Cloud X [@cloudxworld] kicked off the 2021 festival season with a bang

Cloud X’s inaugural festival that saw them taking over Studio 338 sets a strong precedent for what we can expect moving forward.

For those who don’t know Cloud X they are a brand that covers a lot of ground, but they’re also more than that with a real focus on community. They offer a whole host of services from artist management, helping musicians release music, creative direction as well as doing events. It is almost a curation of culture, but a culture that is most representative of the world founders David Dabieh and Ben Cross grew up and immersed themselves in – London’s multicultural underground scenes.

That of course brought itself over into Cloud X generally but also the festival with them taking an organic approach to curating the line-up. The Cloud X lineup was definitely not the expected list of names for a festival – the types of names that we see on almost every other festival’s bill. Instead of playing it safe they leaned into their brand and network and chose to give a platform to artists that could capture the spirit of London’s diverse culture authentically. With that, we saw Cloud X artists like Santino Le Saint, Aybee and A2 alongside names like Jaz Karis, Henrie, and Etta Bond which I think did a great job of not only encapsulating the feel of London’s cultural scene but provided at least one person across the line up that the audience in attendance could see themselves in.

Cloud X also avoided the faux pas of having a completely male dominated bill, in fact, they had pretty much a 50/50 split so smiles all around.

When it came to the festival itself you definitely got more than your money’s worth with tickets coming in at around the £20 mark. The performances were split across three stages with Native Sound System in charge of the outdoor stage, which was constantly packed due to the performers on that stage delivering unmatched vibes from opening to close. The main stage housed in the indoor terrace equally saw its fair share of electric moments especially from big crowd pleasers like Jaz Karis, Sainte, A2 and Santino Le Saint. The third stage was housed in the upstairs club area and was a little more chilled and provided a place you could almost take a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the festival without having to give up the great musical experience.

One thing people wouldn’t usually talk about when it comes to a festival like this is food. But here the food has to get a mention. There was a variety of food stalls located close to the outdoor stage providing hot and fresh food throughout the days events. The reason to mention it is for every horror story experience people have with food at a festival like at the now defunct Fyre Fest, there are outstanding showings as was the case at Cloud X. Carnivore or vegan and everything in between there was something on offer for you and I can say that there wasn’t a bad word said about the food, in fact people raved about it.

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There’s also something to be said about the timing of the festival. It’s one of the earliest festivals to have taken place since lockdown has legally been ended and it went off largely without a hitch. There were some slight delays with some of the performances but everyone who was billed to perform turned up and gave a great account on themselves and slight delays can happen at any festival especially on their first time out. Most importantly it was a good time, everybody there was vibing and letting loose for what was probably a lot of people’s first festival since 2019. If Cloud X Festival is anything to go by festival season is well and truly back in full force providing that summer feeling we’ve missed. Cloud X Festival is going to be back in 2022 so keep an eye out or sign up to their mailing list here.

Photo credits: Carlos Arbelaez & Shot By Nee

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