usually worth the wait – whether grabbing a pattie for a small bite or sitting down to have some jerk chicken with rice and peas. There was a wide variety of meals and snacks to please the masses with the culinary excellences of the Caribbean.

In the end, City Splash is a unique festival well worth seeing. It brings a remarkable liveliness not often seen in the capital outside of Notting Hill Carnival. For those always excited for the food, music and atmosphere that the West London event offers and longing for more, City Splash is certainly the right place. Be sure to get your tickets for 2025.

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