Get ready for a vibrant celebration of music and culture in the heart of Peckham, London! The GALA Festival 2023 is approaching fast, taking place across the May Bank Holiday weekend from Friday, May 26th to Sunday, May 28th, 2023. Returning to its home in Peckham Rye Park, GALA builds on the success of last year’s sold-out event and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
Wearing its independent spirit with pride, the festival continues to celebrate diversity within the dance music community, with a varied line-up spanning house, disco, jazz, techno, jungle, and afrobeat. For the first time, Queer rave leaders Big Dyke Energy will host their own stage, bringing their unique sound and energy to the festival.
GALA Festival 2023 will also mark two significant milestones in the music industry. The festival will celebrate 20 years of the iconic South London music and arts venue, Corsica Studios, which has played a vital role in shaping the city’s music scene. The celebration will be a tribute to the venue’s contribution to the music community, showcasing some of the best emerging talents in London. Here is what to expect from the weekend…
On Friday, GALA Festival 2023 will showcase the best of live, London-centric sounds. The main stage programme is in collaboration with long-term partners Rhythm Section and will feature London Jazz leader Nubya Garcia, alt-pop crew NiNE8 Collective, Jordan Rakei, dreamcastmoe, George Riley, and Romare. The beloved ‘Pleasure Dome’ stage will bring Carnival vibes with performances by rising West London rapper Jelani Blackman, along with favourite DJs such as Sherelle, Jamz Supernova b2b Tash LC, Felix Hall, Yung Singh, and Jungle legend Congo Natty.
On Saturday, GALA Festival 2023 will continue in its traditional format, offering an exclusive London festival performance by the South London electronic duo Overmono. This will be their biggest live show yet, taking place just minutes away from where most of their highly anticipated debut album “Good Lies” was written. The album, released on XL on May 12, is sure to be a hit among fans. The second day of the festival will also feature some of the brightest stars in UK dance music, such as Anz and OK Williams, as well as early 90s rave expert and Safe Trip label founder Young Marco.
The lineup also includes a special live performance from UK dance music royalty, The Orb, Body Movements Festival Founder Saoirse, and high-energy specialists Byron Yeates & THC. In addition, South London’s renowned music venue, Corsica Studios, will take over the stage and feature the talents of Chilean mistress Paula Tape, fast-rising Melbourne selector Jennifer Loveless, and Germany’s beloved Move D. The Pickle Factory takeover will see Italy’s deep techno maestro Donato Dozzy close out the smoke-filled Patio stage.
On Sunday, GALA Festival will wrap up with an exciting programme of music. Horse Meat Disco, the legendary DJs known for their funky disco sound, will make a highly anticipated return to the Pleasure Dome stage, alongside other queer party favourites such as Josh Caffé, Gideön, Prosumer and Adonis Resident, Hannah Holland. Rush Hour, the renowned Amsterdam record label, will also present its own stage, featuring the fearless selector Hunee, Mexican deep-digger Coco Maria and Chicago royalty Mark Grusane. On the main stage, deep house pioneer Kerri Chandler will lead a stellar line-up, alongside Danilo Plessow (MCDE) playing with Jeremy Underground for the first time in the UK, Analog Soul, and the beloved Mr Scruff playing back-to-back with Charlie Dark. Meanwhile, Bradley Zero, the founder of Rhythm Section, will make a return to the Patio stage after last year’s memorable set.
The festival is known for its emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, and this year’s event is no exception. GALA Festival 2023 will feature a range of artists from different backgrounds, genders, and identities, ensuring that everyone feels welcome and represented. Peckham has always been a cultural hub for London, and GALA Festival 2023 is set to continue this tradition. With its vibrant music scene, rich cultural history, and diverse community, Peckham is the perfect location for a festival that celebrates the spirit of London.
The countdown to GALA Festival 2023 has officially begun, and Noctis can’t wait to see you there.
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Words: Izabel Rose