Home / Blog / Events / UD Low Down: Cloud X Festival @ Beckenham Palace Park, 20/08

UD Low Down: Cloud X Festival @ Beckenham Palace Park, 20/08

Don’t know about Cloud X Festival? London’s leading independent festival for lovers of R&B, soul and alt-rap, this might be the perfect day festival for you.

Nayana AB & SAADIQ T headed down to Beckenham Palace Park on Sunday 20th aUGUST for the third Cloud X festival – and a vibe check…

Cloud X Festival was set against a backdrop of breathing lake views and magical woodland, and all in South London at Beckenham Place Park. As you enter the festival you’re met with banners that state the festival is like, “Glastonbury but with a dose of melanin”, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Welcomed by a cheeky DJ booth, supplying the vibes on entry, it was beautiful to see so many melanated people in high spirits, outside, enjoying the sunshine and the sweet sounds of the UK Black music scene. 

Run by a collective of creatives, every year the boutique and homegrown Cloud X Festival aims to curate an inclusive space for the next generation of pioneering creatives that are telling their stories in bold and original ways.

Getting into the performances, I would say my top 3 highlights were Jaz Karris, Juls and Berwyn

Jaz came out on the Nation Stage looking amazing and sounding like an angel. She had a welcoming stage presence and it was clear the audience were loving her performance as you could hear everyone singing along, bar-for-bar. When she performed ‘Petty Lover’ you could hear the audience raw with excitement, leading her to reload the song which I loved cause that song is a banger. Go and add it to your playlist if you haven’t already!

I found Juls playing at the Selectors Paradise – the stage name was fitting because Mr Juls DOES NOT MISS! His set was sooo vibey. Starting off with some Amapiano he then smoothly transitioned into some Caribbean bangers, providing us with a set that allowed everyone to shake a little shoulder and whine some waist in preparation for Notting Hill carnival. It was clear that everyone there was loving it. 

I stumbled across Berwyn on the Notion Stage as we were heading back from Juls’ set and his music made me stop in my tracks. He was sounding too sweet! The live arrangement and his band went crazy and it really added to his performance, along with a stage presence that draws you in. Do not sleep on Berwyn he was definitely my favourite act of the day. His last song really stood out to me as well, sitting down at his keyboard he played a stripped back version of his song (that I wish I caught the name of) showing off not only his soulful vocals and lyrics but also a level of vulnerability and rawness you don’t see very often. We need more artists like this. 

Bumping into photographer Dres Lens’ I asked who his favourite act for the day was. “Etta Bond was certi – she played ‘Surface’ and got me in my feels instantly, was an amazing performance, her drip was amazing…”

An annual festival, when you step to Cloud X next year (you can sign up for the 2024 early bird now), make sure you’re looking fly because the people came out fresh for the 2023 edition. But highly advisable – make sure you wear some comfy shoes. Even though everything is a convenient walk away, the festival sadly sits on an incline. Talk about leg day!

So you don’t get caught slipping, we took some pictures of our favourite outfits for the day so you can get some inspo to plan your look for next year…

All in all, Cloud X festival has a good vibe and I will definitely be going again next year. It is nice to see a festival with such a diverse audience along with a line up that gives a platform to R&B/soul and alt rap music – definitely needed. Tell a friend to tell a friend and hopefully I’ll see you there next year!  

Follow Cloud X Festival on Instagram.

Words: Nayana AB

Photography: Saadiq T

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