Freeze Festival: Day 1 at Battersea Power Station
With a perfectly chosen name considering the tremendously uncomfortable cold temperature of London yesterday and night, snowboarding and skiing enthusiasts gathered at the famous Battersea Power Station to enjoy a mixture of music, shopping, skanking and supporting. With an 110ft ramp covered in snow, competitors battled to do the most brazen tricks and jumps while people applauded and watched in awe between music acts. This continued through the day into the evening.
This mini-festival, sponsored by the energy drink Relentless, continues today and hosts an exciting line-up of artists – which included yesterday: DJ Shadow, Ms. Dynamite, Scratch Perverts, DJ EZ and A-YO (a Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe DJ set).
With a selection of tents to choose from – Coors Light Tent, Après Ski tent, Desperado stage, Metro Tent and Main Stage – visitors are given a choice, just like at any festival, of different musical acts or scenes to switch between. In a very wide, open space, the snow ramp dominates the landscape (as well as the iconic Power Station) providing those who attend with thrilling visual stimuli, when they aren’t being entertained by the music. There is also a large merchandise marquee selling independent clothing and ski/snowboarding apparel.
A mix of garage, dubstep, house and hip-hop is constantly playing throughout the day, either by the main acts or lesser-known DJs in the smaller tents. The incredibly interactive and small Desperado stage had Ms. Dynamite perform, providing hits such as Dy-Na-Mi-Tee and Put Him Out, throwing in jungle mash-ups and sped-up versions of the tracks to keep the crowd entertained and remind them that the old-school scene she emerged from is still key to her character and musical focus. DJ EZ did the same earlier in the day, allowing those at Freeze to recall the days of the UK dance scene that dominated London nightclubs over a decade ago.
A powerful combination of musical keenness – Zane Lowe and Mark Ronson as DJ act A-YO, performed a rowdy mix-up of current hip-hop tracks and electro rhythms to keep the crowd occupied before the main act of day one.
DJ Shadow, promoting his newly released Best Of album, came on to the main stage to do a DJ set, warning the crowd that he plays “obscure shit” and those who are open-minded will be particularly entertained. Dropping minimal, relatively unknown hip-hop beats – using just turntables, heavy bass drums, frightening vocal samples and authentic snares – DJ Shadow shook the tent. This fairly laid-back set had a pretty much static crowd bopping their heads with chilled enthusiasm to mostly instrumental tracks.
Roll on day 2.
Matt Di Salvo
Visit the website of the Freeze Festival here to buy day tickets.
Watch the Relentless Freeze Festival trailer here: