Written by: Jonno Coll
Absolutely loads of pubs, Geordie Shore, a huge football club, stunning coastline and a sublime selection of bridges along the quayside. Newcastle is a city that has it all, apart from one fairly significant thing.
Until now the city hasn’t had a consistent, large-scale music festival on offer. Previous iterations came and went, with the city’s Town Moor and Exhibition Park proving the most popular sites, but nothing had really stuck. LooseFest, brought to you by the promoters of the appropriately named LooseDays, looks to change all that.
They’ve kept things suitably interesting with the lineup for their maiden edition, covering all bases of genres and genres of bass by inviting some of the biggest names in house, techno, garage and pop to England's North East.
It may be a little difficult to know where to start, so we’ve picked out five acts that are worth your time when you head to the Town Moor later this month.
The hometown hero. The North Shields born DJ and producer Patrick Topping has left an indelible mark on Newcastle’s electronic music scene over the last decade. Having started his own party, Motion, alongside eight of his friends he’s had a hand in bringing some of house music’s biggest names to Digital and beyond.
More recently he’s been touring Europe and hosting festival stages under the banner of his own record label, Trick. This has afforded the opportunity to release tunes from the finest local talent in the region. While most of these have found their way into his record bag, his well known love for makina has meant that many of his recent home-town sets have been full of hardstyle and new-monkey classics, so fingers crossed for a repeat performance this weekend.
Jamie Jones is a man that needs no introduction having founded the Hot Creations label and Paradise party series, but we’ll give him one anyway. The Welsh DJ cut his teeth by hosting warehouse parties in Eats London in the early 00s, before breaking into the mainstream when he was named DJ of the year by Resident Advisor in 2011, before releasing the iconic 'Benediction' in 2012 as part of the electronic group Hot Natured.
Since then he’s forged a reputation as one of the industry’s best DJs, with an inimitable track selection which knits together a warmer, more melodic style of house and techno. He’s no stranger to the North East, having already played at Digital and beyond, and will receive a warm welcome on his return to the area.
Black Eyed Peas
The most eye-catching booking of the entire weekend, as LooseDays bring bonafide, platinum-selling superstars Black Eyed Peas to the Town Moor. Their extensive back-catalogue features some of pop’s biggest tunes, with the likes of 'Where is the Love', 'Gotta Feeling' and 'Pump It' reaching number one all over the world.
A lengthy career has brought some inevitable changes to the group’s composition, with Fergie leaving in 2018 and being replaced by J Rey Soul. They’ve released two album’s since, including 2020’s Transition, which sounds as if it was made for the main stage festival circuit.
A relative newcomer on the club scene, Peterborough born DJ ALISHA has been making a name for herself with sets at some of Europe’s biggest clubs and parties. She’s a regular at Manchester’s Warehouse Project, while also turning out for Do Not Sleep, Kaluki, Eastenderz and Elrow.
As you can probably guess from the sort of dancefloors she can be found on, her style is straight-up house bangers. She keeps things interesting by chopping between recognisable vocal samples, often including remixes of Billie Eilish's 'Bad Guy' and Azealia Banks' '212', and thumping house instrumentals. She’s a breakout star and well worth getting down early for.
The English-Swedish singer songwriter had her breakthrough year in 2017 with the release of Finders Keepers, with her debut solo album and subsequent Top 10 singles led to Mabel being crowned Best Female Solo Artist at the 2020 Brit Awards.
There have been a lot of accolades to pack into a short career so far, but her level of musicianship is perhaps to be expected from someone with such a rich musical lineage. Mabel is the daughter of Cameron McVey and Neneh Cherry, so her status as one of the country’s favourite pop artists isn’t all that surprising. She’s supported the likes of Harry Styles on tour, while also having done two headline circuits of her own, and the rising star will be making her north east debut at LooseFest this month.
LooseFest 2022 takes place 30-31st July in Newcastle, England. To book your ticket head to our shop here.