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Bust lips, incredible guest appearances, and a triumphant return with Gorillaz at APE

Bust lips, incredible guest appearances, and a triumphant return with Gorillaz at APE

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*Time freezes* 

It’s been a while since I’ve been drenched in beer. Some might say too long, most will say it should have never happened again, but here I am in the middle of a raging mosh pit about to shove an innocent lad over. 

*Time resumes rapidly* 

A lot has happened in life between the last All Points East and strangely enough, the festival served as my rock. I’m talking deeper than the layout and stage designs being familiar. It was more the undeniable feeling of escape from the towering city you know is peering in from the fences. The collective energy of thousands of hedonists, ignorant to the fact a tube strike will make their journey home 3 hours (yep).

Last year, it was one of the first large events to fully open emerging from covid. Although you wanted to feel like a cow being released from the barn for the first time in months, it was clothed in uncertainty. This year, the series of events kicked off with the energy you remember; the kind that comes from the end of summer being on people’s minds.

You could get straight to the bar. There was no queue for the toilets. We could easily barge to the front of your fave act. It felt like home.

As far as lineups go, it was also one of my favourite overall lineups across the shows.

It was IDLES where I unapologetically ruined my body by being at the front pushing kids around (like this guy who bust his lip).

Summaries IDLES

Yves Tumor where I was reminded how uncool I am. Same at Knucks, who had Loyle Carner as a guest appearance for a special rendition of ‘Standout’. But festivals have always been about discovery, exploring. I’d also argue that feeling uncool is very on brand for No Taste.

Kenny Beats certainly knew how to ruffle up a crowd with his abrupt mixing styles. 

As the sun cast its amber glow on the scorched fields and illuminated the dust suspended in the air, thousands flocked to the East Stage where Gorillaz would show them what they’ve been missing out on in the last year since they played in England.

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Like stacking delicious pancakes, each song they played built on the previous spectacularly. With light shows that encompassed the whole stage and a setlist like no other, they have played recently – including the world premiere of New Gold feat. Tame Impala also graced the stage and DARE with Shaun Ryder.

These weren’t the only special guests. The likes of De La Soul, Popcaan, The Clash’s Paul Simonon, Rowetta, and Bootie Brown all featured.

If you were to list a highly improbable but dream setlist, this was it. 

All Points East is back with a runner who falls at the starting gun and still wins. Even amidst the travel chaos, there was not a slumped soul in sight. It had a word with itself in the mirror and came back to persuade you that it remains the best festival in London.

We’ll be back for a few more days and cannot wait to document more of the madness. There are some remaining tickets, you should join us.

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