This August, Lakota welcomes the inauguration of Trajections Festival, featuring a weighty lineup of some of the best hip hop, grime, jungle acts from across the UK, brought to you by the masterminds behind Boom Bap Festival; the only UK music festival entirely devoted to hip hop.
In lieu of a proper Boom Bap Festival this year (although they had a presence at Blueprint and also have their three-day Amsterdam Sessions planned for November), organisers created the all new one-dayer to experiment with booking a lineup that supersedes purist hip hop, branching into jungle, drum and bass and grime for an all-round celebration of rap music and heavy basslines.
Headliners include CASisDEAD, Rodney P & Skitz, President T and Children of Zeus, and organisers are hoping to create the ultimate block party-style event, with one outdoor stage and four indoor stages across the Lakota complex.
Nitelife had a chat with event organiser, manager and music enthusiast Ivan Andrade to learn more about what we can look forward to from Trajections and how the idea originally came to form.
‘I’m the managing director of Trajections, but I also run a few other brands, like Boom Bap Festival, Tropico, Gold Dust and Blue Print, to name a few. I’ve been a promotor for about 12 years and I run multiple brands featuring all different genres, as I’m generally a bit of a music fanatic.
I wanted to represent the whole field of genres, rather than just one particular side of it
‘Boom Bap was a very niche festival that featured predominately hip hop from the UK, so we wanted to break the mould a little bit and push the boundaries with who we could book. I wanted to represent the whole field of genres, rather than just one particular side of it. We just want to showcase everyone and everything we like.’
With Bristol being the home to some of the best underground hip hop acts to come out of the UK, including the Split Prophets collective (Upfront, Bil Next, Res One, Paro, Flying Monk, Blanka, Datkid & DJ Badhabitz) and the Sika Studios family, it made perfect sense to hold Trajections here.
We are close with all the Split Prophets guys, Red Dread Audio… So it was an easy decision really
‘After looking at all the analytics for Boom Bap ticket sales, Boom Bap was never really a local thing. Mildenhall where the festival was held wasn’t even in the top 20 cities where we sold most of our tickets. Bristol was always coming in at number 2 or number 3, so it seemed like a logical move.
‘Plus, I’ve already got a lot of close connections in Bristol. We are close with all the Split Prophets guys, Red Dread Audio… So it was an easy decision really.’
With it being the first-ever Trajections, Ivan breaks down what we can expect from the new and promising event:
‘The first part of the day will be in the outdoors area of Lakota for the first part of the day, and will be mainly be hip hop-focused, with the likes of Kev Brown, Split Prophets, Children of Zeus providing chilled, laid-back vibes to suit the sunshine… Hopefully!
‘As soon as 9pm strikes, we will be moving inside and taking over the four rooms in Lakota – with each room given its own flavour. The main room will be a mash up of grime, trap, hip hop. Room two will be devoted to grime and bass music, hosted by Tropico. The third room will be hosted by Bassjam and will be completely jungle and drum and bass. And the fourth room will be run by Sika Studios.
‘There really is something for everyone – you’ve got the block party vibe outside, then you’ve got the jungle and grime mash up rave thing going on inside. It’s going to be quite an eclectic event overall.’
With a lineup of over 35 acts mixing headline and fresh new talent, it’s no surprise that planning Trajections was an undertaking over serious proportions. Ivan explains how he went about curating the lineup for this event:
‘It’s always such a long process. It starts with a massive spreadsheet of every single artist I’d love to book, and then it’s a case of shopping around a bit and seeing who I can realistically afford to book. Then we whittle down about 200 names to 50, then 50 to 30 and then there’s always last minute changes, so the lineup is definitely always the longest process of planning an event. It took about three months to sort out Trajections lineup.
my favourite thing about going to a festival is leaving with artists names I had never heard of before
‘It’s important to us to always try and tick all the boxes and make sure you’ve got a little bit of something for everyone. I try and pair artists with similarities up as well to try and grow the fan base of other artists. For instance, if you were a grime head, you might like also hip hop group Cult Mountain and Dead Players, due to the more wavy, electronic sounding beats and double time flows. For me, my favourite thing about going to a festival is leaving with artists names I had never heard of before.
‘I must admit, Kev Brown is a big name in the lineup for me. He’s from Baltimore and he’s been one of my favourites for a very long time. He’s known more for his beats, but he is also an incredible rapper. He’s never played in the UK before, which I find just crazy. He’s the only American we have on our lineup as well. I guess you could say Kev Brown was a bit of a self-indulgent booking, but I’ve had loads of people hit me up to say they are literally buying a ticket just to see him! He’s also bringing his beat machine, so he’s going to be doing his beat thing whilst MCing, so that’ll definitely be one to look forward to.
‘CASisDEAD was going to be Novelist, but that didn’t work out and to be honest I’m pretty happy that it has turned out this way. CASisDEAD has just released two new tracks with some amazing videos, so that’s all worked out really well.’
With Trajections taking Boom Bap’s place this year, rather than being an additional event on their roster, we asked Ivan whether the much-loved UK hip hop festival ever make a comeback.
‘I think so, but when the time is right. I ran another festival called Blue Print a few weeks ago at the same venue, but in a different set up and it worked really well, plus the venue hire was a little bit cheaper. I can definitely see Boom Bap working there, but it all depends really. There are so many factors we’ve got to consider. But I’d love more than anything for Boom Bap to come back.
I’d love more than anything for Boom Bap to come back
Trajections will be taking place at Lakota on 19 August from midday until 4am. Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to grab your ticket if you don’t want to miss out one of the best day festival lineups Bristol has to offer this summer.