What could be more pleasant than standing in the searing heat at midday waiting in a giant queue for an hour? Well, pretty much everything as it turns out. We felt great depths of pity for those pink, dehydrated souls that were packed like sardines into the ticket lanes on the opening day of Lovebox but what lay ahead of them was, on the whole, worth the wait.

Lovebox has undergone a transformation this year, one which dramatically improved on previous years. Before it was a little like the BBC 3 of festivals; overrun with rampant, drunk teenagers and noticeably lacking in depth and quality, this year saw some pastoral care being introduced. Trees are decorated with patchwork quilts, their branches adorned with disco balls and blossoming neon tutus. The DISTRIKT stage is flanked by wooden pirate boats which you can climb into whilst there is a boxing ring for hourly competitions in the Dance Off arena, which was the main attraction for those people who (like us) enjoy watching others publicly humiliate themselves. There is even a makeshift launderette for those that want to recreate the Big Freedia 'Explode' video all day long (we also enjoy this). This might all seem inconsequential when thinking about the music on offer but, in comparison to other day festivals in London, this was as close as it gets to giving a fuck about creating a vibe which you might possibly want to hang around for. For that, we applaud you, Lovebox.

Music wise, Friday was always going to be the weaker of the two days but there were still gems to be found. Opening the proceeding at the West Stage was Tourist who fashioned out a feel-good set of electronica remixes and original house tracks from his latest Patterns EP, despite a custerfuck of technical difficulties for which he apologised profusely. Joey Bada$$ was saved the technical difficulties and put on equally impressive set that was littered with references to the old guard of hip-hop, although anyone who stayed out for the whole set in the blazing sun is made of stronger stuff than me.

After running to any tree, sign, or tall person who could cast a big enough shadow, we braved the sun again for Katy B tearing up the main stage. Aside from 'Still', a slow, moody ballad, which went down like a wet fart in a crowded lift, the rest of her set caused mass singalongs, particularly on set closer 'On a Mission' but the rest of Saturday was really about Theo Parrish at the Red Bull stage. On a day where a lot of artists could be defined by their superficiality, Parrish demonstrated that there is still an appetite for musicianship at these kind of events. As his band locked into jazz and funk grooves whilst 4 b-boy and girls kept thing lively upfront, it was clear that this jazz-funk odyssey was the highlight for everyone in attendance.

Despite threats of thunder and rain, Saturday's bad weather never materialised so another day of smearing layers of sunblock whilst desperately hunting for shade filled the gaps between sets. We started with Juce in the Big Top and their set was nothing short of exceptional. Jogging on to the stage in matching boxing cloaks, one by one they reveal themselves, each wearing an outfit are striking as the next. The nostalgic, summertime grooves of '(H)ours' and 'Call You Out' get the crowd moving but it's their cover of Michael Jackson's 'P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)' (pop knowledge fans might be interested to know he never performed this Thriller-era classic) that really hit the sweet spot. Following on from this early high, chilled-out trip-hob vibes from Submotion Orchestra impressed a sizeable audience on The West Stage, whilst a funky set from Soul II Soul on the main stage, complete with an unexpected garage breakdown halfway through, was arguably the highlight of the weekend.

The final two artists on the main stage were unfortunate victims to the Victoria Park curse of bad sound systems. Nas, performing his debut Illmatic in full, gave a good performance with regular interactions with the crowd but the sound levels did not provide the quality which is needed to fully appreciate his intricate storytelling, not that the crowd needed much help anyway as they shouted every line back to him. Though he fared a little better than M.I.A's headline set which was constantly beset by mics breaking and stage monitors cutting out. When things are going well, the audience are reminded why M.I.A. is one of the most visually and sonically interesting artists out there, particularly on 'Bucky Done Gun' and 'Bring The Noise'. After a crowd invasion causes someone to pull the power on the entire show, they are hushed off the stage and she returns a few minutes later for a short encore of 'Paper Planes' and 'Bad Girls' but leaves 20 mins early, visibly annoyed. It was a sour note to end what was otherwise a very sweaty and a very fun weekend.

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