This weekend a brand-new three-day music festival graces Lloyd Park in Croydon. True to its name, the line-up for The Ends pulls together an impressive list of up-and-coming local talent, but there’s also a tasty layer of international superstar headliners. So we’ve split the line-up in two. Let’s examine the worldwide talent and the UK gems playing the first year of The Ends.
When it comes to international headliners, The Ends pulls no punches. Friday sees New York’s hip hop heavyweights De La Soul take to the stage before Queensbridge’s finest, Nas. But while Friday will ring out to the traditional sounds of classic NYC hip hop, as you move into Saturday, make sure you’ve perfected your shaku shaku and gwara gwara – because afrobeats will be firmly in the spotlight. With hits like ‘Ojuelegba’ and ‘Iskaba’, Nigerian-born artists Wizkid and Wande Coal will have you double-checking whether you landed in Lagos instead of Lloyd Park. Topping the bill on Sunday, Jamaican artist Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley will be lighting up south London with his unique fusion of reggae, hip hop and dancehall. The Caribbean influence doesn’t stop there, as he’ll be joined by reggaeton regular J Balvin and dancehall-afrobeats icon Burna Boy, while fellow Jamaican star Kranium is also in town on Saturday. This star-studded roster will have you shaking a leg all weekend and if you’re smart, you’ll call in sick on Monday to recuperate.
As well as putting on all those worldwide winners, The Ends is a showcase for some of the finest homegrown talent London has to offer. Grab your skwod and head to the front of actual Croydonite Nadia Rose’s set on Friday. She’ll be joined by grime legend Ghetts, as well as the gravelly tones of spoken-word poet and rapper Kojey Radical. On Saturday, continue paying homage to West African afrobeats talent with promising sets from British-born artists Maleek Berry, Kojo Funds and Juls. Also look out for fast-rising stars NSG and One Acen. By Sunday, you’ll most likely be in need of a little soul-soothing. Enter Nao. The east London singer-songwriter will have you belting out the likes of ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Fool to Love’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’, and you’d be a fool to miss her. She’ll close the festival alongside other London talents including Jaz Karis, Che Lingo and Amber Olivier. Sure, the festival is taking place in the ends, but with this epic line-up, Zone 5 has never looked so good.
Lloyd Park. East Croydon rail then tram. Fri May 31-Sun Jun 2.
Check out more festivals taking place in London this summer here.