On the 8th of October Nottingham’s Hockley area played host to a variety of musicians, poets and DJs all in the aid of charity. The annual event has grown from strength to strength in the past 11 years, showcasing a variety of Nottingham based artists. From the UFO orchestra taking over the Contemporary Art Gallery to a silent disco filling Broad St, the overall atmosphere was infectious.
With over 300 acts to choose from, attendees were spoilt for choice as they weaved their way around the variety of bars/venues that played host to the festival. Music varied from acoustic artists to self-produced rappers to Indie rockers. Each venue’s line up was curated by 25 local promoters/ labels/ record shops creating a strong community feel within the festival.
Not only did the festival encompass Hockley’s bars but also the streets. Carnival troupes with stilt walkers entertained passers-by whilst the street design team provided sculptures leading the way through the area and filled the sky with white and blue balloons. Street performers such as belly-dancers and buskers added to the variety of exciting opportunities to catch something new between venues.
Undoubtedly the stand out feature of the event was the UFO orchestra featuring Nottingham singer songwriters Liam Bailey, Harleighblu, Natalie Duncan, Rob Green, Aurelie Guinard and Tiger. Reaching capacity before the orchestra even began the crowd waited in anticipation as the players took to their seats. Opening with the Doctor Who theme the orchestra were welcomed to a rapturous applause that continued throughout their varied sets. They continued to woo the crowd with classics such as Live and Let Die and Cry Me a River, which got everyone involved in the overwhelming atmosphere.
Das Kino supplied an evening of jazz, with saxophones and improvisation galore as the crowd got into the funky groove. Things turned experimental in Market Bar as there were sounds of complex musical layering. Even the cafes got involved as audiences squeezed into Wired for some soothing acoustic songs, perhaps a break from the chaos of the Hockley area.
Broad Street buzzed throughout the day with the comings and goings of the attendees and quickly filled once the Silent Disco started. The crowd had two channels to choose from, amusing the observers as some people screamed along to cheesy hits like the Jacksons and Earth, Wind and Fire whilst others nodded along to garage and house beats.