Land of Kings 2013

Dalston, London
May 5th, 2013

by Joanna Orland

In its second year, Land of Kings festival takes over Kingsland Road in Dalston, uniting hipsters in their love of music, DJs and venue hopping.  Last year’s festival challenged the legendary Camden Crawl by hosting it on the same weekend.  Clearly Land of Kings won as Camden Crawl chose to postpone this year’s festival until October.  Land of Kings, on the other hand, reduced their weekend long festival to merely one very long day – Bank Holiday Sunday, May 5th.

Starting at 2pm, various bands, films, and events took place in many Dalston venues including Arcola, Oto, Birthdays, and all of the other well known hipster hangouts.  Festival goers could dance the night away until 5am to bands and DJs who were filling the venues in droves.  Unfortunately, there was no main attraction to this festival except for being a hipster.  Who were these bands?  Relative unknowns – that’s who!  And the DJs?  Well, some were great, but the quality declined as the hours passed and they didn’t even bother to co-ordinate with each other, often playing the same songs in their set lists throughout the night.

The organization of this festival was poor.  Security was in place and the vibe was good, but there was an awful lot of queueing for meaningless events that weren’t the actual draw.  The draw of this festival was being a hipster and having the freedom to go from venue to venue – all of the East London hotspots – with the ease of showing a universal wristband.  But is this worth the hefty ticket price?  And even more frustratingly, the extravagantly hiked up price of drinks once inside the venues?

Overall, this festival was a great disappointment.  It needs more reasonable pricing, better venue organization, and most of all a better lineup.

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