Lovebox – review

Lovebox 2012 Maverick Sabre main stage

Lovebox 2012: with Maverick Sabre on the main stage. Photograph: Richard Ridout

Last weekend Lovebox festival took over Victoria Park, just south of Hackney. Hot Chip, Friendly Fires and Grace Jones headlined the three-day gig, drawing huge crowds to the main stage. Meanwhile, the smaller outdoor stages – and the indoor NYC downlow arena – were dominated by dance.

With most of Victoria Park cordoned off, police patrolling the fences and a mass of revellers trundling through the usually tranquil Victoria Park Village, the only way for the locals to cope was to join the party.

Zoe Abeid, 43, lives in Mile End and returns to Lovebox each year. “I love it,” she said, “it brings everyone together. It gets better each year.”

It’s east London’s version of Glastonbury – minus the mud and wellies. It was a somewhat surreal experience leaving the party and having a civilised pint in the Lauriston before heading home – rather than having to blindly navigate back to a cold, wet tent.

Hackney Weekend will no doubt offer a similarly enjoyable musical feast.

Lovebox 2012 crowds after dark - Groove Armada

Lovebox 2012: crowds after dark, with Groove Armada on stage. Photograph: Richard Ridout

Lovebox 2012 two revellers main stage

Lovebox 2012: revellers at the main stage. Photograph: Richard Ridout

Lovebox 2012 NYC Downlow hosts

Lovebox 2012: NYC Downlow hosts. Photograph: Richard Ridout

Lovebox 2012 Grime MC Dot Rotten Second Stage

Lovebox 2012: Grime MC Dot Rotten on the Second Stage. Photograph: Richard Ridout

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