FOLD Festival – a live music experience created and curated by musician, producer and founding member of Chic Nile Rodgers – rocked Fulham Palace over the last weekend ion June. We sent Sophie Eggleton to take it all in (and do a fair bit of dancing).
Other big names featured over the weekend included Labyrinth, John Newman and Angie Stone. Here’s the six greatest moments of FOLD’s triumphant Saturday. Mr Rodgers, take us back a’ready!
Nile Rodgers and Chic
If you want evidence of music’s ability to bring joy and unity, then look no further than Chic. As curator of the festival, it’s no surprise that Nile Rodgers’ set was a stand-out moment. As soon as Rodgers and his wonderful singers thrust their arms in the air in disco formation, the crowd was awash with smiles and adulation. The audience, a merry mix of all ages, boogied with complete abandon; it’s simply impossible to remain static when experiencing Chic’s music live. It’s easy to forget how many incredible songs Rodgers has been a part of – Chic’s back catalogue is impressive enough as musical legacies go – but then you are reminded of his work as a producer with the likes of ‘80s legends Duran Duran and the late, great David Bowie. Pure pop perfection.
Amazing female vocals
The varied line-up at FOLD gave credence to some amazing talent. Along with the sultry and powerhouse vocals of the two lead female Chic vocalists, Anne Marie proved to be a massive highlight of Saturday’s line-up. Many will be familiar with her work with Disclosure, but this performance proved she has the talent, storytelling ability, on stage wit and likability to become a huge star in her own right. This girl’s got it going on…
Food glorious food
Smelled, seen, demolished… FOLD Festival can now boast to offering the hands down, best festival food I’ve ever had. There was a huge selection of choices, including cuisine from the Seychelles, Spain (the biggest Paellas) and Thailand, and all my picks to gorge on were mind-blowingly delicious – none of that usual greasy festival fodder. The food was also bolstered by the glorious setting: drinking a Pimms, eating a scrummy Thai Green Curry while listening to classic disco in the grounds of a Palace… well, there’s worse ways to spend a Saturday. Plus, Churros for dessert.
The setting and beauty of nature
Aside from the wonderful Palace itself, the gardens offered a lovely environment to enjoy a mooch in the gaps between acts. Fulham Palace Garden is protected as an important historic landscape and it’s not hard to see why. Once enclosed by the longest moat in England, the first magnolia in Europe was grown at the Palace. The surviving layout is mainly 19th century with an earlier Walled Garden and some 18th century landscaping. Its beauty has certainly made some of the other summer festivals feel less appealing in comparison.
A sea of sequins
In homage to the disco and funk presence at FOLD, many revellers came ready to shimmy the night away bedecked in sequins – essentially becoming walking human disco balls in a sea of glittering marvelousness. And while we on the subject of fashion statements, there was even a number of full-length evening gowns on show, highlighting the rather refined and elegant setting of the party. It really was a mixed bag style-wise, but everyone came together unified by the power of funk. The less said about my ‘practical’ attire (a fetching waterproof jacket) the better.
Aside from making me feel incredibly ancient when he informed the crowd that Underlay (including the classic songs Devils Haircut and The New Pollution) came out two decades ago, Beck was a fantastic finale to the day. He reminded us what a unique and engaging artist he is, and why he’s still as relevant today as he was when the aforementioned songs were first released.A kinetic and charismatic performance from this truly on-off artist.
A triumphant weekend of dance, funk and soul, Nile Rodgers has already cheekily announced that FOLD Festival will be back. And we can’t wait to get back down there and dance the night away all over again.