The dominion of Dalston came alive on Friday evening. For one night only, thirteen venues and over fifty artists joined forces to transform Kingsland High Street into a right royal party.
It’s almost impossible to enjoy a music festival without the delightfully persistent feeling of missing out, and Land of Kings was no different: we discoed with the all-girl DJ set in The Alibi, but couldn’t help gliding off to the synchronised theatrical swimming at The Arcola. Once there, dubstep called our feet to the Shacklewell Arms, and it was only late into the night that we could settle into the machine melodies of Magnets DJs at Juicy. Despite trying to be in thirteen places at once, part of the festival fun was only catching glimpses of mysterious merry making taking place in the venue next door - although we're still confused as to where those people found white boiler suits and neon face paint.
The joy of the Land of Kings is that revellers can wander freely between new and established venues. Dalston hotspots including Barden’s Boudoir, Vortex Jazz Club, Visions and Moustache Bar, were just as packed as a rave in the Stone Cave restaurant. These alternative spaces were the glimmering ultraviolet jewels in the festival’s sceptre of style: the Print House Gallery held an outstanding exhibition of UV portraits, inspired by the landscape of Kingsland Road; the Dalston Boys’ club was crowned with a night of cabaret and a first-class pop up restaurant; and an underground WWII bunker hosted UV ping pong in the pitch black and a classical music concert by candle light.
If there were any doubts about whether England should have a monarchy, this music festival of Kings has the answer: eclectic, authentic and home grown - Land of Kings rules the night.