By Katie Pritchard, Third Year History Student and Emma Loubser, Deputy Travel Editor
Katie Pritchard and Emma Loubser run through all things style, music and food at 2019's edition of Tokyo World.
Tokyo World returned at the weekend for another year of bangers, strobes and a whole lot of neon as we saw the entire population of Bristol students descend on Eastville Park. Boasting acts such as Craig David, Bristol best My Nu Leng, De La Soul, Hannah Wants, Redlight and Ed Solo amongst a whole host of others, it proved to be a weekend not to be missed.
For those of you who didn’t make it to this glorious weekend we can fill you in on all the highlights and best bits. Saturday was easily the best day for the weather, but Sunday edged to the top with the best acts of the weekend. Surprising favourites included Kurupt FM and Danny Howard whilst Craig David delivered the ultimate ending; blasting out all the favourite tunes as featured on this summer’s Love Island. Like every festival this year, Tokyo World was blessed with gaggles of teenagers in neon and fishnets, while bucket hats bobbed in waves throughout the crowd. Luckily, the weather held up. Despite a bleak forecast, Sunday’s rain ceased, and every girl group out there got their perfect shot for the gram. For some festi-inspo and neon update for your wardrobe, keep your eyes peeled for Epigram’s guide to Tokyo World style.
Despite some old favourites delivering polished sets, the clear winner of the Saturday line up with NAO, drawing in everyone and anyone milling around the tent to come a join in the bop. Fanning, quite literally, about the stage NAO had a mesmerising aura, hyping up the crowd, playing all her best sing along tunes. Arguably, the artist deserved a later and better profiled slot as she defied the stigma of the dinnertime lull. Listening to her almost makes you forget you’re hungry.
That said, a subtle aroma of pizza lurked on exiting the tents, and it was difficult to resist the tempting rows of fast-food vans. Settling on Nachos proved to be a fantastic shout, with the fries and burger option coming in a close second. Even so, the culinary experience would’ve been heightened by the sweet taste of student loans dropping first.
Saturday evening may have peaked with the Nachos and NAO combination as Gorgon City took a while to warm up. Rather painfully, it became clear that nearly the entire crowd were only familiar with about three tracks in group’s entire stint, with waves of disappointed spectators leaving before they closed. For those who stuck it out to the end, some old bangers made an appearance, but was it worth the wait? Another classic chaotic exit rounded up Saturday evening with herds of students failing to load the uber app and parking themselves on the roadside curb. I hope you all made it home in time for a fresh-faced Sunday!
For those sesh lovers that made it back for day two, Aitch made his Bristol showcase on Sunday, treating the enormous crowd to popular tunes like Strike a Pose and Taste (Make it Shake) and encouraging fans to mosh along with him. Aitch is set to stop in Bristol on the fifth of December as part of his Aitch20Tour. If his Tokyo World appearance is anything to go by, this gig will be packed out so join the waiting list as soon as possible to be in with the best chance of securing tickets.
Sister Sledge’s funk and RnB headline performance last year was an act few could even attempt to compete with. However, legendary British group Soul II Soul followed hot on the heels of last years’ Sister Sledge performance. Complete with live saxophone and electric guitar, Soul II Soul transported their audience from the 1990s to the present day with their urban, soul sound. Unfortunately, they haven’t yet put a date in the diary to return to Bristol, but they will be performing for the first time at London’s Royal Albert Hall in November 2020. A perfect early Christmas present for next year?
A clash split fans between the likes of Kurupt FM and Hybrid Minds. While Kurupt FM brought their garage and drum and bass sound to the crowds at the World Stage, Hybrid Minds attracted an audience who belted out every word of Touch and Pretend along with the electronic DJ duo. Many perched on shoulders just to catch a glimpse of the laser lights and impressive set that has become so popular in the last few years.
An energetic crowd welcomed Skepsis, who provided his classic upbeat bassline, while others caught Ed Solo & Navigator. While the Skepsis set was raved about, Ed Solo & Navigator was enjoyed but more of his definitive tunes had been expected. Following these, the likes of Preditah, Jungle Warriors and Yxng Bane began their sunset sessions. Yxng Bane set up the crowd for Craig David with a pumping selection of bangers infused with well-known tracks of his own including Answerphone and Needed Time.
The clashes on Sunday evening threw a spanner in the works of an otherwise pretty flawless line up. On the Tokyo Stage, many a Craig David devotee opted for his set to see Tokyo World 2019 to its end. Despite the wait for his appearance, it was hard to say no to a combination of saucy tunes including fan favourites 7 Days, No Drama and When You Know What Love Is, amongst an hours’ worth of others that had the crowd boogying all night long. Simultaneously, My Nu Leng & Dread MC certainly made the *tent* shake, while Wilkinson, Gentleman’s Dub Club and Marcel Dettman lured excited fans to their respective stages for one last dance. The closing acts undoubtedly provided nothing short of the perfect end to another unmissable Tokyo World.