Hospitality in the Park | Double Decker Warm-Up Party

Ahead of the fourth round of Hospitality in the Park – Hospital Records’ epic drum and bass all-day festival taking place this Saturday 21st September in Finsbury Park – guests were invited to a unique and intimate warm-up party, held in London this past Wednesday.

Melt-in-your-eardrums tunes flow around jostling bodies, through hands raised up high, heads thrown back and hair flying into faces and eyes. A warm breeze surrounds us, lights flashing bright – red, yellow, green – glimpsed through half-lidded eyes, teeth glinting in huge smiles as we catch each other being in the moment; it’s a familiar atmosphere, one we all know and love. 

Suddenly, it goes dark. The sounds change instantly; deeper, somehow closer, the bass enveloping us and reverberating in our hearts. Eyes wide open now, there’s a rumble beneath us. The ceiling starts to move and the gentle breeze turns into a stronger wind. We lurch slightly and stumble against each other; a black cab honks as it drives past us and we emerge from under a bridge, lurching again when the double-decker bus we’re on comes to a stop at a red traffic light.

This Wednesday, Hospital Records invited guests to be part of a unique experience; an open-top double decker touring bar bus, run by The Original Tour, which would drive through some of the most iconic central London locations while everyone on board got down to dirty drum and bass beats.

Blessed with a clear night sky and an almost-full moon, it was a hypnotising night with world-renowned drum and bass producer Fred V at the musical helm – his melodic, euphoric creations filling the usually quieted, conservative streets – and Carasel MC throwing out rhymes and lines into the London night. Led by this electric pair on a short but sweet musical journey, we got a spellbinding taste of the full-throttle, heart-bursting, foot-stomping celebration of drum and bass that will be Hospitality in the Park 2019.

There’s no experience quite like staring up at the glowing stiletto that is the Shard while listening to the most energetic drums and drops, or driving under the lights of Tower Bridge, euphoric sounds bouncing off the beautiful stone architecture; two completely opposing and contrasting histories coming together to form something absolutely juxtaposed and perfect.

And what could be a more quintessentially London experience than hearing The Beatles come on while touring through London? Of course, with Fred V on the decks and Carasel MC leading the charge, we’re talking a jump-up, finger-gunning version of Come Together that had us all sing-screaming “One thing I can tell you is you got to be free…”.

A special mention for the moment we turned into Piccadilly Circus, beats echoing off the never-not-on huge screens, the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain teeming with tourists and Wednesday night commuters looking on the bus in amazement or absolute confusion – with some instantly soaking up the energy and joining in from the ground, a temporary connection forged by the whistling, whooping party-bus-goers and the waving passers-by.

Now in its fourth year, don’t miss the chance to see off the summer season at the unique 360-degree celebration of all corners of drum and bass – from familiar beats and drops to new and unexpected sounds from the past, present and future, and that unbeatable Hospitality experience. Hospitality in the Park takes place Saturday 21st September in Finsbury Park; more details here.

Words: Ameena Rojee

Photography: Cathy Whatever