ALMA

The Finnish musician arrives on the main stage midway through the afternoon to a well attended tent. As soon as she starts playing her dramatic power pop onlookers and outsiders quickly flood inside to witness a pop star fully realising her potential and ambitions. ALMA conducts herself with a near aggressive confidence and the catalogue is so strong you cannot for a moment doubt her credentials.

The set is peppered with demi-hits including ‘Dye My Hair’ and the fast rising ‘Chasing Highs’, however the fizzing excitement of the unreleased music she treated crowds too demonstrates just why this project is so unbelievably exciting. Her band is tight, style is faultless and the pop is BANGING.

BONGO BINGO

Picture the scene – a tent packed to the rafters with tipsy festival goers playing the most surreal, camp and exciting game of bingo. Glitter cannons, drag performers, impromptu singalongs to mega-hits including ‘Raise Me Up’. Best of all is the compere’s regimented jeering of ‘dickhead’ when a person calls incorrectly as the chants are echoed out in the early evening sun.

 

BUTCHIES

Buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches. The best thing I put in my mouth all day. They have a permanent spot in Borough Market. Go to there immediately.

SINK THE PINK

The charismatic curators struck the perfect balance between charismatic and controlled. The day ran faultlessly and the performance troupe really knows how to start a party onstage, gaining the very best reaction from their loyal following.

INCLUSIVITY

Finally, Hoopla’s real ace card was its emphasis on inclusivity. Looking around a sunny Victoria park on Sunday afternoon to smiling faces, freshly poured pints and flamboyant outfits, STP created a space of happiness, comfort and safety. The importance of safe spaces for LGBT+ communities is a vital issue and by integrating music, performance, art and culture The Mighty Hoopla successfully created a festival of free expression and liberation.

As you heard crowds bellowing final singalongs to Years & Years mega-hit ‘King’, arm in arm, you wouldn’t believe a horrendous terror event had occurred 24 hours before only a few miles. The strength, determination of unity of the attendees is what really makes events such as Hoopla and the city of London itself so very special.