Pandora’s purse explodes: Lovebox is back

Snoop Dogg at Glastonbury Festival 2010 by Shirlaine Forrest
Snoop Dogg at Glastonbury Festival 2010 by Shirlaine Forrest

Kae Karadelis opens the lid and releases a full Lovebox 2011 preview, complete with Spotify playlist.

London’s glitziest, trendiest and most eclectic festival welcomes rap royalty to the East End.

Lovebox Weekender 2011 returns to Victoria Park from 15-17 July, with superstar Saturday headliner Snoop Dogg and three days of dancing, debauchery and hedonism.

Pop, indie, electro, RnB, dubstep, drum&bass, reggae and even a smidgen of acoustic folk will get a look in, with a line up offering global icons of the likes of Blondie (Sunday), on the same turf as the little-known and unsigned.

Friday is curated by Lovebox’s younger sibling, the east London dance night Bang the Box. Example, Metronomy and Ms Dynamite are all on the bill, in addition to a travelling discothéque from across the Channel brought by French electro label Ed Banger – best known as the home of Justice – which is bringing Cassius, SebastiAn and Uffie in tow. It’s not clear what The Wombats are doing as headliners, but since Lovebox is the baby of Tom Findlay and Andy Cato from Groove Armada, it’s best to believe in them and ask questions later.

Saturday is, of course, mostly about Snoop Dogg performing his 1993 debut album, ‘Doggystyle’, featuring Tha Pound and none other than Prince Igor himself, Warren G. Other performers for Saturday on a par with the pooch include sultry Swede Lykke Li, Brooklyn indie band The Drums and Bolton indie band Cherry Ghost, Ziggy Marley and producer Shy FX. Bad news for Jessie J fans though – she was booked to precede Snoop, but has had to pull out from her UK festival dates with a foot injury.

Dazzling, colourful and polysexual, Sundays at Lovebox are traditionally brought to the turntable by Out and Out Fierce, which means gender bending, disco balls, cabaret and recycled couture. Expect loud, boisterous sets from Robyn, Kelis and Beth Ditto, some retro classics from former Soft Cell front man Marc Almond, and an archetypal mixtape from 2ManyDJs. It also definitely worth checking out drag queen DJ Jodie Harsh, who’s Friday night Circus parties have become legendary in London’s trendy Shoreditch.  

Five must-sees at Lovebox 2011:

Snoop Dogg performing ‘Doggystyle Live’
Single tickets for Saturday sold out weeks ago. Snoop Dogg is the reason.

Groove Armada
The duo that founded Lovebox played at the first-ever festival nine years ago and return in 2011 with an audio-visual multi-FX show, which harks back to the days of warehouse parties and Ibiza residencies. Indeed, the boys are squeezing in a few UK appearances this summer between breaking beats on the Space Terrace at the Balearic Isle. Lovebox is their party, so it would be rude not to check them out.

Scissor Sisters
There couldn’t really be a more perfect marriage than Scissor Sisters and Out and Out Fierce. Ana Matronic has revealed that the band will play a never-before-heard song from their future fourth album and suggested that they’ll be welcoming a special guest on stage. It probably won’t be Kylie this time like it was at Glastonbury 2010, but Santigold who plays Lovebox on Saturday – and like Kylie provided backing vocals on Scissor Sister’s ‘Night Work’ – could perhaps be persuaded to stick around in Victoria Park an extra day.

Katy B
It seems that being a Brit school graduate is a sure-fire road to commercial success (Adele, Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash and Leona Lewis to name just a few of the female alumni) and with a debut album going in at number two in the UK charts, Katy B is no exception. The fresh-faced red-head’s chart friendly UK garage sound sticks firmer in the mind than Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ – but in a very good way. Could Dy-na-mi-tee join in for the rap bit in top-10 single ‘Lights On’?

Architecture in Helsinki
The kitsch Aussie indie-pop band has recently toured the US with Death Cab For Cutie and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and supported David Byrne, Yo La Tengo and Belle & Sebastian. Lovebox is the only UK date on their two-month tour world tour.

Where can I find out more?
Check out our Lovebox Spotify playlist.

Can I still go?
Single tickets for Saturday have all gone, as have two-day deals. But there are still a handful of £99 weekend tickets (three-days) left, and individual Friday or Sunday tickets are available too. Outrageously, the booking fee is almost a tenner, and that’s before the ticket goes in the post.

Click here to buy Lovebox tickets.

Anything else I should know?
What with being in East London there is no camping or parking at this event, so use public transport and make sure you have a comfy sofa to rest your head on between blowouts.