Wide Awake Festival 2020: What To Expect

Wide Awake Festival 2020: What To Expect

Wide Awake Festival 2021

Wide Awake Festival 2021

London, United Kingdom

'Bringing together notes from the underground' was the mission statement when it was revealed that London-based promoters Bad Vibrations, Snap Crackle & Pop, and LNZRT put their heads together in creating Wide Awake Festival

Cherry-picking a roster of uncompromising artists that march to the beat of their own drum, the current lineup consists of artists spanning indie, punk, techno, and jazz, all with a serious dose of psychedelia or experimental tendencies. 

Metronomy were revealed as the debut festival's headliner earlier this week alongside a handful of supporting acts including Geoff Barrow's (of Portishead) project BEAK>, The Murder Capital, and Squid, the latter of which appear set to be dominate the next influential era of UK guitar music. 

So what can you expect from this plethora of underground sounds and unconventional icons? Here's a rundown of the artists lined up, and what sonic delights they'll be offering come 5th June.


Wide Awake's headliner in Metronomy definitely fall into this category, but below them there's names to whet the appetite of those intrigued by indie; the aforementioned Squid are one of the UK indie scene's most promising talents alongside Black Country, New Road, both garnering considerable attention and are deserving of the hype. 

Then there's South London's very own Shame. Performing in what is virtually their back garden in Brockwell Park, their sophomore album is slated for release in the coming months so it's very likely the locals will turn out in their droves.



Whilst there's a healthy dose of punk ideals in every band on the roster, the artists that you'd generically classify as 'punk' per se are of course, plentiful. 

Re-emerging noise-punks Girl Band and brooding post-punk upstarts The Murder Capital form a ferocious Irish contingent, whilst snarling NYC four-piece Surfbort and girl gang Dream Wife ensure that female-led artists will be incite just as much pit-partying on the day.



It's kinda unusual to see a smattering of electronic DJ's on lineups dominated by guitar-orientated music, though recently it's become a more common practice - after the bands finish, let the debauchery commence. 

Electronic music on such rosters, however, tend to steer clear from the straight-up four-to-the-floor techno you'd experience elsewhere, rather occupying cerebral, even psychedelic spaces. The primary example of this is the most established producer on the roster in Daniel Avery, whilst Marie Davidson's acid-infused, 80s-influenced techno and Charlotte Adigéry's DIY pop-meets-electro myriad deserve their fair share of attention. 



There's not a whole lot of jazz artists at Wide Awake, but the fact that the free-flowing genre makes an appearance is an indication of the festival's forward-thinking ethos.

The Comet Is Coming, lead by saxophone virtuoso Shabaka Hutchings, are one of crossover successes spawned from London's rich jazz movement, developing an audience with rock and electronic music festival demographics; and expectedly so, considering their astral sound draws from both psychedelic expression and synthetic textures.




Again, another term that could technically apply to the vast majority of artists on the lineup, but more so referring to those that are almost indefinable without using a portmanteau combined of 5-6 separate music genres.

black midi certainly spring to mind first; arguably the most acclaimed band to come out of Dan Carey's free-reigned, left-field indie machine of a label Speedy Wunderground; debut album Schlagenheim was lauded across the board, resulting in a nomination for 2019's Mercury Prize. As a live force they're difficult to pinpoint as each gig is an entirely different experience. Best see them for yourselves in that case. 

Self-proclaimed 'afro-Caribbean space disco' purveyors The Mauskovic Dance Band equally defy expectation on the stage, and art-ensemble/thrashy-oddities Crack Cloud incorporate as much kazoo and sax into their aesthetic as scratchy punk riffs, it'll leave you equally puzzled and enthralled.

Wide Awake Festival 2020 takes place in London's Brockwell Park on 5th June. Book your tickets here.


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