Reviewed: Hospitality On The Beach 2018
Not satisfied with throwing the biggest Drum & Bass festival in Britain, this year Hospital Records went one up and kicked off the festival season in style by hosting their very own beach festival in Croatia. Held at the Garden Resort on the beautiful shores of Tisno, this truly was an unforgettable holiday for everyone involved.
Ravers were treated to four stages across the site, boasting a seriously star-studded line-up – including headliners such as Andy C, London Elektricity, High Contrast, Camo & Krooked and an extra special B2B from Calibre & DBridge, to name just a few. If that wasn’t enough to whet the appetite, Hospital kindly threw in a whopping fifteen boat parties and three after parties.
I feel here it’s important to give mention to how spectacular the beach stage was; the Garden Resort we’re not exaggerating in describing their venue as a “real slice of paradise”. Picture this – beautifully clean turquoise water as far as the eye can see, clear blue skies and scorching sunshine, with your favourite music providing the soundtrack – what’s not to love?
Wasting no time, things started early at 12pm on the Thursday with Dexta B2B Chris Inperspective opening up the Beach Stage. The first boat party set sail at 1pm with an eclectic triple threat b2b performing for three hours, namely Med School favourite Etherwood, the incomparable Krakota and Hospital new-boy Unglued. With the boat packed out from front to back, and everyone in sight with a grin running from ear to ear, it’s safe to say this very much set the tone for the rest of the holiday.
After the boat party, we punters were faced with a tricky decision – which remained consistent throughout the holiday – which of the four stages to head to! However, with Hospital heavyweights Fred V & Grafix, Urbandawn and Danny Byrd rocking the main stage in the afternoon, I couldn’t help but find myself gravitate towards these maestros. Indeed, it was this pull from the Hospital big boys that provided a holiday highlight; when during London Elektricity’s set alongside Hospital newcomer Degs, London Elek’s son, the Secretary General himself, hopped on stage and mesmerised the crowd with his flawless rendition of the ‘Floss’ dance move.
On the beach stage, we were treated to a Med School vs Blu Mar Ten Music showdown, hosting the dulcet tones of Keeno, Blu Mar Ten and crowd favourite Whiney – who whipped the ravers into a frenzy with an assault of brand new unreleased music.
A trip back to the main stage for the remainder of the night capped off a perfect first day, listening to the sounds of the one and only S.P.Y shelling down with his new Dubplate Style tunes, alongside certified hurters such as “Alone In The Dark”.
On Friday Critical Sound took over the main stage, showcasing artists such as Foreign Concept, Kasra and Enei. During the day it was the Sun and Bass stage that lured the crowd in, offering serene liquid vibes to help nurse any hangovers from an over-excited first day. Witnessing a crowd sing-a-long to LSB’s “The View” is always a special moment, even more so when gazing out to the calm, blue water of the Adriatic Sea.
DJ Marky joined the Sun and Bass stage in the evening and played one of the most energetic sets of the festival and, of course, delivered the classic Marky move that we all know and love; impeccable scratching while holding the deck over his head. We were also lucky enough to hear Break’s monstrous remix of Dillinja – “Hard Noize”.
Spearhead took to the beach stage on Saturday. With beautiful music and settings to match, the vibe was one of relaxation during the day, people scattered across the beach sipping cold drinks and soaking up the sizzling sun. All of the sets from this day deserve a mention but a major highlight was the set from Blu Mar Ten, a perfectly rolling sunset selection from start to finish. The Law & Wheeler remix of “Titans” was particularly well received by the crowd!
The evening brought upon us the dilemma of the weekend – the choice between watching the mighty Andy C or the iconic duo of Calibre b2b DBridge.
As we’ve all come to expect from the Executioner, Andy C utterly tore the stage down with a flawless set covering every avenue of drum and bass. The brand new Chase & Status jungle dubplate ‘Retreat’ sounded phenomenal – and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with the phrase “soundboy surrender retreat!” stuck in my head. Keep your ears peeled for that one!
After their extra special Marcus Intalex tribute set at Hospitality in the Park last summer, it came as no surprise that Hospital invited Calibre & DBridge along to the beach to supply some liquid brilliance. With SP:MC and DRS hosting, it was a memorable set from some of the most legendary artists in the game.
Sunday was a unique affair with Nu:Logic, Fred V and London Elektricity b2b Chris Goss lining up at the Magnolia stage to play their ‘influences sets’, giving the audience an insight into the records that shaped their musical tastes.
The Hospital artists returned to the main stage, and it was great to see the legendary Makoto make an appearance – who has recently moved over to the UK for the next five years, so expect to be seeing him on more Hospitality line-ups in the near future! In the evening High Contrast, Camo & Krooked and Kings of The Rollers delivered some seriously lively sets.
Which brings us to the final day, and boy it did not disappoint! An all-day mega B2B2B2B2B2B2B set with B-Complex, Logistics, London Elektricity, Nu: Tone, Unglued, Serum and Voltage. Wow. With unexpected selections and rewinds a-plenty, this was an extraordinary set, to say the least.
The Hospital Records staff were rewarded for their incredible efforts with this festival, taking over the beach stage for a giant b2b between the office DJ’s, then setting sail for their very own boat party. Shouts to Ed Priest for playing that world ending apocalyptic tune. I’m 99.9% sure that the epic thunderstorm that ensued was summoned as a result of this track being played out at sea.
Unfortunately, this colossal thunderstorm resulted in the boat party heading back early and Benny L being unable to play his set. Would’ve been apt if he opened with his new release entitled “Thunder Slap”! In fact, he had an older release called “Thunder” too. Perhaps avoid writing a tune called Earthquake or Tsunami, Benny!
The crowds were soaked in the storm, but it certainly didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits with chants of “F*** the rain” echoing through the festival and, allegedly, a small after party took place in the restaurant while people took shelter.
This festival was a one of a kind experience, bringing ravers together in an intimate setting showcasing some of the finest talent that Drum & Bass has to offer. It was a special week that will undoubtedly remain in people’s memories for a long time to come. Hospital Records, salutes to each and every one of you for putting on such an incredible festival. Hard to believe that was a debut appearance!
I think I speak for almost everyone in attendance when I say – bring on Hospitality on the Beach 2019!