Look beyond the party princesses and pavement pizzas: Dalston is a Land of Kings

Look beyond the party princesses and pavement pizzas: Dalston is a Land of Kings

East London hype — A rundown of the best sights, sounds and eats at London's Land of Kings festival.

You’re walking down your road. It’s the road you walk up and down each and every single day. Chin scrunched deeply into your neck, eyeballs perma-fixed to the phone in your hand, as your index finger flicks through whatever very (very, very) important tweet you’re reading from Michael Jordan’s fake twitter account. You don’t really pay attention to much – aside from dodging cars and puddles of unidentifiable street juice – why would you?

Did you know there’s an untouched, cavernous World War 2 bunker situated directly under the Dalston Sainsbury’s carpark? Or a massive banquet hall, complete with chandelier the size of a small vehicle, perched above your sixth favourite Kingsland road kebab shop?

No? If it makes you feel any better neither did I, and I’ve lived in Hackney for the better part of ten years. Unknowingly walking over or under or through a Dalston I thought I knew. Lamenting the arrival of another beige brick, glass balcony filled, ‘luxury flats’ building as I went.

On Sunday May 3, over the course of 16 hours, and 15 known and unknown venues, east London will become a chroma-kaleidoscope of music meets visual art meets film meets theatre meets food meets secret karaoke meets speed dating in a ship meets lectures meets whatever other surprises this crafty, industrious as hell, Land of Kings crew has up their sleeves.

Didn’t think you could be surprised by Dalston? Think again. Here are the five things we’re most excited to see at the festival. Keep your ear to the ground about the secret stages and artists yet to be announced.

1. Increments at The Bunker (16:00 – 00:00)


Evan and Ross Lelliott, better known as Increments, are creating an otherworldly installation spanning all five rooms of the preserved World War Two bunker. They’ll be coupling music sets from themselves, Chris Troy and beat master Russ Chimes, with responsive, ‘therapeutic’ lighting, graphics and visuals. To make sure your taste buds are covered, Looking Glass Cocktail Club will be creating unique drinks specially for the night. File under: serious aurora-hued, electro-tronic Blade Runner delight.

2.Orchestral Elastique present Fantastic Planet: (21:15 – 22:30)

Not content to solely inhabit existing theatres in the area, LOK have tapped The Lost Pictureshow to set-up an outdoor cinema for the evening. Enter Orchestral Elastique, who will be performing a musical accompaniment for their screening of this weird and wonderful 1973 sci-fi must-see. (Think H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine through a surrealist sieve.) Who needs surround sound when you’ve got a live orchestra providing the audio?

3. Street Feast of Kings (12:00 – 00:00)

Street Feast

Eating is important. If you’ve been to a Street Feast event already you’ll know it’s not some sit-down foodie nonsense. There’s tunes and DJs, there’s tasty dranks, and there’s the kimchi burrito stand. Because, trust. You want that spicy korean business in your belly to fuel the 16 hours of boogie.

4. Mo Kolours at Servant Jazz Quarters (23:30 – 00:30)


Mo Kolours brings his calypso-infused, shimmering funk beats to the tiny, wood-paneled and atmospheric Servant Jazz Quarters. A sultry warm-up before you hit the tiles hard for techno time.

5. Psychemagik at Oval Space (04:00 – 06:00)

Oval Space Outside

Psychemagik, the dons of disco, reworks and everything in between, are making two appearances at LOK. You won’t be disappointed by their earlier ‘edits’ set at The Nest by any means. But it’s their second one that’s got us hot and bothered. They’ll be closing out the entire festival with their spine-tingly incredible selections, at one of our favourite venues in London, possibly the planet, at precisely the right moment to watch the sun rise above its floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ah London, you’re kinda alright.

Land of Kings takes place on Sunday the 3rd of May. For tickets and more info head this way.