Sundown festival 2018 review: The star-studded weekender hit Norfolk in a haze of glitter and gold

Shawn Mendes headlined the fiirst day of Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Shawn Mendes headlined the fiirst day of Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Sundown Festival was an infusion of sound that saw a euphoric eclipse of nostalgia and present day chart hits collide.

Zara Larsson brought the house down at Sundown. Picture: Ian Burt

Zara Larsson brought the house down at Sundown. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Soaring temperatures hit the Norfolk Showground as thousands danced themselves silly to a setlist that could please the taste of your average party-goer or die hard reveller.

Headliners Shawn Mendes, Zara Larsson and Clean Bandit pulled in the young pop crowds clad in a revival of 90s retro sportswear.

It wasn’t long before the saying “if you can’t beat them join them” came to mind -and a few vodka shots later - we were bopping along to the Swedish songstress Zara and her soulful electro-pop.

Ms Banks impressed on the main stage at Sundown on Sunday. Photo: Harry Rutter

Ms Banks impressed on the main stage at Sundown on Sunday. Photo: Harry Rutter - Credit: Archant

Yet look deeper among the haze of glitter and gold, you could find a provocative mix of some of the biggest and best DJ’s currently out there.


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Radio 1’s dance master Danny Howard got the crowds pumped for the night ahead in the Nest, while the Koppaberg stage saw the likes of Monki leave our minds in a frenzy with the house hit Catfish.

Tributes to Aretha, Avicii and Michael Jackson were also infused in a mixtape of 90s dance and garage by MistaJam at the Castle stage.

Kelli Leigh on the main stage at Sundown on Sunday. Photo: Clare Butler

Kelli Leigh on the main stage at Sundown on Sunday. Photo: Clare Butler - Credit: Archant

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Back on the main stage, British drum and bass act Sigma were a sure-fire way of getting everyone jumping before heartthrob Shawn Mendes stole the show.

The 20-year-old Canadian singer has headlined three world tours - so it was no surprise he brought a huge family fan base to the festival.

Imagine phone torches-a-glow and screaming renditions of his hits Treat You Better, Mercy and There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back.

The Koppaberg stage at Sundown. DJ Monki. Photo: Clare Butler

The Koppaberg stage at Sundown. DJ Monki. Photo: Clare Butler - Credit: Archant

Fast forward to Sunday and no sooner had the arena opened than dance pop singer Kelli-Leigh got us up on our feet to her latest track Can’t Dance.

She’s best known for being the uncredited vocalist on number one singles I Got U by Duke Dumont and I Wanna Feel by Second City, but her setlist was vibrant, emotive and the perfect hangover cure. She’s more than capable of being a popstar in her own right.

South London rapper Ms Banks followed next with fiery hits like Day One, Chat to Mi Gyal and Come Thru. The rising starlet refers to the likes of Lil Kim and Ms Dynamite as her inspiration - and it would be no surprise if she followed in their footsteps.

Sundown Festival 2018. Photo: Harry Rutter

Sundown Festival 2018. Photo: Harry Rutter - Credit: Archant

It was clear that Sundown dominates the younger end of the festival market with a fresh backdrop of slick performances and production.

The weekend managed to keep things epic, bringing stadium-filling stars to sizeable stages without losing that exclusive feel.

And although the sun may have set on Sundown for this year, we’re already looking forward to next...

Scenes from the fiirst day of the Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the fiirst day of the Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Sundown Festival 2018. Photo: Harry Rutter

Sundown Festival 2018. Photo: Harry Rutter - Credit: Archant

Scenes from the first day of the Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt

Scenes from the first day of the Sundown Festival. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

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