Dials Festival, Portsmouth, 5th Oct 2018
Picking up the reins from long established Southsea Fest was never going to be an easy task but Dials Festival is fast gaining a reputation as an event not to be missed. Always a chance to discover emerging new artists and catch some local heroes, Dials once again curated an astonishingly strong line up this weekend.
It seems almost compulsory that rain is a feature at any UK festival but as this one was held across five venues along Southsea’s Albert Road, all within about 5 minutes walk of each other, the weather was largely irrelevant and it was great to see a big turnout from the word go with a lot of support for opening acts Temples of Youth, Libra Libra and Fake Empire – a fantastic and diverse mix from the outset.
With heaps more talent at every turn, neighbours The Wine Vaults and The Loft hosted more excellent performances from Lice, Ugly and Los Bitchos while across the road a dark and sweaty Acapulco was packed for local favourites Horseflies and Melt Dunes plus a stunning set from Sleep Eaters. Along at the Edge of the Wedge, Omar Baba kicked things off with their distinctive brand of jazz hip hop, Vinyl Staircase showed again how consistently good they are live and a deservedly big crowd squeezed in for some dark distortion from Hotel Lux. Just the other side of the door in the Wedgewood Rooms, Thyla and Estrons broke through the fog of the smoke machine to entertain the crowd before headliners Tigercub closed the party with their trademark crescendo of heavy riffs. So many more quality artists playing not captured here only due to the curse of not being able to be in two places at once.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, this year’s Dials was raising money for Solent Mind, a charity that’s a massive support for people in the local area with a huge range of mental health issues and Mind volunteers were on hand on the day to chat and provide information. So there you have it, an immense line up, friendly venues and a bit of wellbeing on the side, fingers tightly crossed that this turns into a regular thing…
Words and photos by Siobhan
8th October 2018