Project 6 was a raucous celebration of soundsystem culture in South London

today30/06/2023 7

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Nothing says ‘welcome to London’ quite like the deep, booming vocals of Flowdan on a verse. This is South London, to be specific, where a brand new festival is taking shape: Project 6. From the team behind Croatia’s annual Outlook Festival, Project 6 is a new marker for bass-heavy sounds in the UK, hot on the heels of its new Outlook UK event launched last summer. But what sets this festival apart from the rest is its effort to blend more genres than what Outlook fans have come to expect in its 15 years.

Taking place on Friday, May 26, in Brixton’s Brockwell Park, the one-day event promised a stacked line-up across six main stages, which for its inaugural event included the likes of Ghetts, Shy FX, and a special live show from Fabio & Grooverider & The Outlook Orchestra who each topped the bill, as well as Mala & Joe Armon-Jones, Ojerime, Pip Millett, Goldie, and Channel Tres.

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“What we’re trying to do is fill a hole in London that we think is missing, which is a meeting point of different genres where grime and rap and dance music intersect,” says Jack Walsh, Project 6’s Head of Marketing. “A lot of the acts on this bill are going to be festival headliners in a year. We want it to feed into the club culture of London.”

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Of the festival’s six main stages, each offers something different. The Outlook Stage caters to the dubstep heads – a sweaty, low-end haven where you can hear the punk-influenced 140 of Commodo backed up by vocals from Manga, or a screwfaced set from London’s SICARIA. Both the main stage and FABRICLIVE stage provide an open-air setting for live acts, rappers, and singers as the sun beats down over sunny South London.

A huge homage to soundsystem culture was also felt across the more intimate Jungle Stage and FreeFromSleep – a repurposed dodgems platform housing hundreds of people on a semi-outdoor dancefloor where the likes of Oneman, Bakey, IZCO, and Emerald stepped up throughout the day. Elsewhere, the Metalheadz stage gave both old and new drum ‘n’ bass stars a spotlight under one enormous big top.

Project 6 also prides itself on its expansive night-time programme, which when the festival rounded off on Friday evening, urged its punters to head to events hosted across 10 different venues in London including fabric and Village Underground, with line-ups featuring some of the same acts who performed throughout the day. “We wanted to create a pathway and support the London club scene,” says Walsh. “We might have bitten off more than we can chew this year having so many night-time parties, but it’s an amazing array.”

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“We wanted to create a more street-level, accessible brand that feels young and feels vibrant again. Outlook always had that real great genre blend, and that’s what we’re trying to bring here. We wanted to start something fresh, and step away from Outlook while staying inspired by it.”

Check out all the best photos from the debut edition of Project 6 below.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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