Live Report: GALA Festival 2024

A landing pad for music lovers...

It just keeps getting better and better. Since 2016, nine years ago, when tickets were £5 and we had just established our crew at university to go dancing with, GALA has been that festival. I feel like out of the nine years of the festival running, I’ve done six of them and that’s not by chance. The 2024 GALA line-up marked a new era for the festival, and throughout the weekend we delved deep into the realms of electronic music, fashion and culture, with hosts such as NTS Radio, Adonis, Deviation and Nicholas Daley.

GALA Festival is a world-renowned electronic music event located in Peckham Rye Park, and for somebody like me, going to a festival like this, it’s like a kid in a sweet shop – stuck for choice and overwhelmed by excitement. Putting the weekend into words, when my mind is brimming with so many beautiful memories has become an increasingly difficult task as to make this remotely coherent. 

Day one set the tone for the weekend – the energy was electric. Considering this was the Friday of a Bank Holiday weekend, it was great to see fans turn up in full force. Work? Nah bro, what a silly question when GALA is one, fans made sure they made sure that annual leave was booked in well ahead of time. 

Favourite act of Friday? It had to be Novelist on the Deviation stage; the Pleasure Dome was rocking, and I was fortunate enough to be on/side stage to witness it from the POV of the artist. To see each person dancing and letting all inhibitions go, being completely free and exuberant, it’s what it’s all about, right? Novelist delivered wheel-up after wheel-up and of course, THE ICONIC skudududu moment. Every person and their dog threw up gun fingers at these points, whilst shaking heads in disbelief at what they were witnessing. But whilst this was my personal favourite, it’s important to pull out some of the other amazing acts from the day from Interplanetary Criminal, Joy Orbison to Sherelle b2b Kode9 – I expected nothing less from such astute performers. I also want to big up Bianca Oblivion B2B Sam Binga – this set of theirs really took me back, and whilst their slot was warming up the Friday, they played like it was their last set ever… an incredible performance.

Leading on to the Saturday where the vibe accelerated. It was noticeable. Sally C as expected landed with a storming set, and ISAbella absolutely tonked it. Honourable shoutout to Jhumka and Manami LIVE who respectively shelled it. Job Jobse without a doubt is always going to bring the party, and closing a stage? You just know from the moment he brings in that first tune, the next period of your life is going to be high-energy, whilst boasting a sense suave and sexiness.

Just as you think the weekend couldn’t be matched, Sunday then packaged up a monster day with key performances from Paramida b2b Kassian, Midland, Sadar Bahar, Peach, Antal b2b Hunee b2b Palms Trax and raining the gold confetti down on the weekend was Folamour. Short but sweet, but in a nutshell, the best time was had.

Words: Josh Clubbe

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