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  • Writer's pictureHarriett Dolphin

CLOUD X FESTIVAL 2023: A VIBRANT CELEBRATION OF R&B CULTURE


Under the radiant sun at Beckenham Hill Park, music enthusiasts from all walks of life gathered for a memorable day of music and infectious vibes at Cloud X Festival.


This event perfectly aligns with the ever-evolving R&B scene, bringing together a diverse array of talents that left us all astounded and craving for more. Cloud X Festival, a manifestation of the burgeoning R&B culture, showcased an impressive transition from its previous iteration at Studio 333 to an expansive open-air setting. The ambitious leap paid off, exceeding expectations and delivering an unforgettable experience.


The day's journey commenced with Elli Ingram gracing the Cloud X World stage. Her commanding and sensuous voice reverberated through the air, capturing the crowd's attention from the very first note. Backed by an all-female band, she effortlessly performed a mix of beloved classics like "Flowers" and newer releases, catering to both longtime fans and those embracing her revamped sound.


Swiftly followed by a true legend in the UK R&B scene, Etta Bond took the stage with unapologetic flair, captivating the audience with her audacious presence and timeless hits. From "Surface" to "On A Beach," she navigated her diverse discography, showcasing her unparalleled range and stage charisma. Her performance not only reflected her journey through the genre's evolution but also teased exciting new releases, leaving the crowd buzzing with anticipation.


The Notion tent provided an immersive experience as Kwaku Asante's soulful R&B sounds washed over the audience, highlighting the genre's captivating essence. Meanwhile, Santino Le Saint's powerful music, accompanied by his signature guitar, created an electrifying atmosphere that resonated through the front rows.


Waking back up the hill to see the beautiful and wonderful Jaz Karis excitement was building. Having followed her journey for the last 3 years and still yet to see her live, this was someone I knew I needed to see. As an empowering force in female R&B, Jaz Karis delivered a performance that resonated deeply from tracks like "Soweto Blues" to selections from her 2022 release "DEAR JAZ," she affirmed her position as an artist to watch closely.


The transition from day to night was marked by Sam Henshaw's enchanting performance on the Cloud X stage, serenading the crowd with tracks from his 2022 album "Untidy Soul." As night approached we headed up the hill to the Soul Selectors stage where the festival catered to every musical taste with DJ Juls curating a mix of Amapiano, Afrobeats, and more, while other stages resonated with soothing R&B melodies.


BERWYN's captivating showmanship on the Notion stage left a lasting impression with him not just performing his singles but putting on a full performance Promising exciting ventures ahead, BERWYN Has been locked to the studio and from what we heard - this is going to be special.


As the sun set, Pip Millett's enthralling presence and soulful tunes resonated with attendees, creating a symphony of voices singing along.


The night culminated with col3trane's dynamic performance, an energetic journey through his discography that had the crowd fully engaged. Finally, Santino Levant's infectious energy brought the festival to a triumphant close, leaving everyone uplifted and eager for the festival's next chapter.


Without a doubt the atmosphere around the whole site was filled with wholesome energy, with its relaxed but energetic vibes, the site was buzzing for the whole day.


The seamless transitions between acts created an immersive experience where time seemed to lose its significance. Cloud X Festival's evolution from its South London roots was evident, hinting at a promising future for this young event. As it enters its third year, the anticipation for its future growth is palpable, and we eagerly await the journey ahead. Cloud X Festival is undeniably a standout celebration of R&B culture, setting a high bar for festivals dedicated to capturing the dynamic spirit of music and culture.

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