Going loco down in Albert Road for festival’s return

Marley Blandford. Picture by Habibur Rahman
Marley Blandford. Picture by Habibur Rahman
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It’s time to go loco, as the music festival of the same name makes its return tomorrow, even though its original home has since closed down.

Last summer’s first Loco Fest took place at the Southsea Bandstand and in the Mexican bar Al’Burrito on Albert Road.

But this year, it’s back and has grown to six stages featuring a mix of the cream of the local scene and a scattering of national acts.

Ethan Owen, co-organiser says: ‘Last year was on a very small scale. It was basically just down at the bandstand and then we pushed it to Al’Burrito where we had a few bands upstairs and some acoustic stuff downstairs, but it was seen as more of an after-party than an organised event.

‘This year we thought, let’s give it a proper go.

‘This year we’ve got five stages on Albert Road, and the bandstand for free in the day. It should be a good little day and the weather will be good like it has been.’

It was quite nice to find most of our mates were excited about it and liked our ideas

Ethan Owen

The festival grew out of music that Ethan and his friend, and Al’Buritto co-owner Jack New were putting on at the bar.

‘I’d started working with the Al’Buritto guys, DJing there, and with the Mexican theme of the place, we called it Loco DJs, and we sort of tried to keep that theme going.

‘Once we got the room upstairs soundproofed, we started organising gigs up there, and we labelled them as Loco Music, as a promotion company.

‘We did so many events at the bar at the weekend, we thought let’s make a bit of a celebration of the music and make an all-dayer of it, a bit of a festival.’

It was through their contacts in the local scene that the bill came together.

‘A lot of the local bands we had play at Al’Buritto and we know them quite well personally too. It was quite nice to find most of our mates were excited about it and liked our ideas. The local band line-up was very easy to fill.’

Headliners for the day include electro-pop due Avec Sans, and Billy Lunn, frontman of indie rockers The Subways.

The bill covers a wide variety of genres, from acoustic solo acts to rock, via reggae and hip-hop.

‘The hip-hop scene has really come on in the past year or so, local band-wise we’ve got guys like Hang Dai, Naan Bredderz coming through – I saw them a few months back and they blew me away, so we wanted to devote a stage to that.’

And the boys have got big ambitions for the festival.

‘I think last year, we wanted to throw a little party, and just because we had lots of fun and we’ve got enough contact and know the local scene quite well we could have a go of it.

‘Our plans are to make it bigger every year, and to eventually take it to the fields if we can get the right names, but that’s going to be a while.’

The bandstand is free. Standard tickets for the day are £15, £17 with entry to the after party.

Go to locofest.co.uk

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Venues include: Southsea Bandstand (free entry), The Shack Bar, The Loft (Kings Pub upstairs), The Royal Albert, The Edge of the Wedge and The Wedgewood Rooms.

The full line-up for the day includes:

Avec Sans

Billy Lunn (the Subways)

GLASS

PETS

Shoot the duke

Indiana Quiet Cats

Marley Blandford

Lewis Smith

Foxer

Me and the moon

Gypsy Mac & Sample C

Lewis Powel

Ben Brookes

Babette and Pete

Isa Bell

Pete Callard

Offbeat Offensive

Hang Dai

Mint gun club

Kitchen Disco (Food Record)

Too much 2tone

Dutch Criminal Record

Nomura

Naan Bredderz

Reform Music

The Silhouettes

Colour of the Jungle

The Strays

The Wild Claims

That Dani Bird

Parv

Mollie Scott

Emotional Concept

Sam Chatfield (DJ set)

Pointfour (DJ set)

Zeal Movement (DJ set)

Ethan Owen (DJ set)

AR Movement & Nik Bunting (DJ set)