Good things come to those who wait — and after three years of disputes and changed dates, On Blackheath festival is finally set to land in the vast historic fields just south of Greenwich on the weekend of 13-14 September. And all that thinking-time looks to have proved beneficial as the line-up is now pretty irresistible.
One-woman-whirlwind Grace Jones headlines on the Saturday, with a bag of hits to unleash — from 80s grinder-thons like Pull Up To The Bumper and Slave To The Rhythm, to the autobiographical electro-soul of her latest album. Expect mad hats and serious attitude.
Jones will perform on the main stage, curated by trip-hop’s favourite sons Massive Attack who have apparently settled all their differences and will (possibly) be trialling new songs from their forthcoming album alongside old favourites.
The moody Bristolians have also enlisted an eclectic mix of class acts to entertain the crowds over the rest of the Saturday including Aloe Blacc (who no doubt will still need a dollar), Afro-Scottish hip-hoppers Young Fathers and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip doing a DJ set. Meanwhile, Gilles Peterson has his own stage full of alternative acts hand-picked from his Worldwide travels.
And before we mention Sunday — it's worth noting the food tents look amazing, with a farmer’s market and the Neff food tent, which hosts seven chefs per day (several with Michelin stars to their name), sharing their secrets as they create three-course meals, which you can eat alongside food critic Gizzi Erskine. And since the whole festival is backed by John Lewis, there should be decent nosh elsewhere too.
Sunday then: it includes folk-punkateer Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, festival favourites the Levellers, Irish rockabilly singer Imelda May, plus local boys Athlete and intense singer-songwriter Tom Hickox.