Brockwell Park, London

Wide Awake has fast become a jewel in London’s day festival crown. 

This year’s edition returned to Brockwell Park with one of its most varied and genre-spanning line-ups yet. Acts ranged from indie rock guitar bands like Crumb and BODEGA to more experimental artists such as Charlotte Adigery and Eartheater, alongside a strong dance music contingent courtesy of OK Williams and Helena Hauff. It was nothing short of an enjoyable start to the 2024 festival season. The day was also refreshingly free from too many clashes, with headliners King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Slowdive and Young Fathers all on at different times. Here are five performances we haven’t stopped thinking about. 

The Itch

Kicking things off nice and early in the Corsica Studios x DMY tent, The Itch ignited the crowd with a dose of rioutous synth pop. They might have only released their debut single, Ursula, a sprawling, glitching ode to Ursula K Le Guin, earlier this year, but the band have already built up quite a following. They played their only released track half way through the set so it was book-ended by unheard music that still managed to conjure a captivated response from the crowd. The tent was packed with eager listeners ready to get a taste of what the newcomer band will release next and, from the words on everyone’s lips as they spilled out from the tent, The Itch are one to watch. 

The Dare

The Moth Club x Wonderland tent was packed for a sweaty, sleazy set from New York indie sleaze revivalist The Dare. His set was stacked with a mix of unreleased tracks and much-loved bangers from last year’s The Sex EP, drawing on ‘00s nostalgia with a delivery that made it feel just as exciting and fresh as it would’ve done the first time around. While it was just The Dare’s Harrison Smith alone on stage with a keyboard and a backing track, he’s the very definition of a charismatic showman, flailing around the stage or frantically hitting a cymbal above his head as he yelps. The set reaches its chaotic climax as the crowd goes crazy to viral TikTok hit Girls to close out the show. 


Eartheater’s set might have been marred by sound difficulties at the start, but by the end, it was hard not to be captivated by her ethereal presence and powerful falsetto vocals. The experimental artist brought her dreamy art pop beats to the Moth Club x Wonderland tent to evoke an atmosphere that was entirely otherwordly. Her cheerful interactions with the crowd brought it back down to earth as she recommended the restaurant her cousin just opened in London or shared how she always stops to smell the flowers. Supersoaker is a highlight as Eartheater dances at the front of the stage while the crowd strain to hit the high notes as they sing along to every word. The set closes with some crowd surfing, but when most of the crowd were trying to film Eartheater on their phones instead of holding her up, she joked, “You Gen Zs don’t know how to crowd surf!”

Young Fathers

Young Fathers have long proven themselves to be one of the most exciting live bands going and their Wide Awake set is no different. The sun was still beaming down as they delivered their unrelentingly energetic performance. They opened with 2013’s confrontational rap track Queen Is Dead before bursting into a rousing rendition of GET UP to keep the crowd moving. The trio were complemented by a female vocalist who joined them onstage and matched the band’s bewitching presence, foregrounding the blaring sirens and thumping percussions. An exchange of energy happened as the band jumped about on stage, prompting the crowd to follow suit and resulting in one of the liveliest sets of the day. 


Beneath the fading sun, Slowdive delivered an enchanting set in front of some of the festival’s dreamiest visuals. It was a blissful daydream of swirling guitars and lush, layered soundscapes from the shoegaze legends. They performed a mesmerising rendition of When The Sun Hits that created a connective moment in the crowd. This was followed by a dreamlike cover of Syd Barrett’s Golden Hair to close out the set. The band may have had an understated presence onstage, but their Wide Awake set revealed their hazy sound to be just as immersive and compelling live as it is on record.