By Flora Pick, Deputy Digital Editor
Sequences staged its grand return to a grateful crowd on Saturday, boasting high production values and quality tunes courtesy of headliners Chase & Status.
Sequences opened to a determined crowd, unwilling to let a bit of drizzle, or even heavy rain, stand in the way of their fun. Such biblical weather stood to highlight the sense of catharsis shared by the crowd, one that was still clearly relishing the post-lockdown freedom.
Put together by The Blast, a team that has for the past few years been emphatically pushing Bristol’s music events into broader and more ambitious territories, the success of Sequences felt like a hard-earned victory, with organiser Tom Hoyle describing it as ‘a really proud moment’.
Following an array of logistical setbacks, the afternoon came as a collective sigh of relief. Initially programmed for June of this year, moving from Motion to a new venue of Greville Smyth in Ashton Gate, it was postponed with a week’s notice following consultation with the council. On Saturday, there was the sense of something to prove, of time lost and in need of making up, that steeled the crowd against bad weather.
What could have been a disappointing end to a long and fraught saga ended up a testament of overcoming adversity, be it in the form of grey skies or council intervention. Any initial doubts upon entering to a drizzly scene could be quickly buoyed by consumption of some reasonably priced vodka red bulls and pad thai in rapid succession.
The air a mixture of harbourside freshness and cigarette smoke, Lloyds Amphitheatre lay transformed. An area familiar to any rambler of the city’s waterfront was imbued with a true festival vibe. You would be forgiven for not realising it was Sequences’ first time at the venue.
Production values began high and only mounted as the day slipped into night, lasers cutting through the darkening sky. DJ Marky was joined by the legendary MC GQ and the pair managed to truly ramp up proceedings, giving attendees, many of whom had been on their feet since 2pm, a much needed second wind. Chase & Status erupted onto the stage with hair frying pyros and absorbing crowd-pleasers. Throughout the evening were odd moments of recollection, where a familiar building could be spotted past the stage, caught in the bright unnatural lights, a reminder of where we were.
Taking place so close to the heart of the city perhaps posed some limitations in terms of sound: while the quality was high, the volume never quite reached the level required for that heart-in-your-throat pumping hypnotism expected at The Blast events. Though that all-consuming thrumming may have been missed, the reliable camaraderie between eventgoers was in no short supply, as there was a barefaced collective excitement to be allowed back to such a party.
This is the first event of its genre to be held at Lloyds Amphitheatre, marking a breakthrough in presumed allocation of Bristol’s music venues and inspiring excitement for future boundary breaking. With the team claiming that plans for Sequences 2022 are already in motion, there is a lot to look forward to.
Have you attended any festivals this summer?
Featured image: Flora Pick