The Ends Festival kicks off with a bang! Here's what to expect...
Debuting on a bright sunny day, the long-awaited ‘The Ends Festival’ officially kicked off yesterday with a bang! Bringing with it world-class international and local artists such as Nas, De La Soul, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Wiz Kid, Kojey Radical, Maleek Berry, Ama Lou, and Nadia Rose throughout the weekend. Croydon is known for being a musical hub and for setting its own genres such as dubstep, which is a mix of Jamaican Dub and Electric Drum & Bass. So it’s only right at the first festival of this calibre, Croydon's finest up and coming artists were featured on the Future Stage throughout the 3-day festival.
The first day started on a bright note, people slowly filled the park and familiarised themselves with the set up of the festival. The Ends Festival took inspiration from New Orleans ‘Mardi Gras’, with a carnival float spreading good vibes throughout the day. Moreover, Bayou served up that cajun flavour with slingin' po'boy sandwiches. Their signature "Surf n Turf" sandwich which consists of blackened shrimp and chicken po'boy with a spread of their lip-smacking habanero chilli jam, is the real deal! The creative couple behind Pink Cactus offered authentic Mexican flavours, which are a tasty experience. Using traditional Mexican techniques to make maize tortillas and tacos served with a rich salsa sauce.
With all this delicious food, the energy was really up! So it was time to put that energy to use and get to dancing. House of Pharaohs gave a really good performance and warmed the crowd up, with Ghetts shutting the ting down as people got down and wild with it. With all this energy, Ama Lou soothed the crowd with her soulful RnB tunes and feathery trap vibes. This set the tone for the Nipsey Hussle tribute which was a retrospect on the legends life and teachings, with video projections and candid interviews of the star displayed for the audience to absorb and reflect on “The Marathon Continues.’
In that spirit, Saint Jhn popped up styling, wearing rockstar red leather pants. His performance brought the crowd to their knees, as everyone was tapping and bopping to the beat. One festival attendee responded to his performance by saying it was "really really good, he just killed it!" With Saint Jhn taking us to the trap, Nas took us back to the dungeons of rap and brought out all the classics. As the headliner for the day, Nas reminded all of us that he was truly the Maestro of rap.
The festival ended on a very high note and set the mood for what is still to come. As the day ended there were people from all age groups and ‘ends’ coming together and leaving in a harmonious way - even though many did not want the day to end. However, this was just the beginning as today’s line up sees the likes of Wizkid, Maleek Barry and Wande Coal which will be a day full of afrobeat, afro-pop and dancehall that will surely shake Lloyd Park up!