SW4: The best bits

Main stage SW4, festivals, Rebecca Parker, Kettlemag.co.uk
Written by Rebecca Parker

This August bank holiday weekend saw party goers don their wellies and head to the backyard Ibiza that is South West Four (SW4).

Festival fanatics were able to experience some of the biggest DJs in the world on Clapham Common; immersing themselves in the best music has to offer in the way of techno, electro, house and EDM.

This year SW4 increased their capacity to 35,000 due to high demand and it’s certainly clear why the festival is so popular. Fresh from touring The White Isle, over 100 DJs from across the globe came to see out the summer, playing a mix of obligatory classic club with new previously unheard material.

SW4 offered Londoners -as well as those from neighboring counties- to experience the thrills of a high octane clubbing holiday, without the excessive prices of forking out for flights, inflated drink prices and hotel accommodation. No wonder both days sold out.

[Festival goers at the main stage]

The weekend dance-a-thon promised a whole host of class acts, from Andy C’s heavy drum and bass, to electro from Basement Jaxx, to the deep house of Shift K3y and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Introducing a second indoor main stage meant you could escape the drizzle, which of course always makes an appearance on a bank holiday. Of course you could be forgiven for thinking that a second main stage would lead to drawn out sets and ‘filler acts’, but each artist performed what could be deemed as concert worthy.

[Andy C]

RAM records launched their largest UK showcase, headed by label manager Andy C who has been dubbed as the ‘best DJ in the UK’. Having played at Glastonbury in 2013 and remixing for Rudimental and London Grammar he has become a firm favourite on the dance music scene. Hitting the decks with thumping drum and bass you could definitely see how the mastermind behind the 23-year-old label has gained a notable reputation for nurturing talent.


Among this talent is Wilkinson, or Mark Wilkinson to be precise. The native (South West) Londoner has made his mark within the festival circuit performing at Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, T In The Park and Wireless. This year accompanied by his band, Wilkinson produced a rockier drum and bass sound at SW4, proving that nothing beats live music. With his debut album ‘Lazers Not Included’ reaching number one on the iTunes Dance Chart and countless remixes for the likes of Ed Sheeran and Chase and Status his second album release next year looks set to propel him to even greater heights.

[A singer from Basement Jaxx’s set]

Perhaps the most hotly anticipated act of the weekend was Basement Jaxx. An audible hum of excitement filled the site as the stage was prepared for the sibling duo. Hailing from Brixton they made their way five minutes up the road to Clapham Common to put on a spectacle of their chart-topping hits. Dancers and rainbow colours wowed. Speaking prior to playing, the brothers said they wanted to bring ‘extra dimensional, super-cosmic vibrations’ and they sure did.

SW4 cruised into its twelfth year with bang up to date artists and energetic atmosphere making it the capitals must attend festival for celebrating DJ veterans and the hyped newcomers. Here’s to next year. 

[Images by Rebecca Parker]

Did you attend SW4? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.