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The Hanging Gardens Of Brighton, Old Steine Gardens, Brighton, May 25 to 27
On the last weekend of Brighton Festival and Fringe, everyone in the city was ready to party. New company Babylon kicked off the festivities with The Hanging Gardens Of Brighton, a new small festival, one of several preview events around the country ahead of their debut full-size festival in August.
Brighton’s three-day event was situated on the grassy site of Old Steine, with two stages and a sparkling line-up of dub, ska and funk bands.
Headliners The Go! Team and Alabama 3 had the crowd dancing in the shady tents. Festival favourites Dreadzone’s DJ set on the Saturday night was very well-received, their every tune met with whoops of appreciation. Five-piece London girl band The Boxettes, who count UK female beatbox champion Bellatrix among their members, played a brilliant set on the Sunday evening, delighting young and old with their blend of dub, hip-hop, beats and clear voices.
Unfortunately the lighting was aggressive and the sound poor, and when competing with the highest temperatures of the year, the festival came second. Although everyone in attendance was having fun, it was clear many of the ticket-holders had sought siestas or air-conditioning, leaving the tents less than bustling.
The Hanging Gardens Of Brighton had a vibrant atmosphere but it wasn’t enough to tempt people from the beach.