A union of independent artists in Brockwell Park

Alisdair Grice previews tomorrow’s Wide Awake Festival

rock band playing live
Kikagaku Moyo
Al Case/Creative Commons

Modern festivals can often lean too far into corporate money grabs, boasting a phenomenal line up let down by eye-watering food and drink pricing and a distinct lack of atmosphere.

On the other side of the spectrum are the independent festivals, of which a few have cropped up in recent years. These value music quality and curation over ticket sales and advertisement budgets.

Wide Awake is a prime example of this new wave of independent festivals that are redefining the way fans can interact with their favourite artists.

A self-described union of underground artists spanning “left field indie, post punk, electronica, techno and jazz”, Wide Awake boasts a promising exhibition of ultra-local and international bands.

With Windmill favourites black midi and Shame showcasing their noise-rock and post punk musing respectively, Tokyo-based Kikagaku Moyo tear up the crowds with their folk inspired psychedelia.

Bands to catch also include Canadian collective Crack Cloud, Bristol’s rising star Lazarus Kane and the ubiquitous Lynks, who has made appearances at nearly every British summertime festival this year, regardless of genre.

With stages hosted by the Windmill, So Young magazine, Bad Vibrations and record label Snap Crackle and Pop, there is an artist to please everyone, and plenty of scope for discovering new ones.

This eclectic mixture is sure to draw a similarly wacky crowd, and Wide Awake are fully prepared to welcome them with open arms.

Aside from the musical draw of the event, much groundwork has been laid down in its “Positive Policy” – a concerted effort to “change the way in which live music events take responsibility for actions towards our planet”.

This includes a policy that bans single-use plastics across the site, ensuring vendors only provide ethically sourced food and only permitting biodegradable stage effects.

This remarkable attention to detail sets an important precedent for British music festivals, and will inevitably become the norm as our world require more repair and attention to keep the climate crisis at bay.

Kicking off the Brockwell weekender, Wide Awake’s maiden voyage begins here! just before its sister festivals Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks.

Tickets are currently £49.50 and promise a hearty musical experience.

Wide Awake tickets can be found here.

Tempted by more? Wide Awake’s sister festivals Mighty Hoopla and Cross The Tracks grace the Brockwell Park grass on the remaining Saturday and Sunday of the weekend, and are definitely worth a try