Wide Awake Festival 2021: All You Need To Know

Here's our handy rundown of what's going on in London's Brockwell Park next Friday.
Posted: 26 August 2021 Words: Tom Curtis-Horsfall Photos: Andrea Domanick

Brand-spanking new festival Wide Awake is set for lift off next Friday 3rd September, merging together all that's weird and wonderful about London's underground music scenes. 

Of course it's not just London-centric artists appearing on the bill, in fact that's the beauty of the one-day festival: DIY promoters and venues working around the city, including the talent responsible for creating Field Day, have put their heads together to curate a left-field lineup spanning punk, indie, jazz, psych, and techno. 

Because of 'you know what' it's taken a year for Wide Awake to get going, but given it's diverse and dynamic roster brimming with bands all busting a gut to perform in Brockwell Park, it feels like the festival will be here to stay. 

To get you prepped for the newest alternative addition to the festival calendar, here's our step-by-step guide of what to expect from each stage:

Windmill Stage

This is the big one, where you'll see the best part of Britain's buzziest bands. Taking the name of the beloved venue Windmill Brixton that has acted as the hub of South London's celebrated post-punk scene and now possesses an almost folkloric reputation given the association with the likes of producer Dan Carey, this stage will host arguably the biggest name on the lineup in IDLES. It's a matinee show, however, as they're heading off to Bristol to perform that night, but following them on the bill are the likes of Squid, PVA, Goat Girl, the imperious black midi, and punk upstarts Shame who will end proceedings in a sweaty fashion.

Moth Club Stage

A lineup as glittering and energetic as you'd expect from the East London venue that's hosted a Lady Gaga surprise show and a Dave Grohl/Rick Astley duet over the years, Moth Club are bringing the fun. The Mauskovic Dance Band, A Certain Ratio, Los Bitchos and Dream Wife are all capable of inciting a romp despite their different rhythms, with smouldering pop icon-in-the-making Self Esteem capping it all off. Let's hope they keep the gold backdrop. 

Bad Vibrations Stage

This is where things start to get a bit more esoteric and psychedelic, but we assure you there's no bad vibes in sight when The Shacklewell Arms-based promoters put a show on. Mercury Prize nominees Porridge Radio drop in for a special guest set, psych-rock band Kikagaku Moyo and Canadian art-punks Crack Cloud will open some dizzying doorways on the day, with jazz ensemble KOKOROKO injecting some late night hometown energy.

So Young Stage 

Fairly self-explanatory, the alternative music mag sponsors the stage with new and exciting acts appearing at the festival to offer some assistance when discovering your next favourite artist or band. There's a complete mixture of sounds coming from So Young Stage (Fenne Lily's gentle indie-folk, SLIFT's sludgy stoner psych, Lynks' theatrical, mind-bending queer pop, Yard Act's witty, droll post-punk to name a handful), but you'll be compelled by the assortment of talent eager to perform.

Snap, Crackle & Pop Stage

As you stroll over to the S,C&P Stage, curious to see where the thumping vibrations on the festival site are coming from, you'll find the kind of beat-heavy new wave and left-field electronica that the Snap, Crackle & Pop club night and label are renowned for around East London. With the likes of Lena Willikens, Dr. Rubenstein, and Daniel Avery providing the evening's soundtrack, you'll be itching for the party to continue long after the show comes to an end.

The Gun Stage

Finally, the last of six stages offering no excuse to leave Brixton's Brockwell Park is The Gun Stage, curated by one of Hackney's best-loved boozers The Gun. Thankfully after a difficult 18 months, the pub and its owners are still here to tell the tale and prepare a party worthy of Wide Awake Festival with DEBONAIR, Moscoman, and rock 'n' rave titan Erol Alkan all making an appearance.

Take a good look at the site map below to see how to navigate the festival and its six stages, and for set times head to the festival's website.

Wide Awake Festival 2021 tickets are still on sale. To find out more, click here.

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