Damien Marley closes new festival after weekend of music and sunshine

Damian Marley performing at The Ends Festival. Pic: Sarah Benhamou

Thousands of revellers turned out in warm sunshine over the weekend in Croydon for the inaugural The Ends Festival.

The event, in Lloyd Park, was closed on Sunday night by Damian Marley – the son of reggae artist Bob Marley – following sets by international artists Nas, Wizkid and J Balvin. There were also guest appearances from Santan Dave, who performed Location on set with Burna Boy.

Other notable artists included Ghetts, Kranium and Nadia Rose. Nipsey Hussle was meant to perform on Friday 31 May but was murdered in March 2019 by gun fire. Balloons were released on the opening night in memory of the American rapper.

The weekend also saw the hottest day of 2019 with Saturday’s temperature reaching 26C in Croydon. The festival was well equipped to deal with the heat with a food court, two main bars, a cocktail bar and medics on hand.

Pic: Sarah Benhamou

Among the audience was Iqbal Akbari, 22, a student from Brighton, who told Eastlondonlines: “It was fun. There were some good acts and a nice atmosphere throughout the whole festival”.

“Considering it was their first festival, they’ve done quite a decent job. I liked the fact they had a Future Stage because it showed that they care about the youth and gives them an opportunity to show their talent”.

The festival was hosted by Metropolis Music and MAMA festivals which are both part of Live Nation Entertainment. The Future Stage was funded by Croydon Council and Croydon Music and Arts and was exclusively for performances from new and emerging artists living in Croydon. It featured 22 performances from local acts aged 14-25 over the three days.

In 2018, it was reported that 48.6 percent of people had never seen an artist that they didn’t know at a live music event, whereas only 13 percent had seen a new artist perform live at an event. The Future stage allowed The Ends Festival to showcase emerging local talent and increase their exposure.

When was the last time you saw an artist that was previously unknown to you at a live music event such as a gig or festival? Pic: Statista UK 2018

Councillor Oliver Lewis, Croydon Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “I think the level and the size of the festival is brilliant”.

“It is good that the producers have seen Croydon as a place they want to work. Croydon is the capital of South London, it is well placed, it’s got a large youth population – why wouldn’t they want to come here?”

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