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This is BrukOut! Seani B talks Glastonbury

JUST CHILLING: Seani B pitched up at the Gully Outernational area on the Sunday of Glastonbury Festival

IN A SERIES of very large fields and farms in Somerset, Glastonbury Festival has been a major music force for more than 40 years. From humble be- ginnings, the super-fest now hosts more than 200,000 music fans for three days each June.

I first went to Glastonbury in 2011 and was blown away by its sheer presence. People from all over the world congregating to celebrate the creative arts really was a sight to see. Like many people who will read this column, I was sceptical at first about the whole ‘festival’ thing. Mud, wellies, long
queues, more mud – it didn’t sound like my idea of fun.

However, the reality is much different and I have to add that without mud, it’s just not the same. There is a sense of camaraderie and single central reason for congregating that makes it seem more than just music lovers in a field.

Glasto is different – the mindset, the diversity, the willingness to party and celebrate as well as enjoy a ‘bucket list’ event – this really is the one.

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to carry the BrukOut brand to Glasto, and rep to the fullest!
Silver Hayes is one of the leading areas of the festival, and has been a launch pad for many artists, as well as providing an international showcase for many more. Within the areas there are six stages – The Wow, The Blues, The Parlour, BBC Introducing, Sonic and The Gully Outernational.

The area houses more than 240 bands and DJs, and on the Sunday, BrukOut pitched up at The Gully Outernational for the day! The Gully is the home of reggae and Caribbean music at Glasto – as well as showcasing the likes of Bunji Garlin, Maxi Priest and my DJ brother Robbo Ranx, it has also been a base
for South American and Afrobeat stars over the last five years.

Hardly a weekend goes by without a festival somewhere around the UK and Europe, but the strength in depth of Glastonbury’s line-up always seems to shine through.

I love to get there early – I travelled down to the west country on Saturday to soak up the atmosphere. On stages close by were the likes of Ray BLK, Crazy Cous- ins, Stormzy and Wiley, so quality entertainment was ample. I also took on the task and checked out stages and arenas that are quite a walk. Thank- fully, Solange was well worth the effort.


Despite a soggy start to the morning, the journey west from London was a comfortable one. It seems that the warnings regarding getting on site early were heeded. I did my annual walk round the site and man- aged to catch up with my radio mate Charlie Sloth who was tearing it up on the Blues stage with spe- cial guests Fekky and Nadia Rose.

The capacity crowd sang along to virtually every line and the vibes were nice. Extra merit marks for finishing your set with Bob Marley’s One Love Charlie – nice touch. The complete BrukOut team, fully kitted out, were in effect on Sunday.

After a few days of non- stop partying the crowd took time to warm up, and seemed happy to listen to some rootsy vibes and chill for the first part of the afternoon. We had a varied selection of artist from all parts of the world – big up Matzka, who further proved the global power of reggae and showed it had a home in Taiwan.

Adding a splash of spice to the Gully line-up was Donaeo. The party was well and truly in full swing when he smashed out his hits, including African Warrior, Man A Wear Black and Devil In A Blue Dress. It was great to see a home-grown artist who fuses so many styles coming to a festival such as this and going down so well.

The crowd numbers had now swollen and was near capacity for the two main headliners. Veteran Dawn Penn, complete with four-piece band, rattled through a crafted 70 minute set which encompassed a musical journey from ska to the present day. The obvious highlight came with her smash record No No No, which she performed with the class and ease you would expect.

Then came star time – after a short intermission for a big band change, the ‘multi platinum and counting’ headliner hit the stage. This was Shaggy in full effect – full of charm, humour and a bag of hits. With this show coming as the climax of a Europe-wide run, you could easily see that the guys were having fun.

Mr Boombastic – pictured left during his set – paraded out hit after hit after hit (and actually didn’t have time for all of them!). It was a real quality ending to a momentous day. “This was the first time I have played here in my career,” Shaggy tells me backstage afterwards. “We decided to play two shows – here at The Gully and also at the larger West Holts stage. On both occasions we drew in the big- gest crowds the stages had ever seen. I’m proud of that.”

So he should be. His humility and the fact he still makes time to take every photo, speak to every fan and generally conduct himself in such an admirable manner makes him a real star. Many young art-
ists should take note.

Glastonbury 2017 was a landmark moment for BrukOut, and with no festival next year, we hope to come back bigger and even better in 2019.

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