This weekend, gay Londoners have got an extra special treat in the form of a fabulous one-day LGBTQ festival extravaganza — the Mighty Hoopla Festival — taking place at Brockwell Park. Here are seven reasons this year’s fest is guaranteed to be a good one.
1. TLC is headlining, and it’s their first-ever UK gig.
The ladies behind the smash hit “No Scrubs” (and so many more) are the best-selling American girl group of all time. And this is actually their first-ever UK gig.
Over a decade before Beyoncé sang about unrealistic beauty standards, and years before Christina sang “Beautiful,” TLC were there with “Unpretty.” With their mixture of R&B, hip-hop, soul and pop, TLC paved the way for acts as diverse as Destiny’s Child and Janelle Monáe.
The group’s third member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, tragically died in a car accident in 2002. Who knows what the music world would look like if things had been different. These ladies have been through a lot, so we’re over the moon they’re performing again, and in London. This is going to be a historic set for this groundbreaking duo.
2. Queer music pioneers Vengaboys are taking the Vengabus there.
“When you’re alone, and you need a friend, someone to help you forget your problems…” say Dutch superstars Vengaboys in their colossal hit “Boom Boom Boom Boom!” They certainly helped us forget our problems when we were growing up. When we were in school we remember checking out their gorgeously gay costumes, and thinking, ‘Maybe I’m not the only one.’ We can’t wait to see them live again!
They’ve performed over 150 shows per year since their 2009 comeback. They’re Europe’s campest, kitschiest and most unashamedly cheesy pop act. Praise The God of Pop, ‘cos the Vengabus is back in town.
3. We love a Sunday Funday.
No festival could be complete without the fabulous human beings of Sunday Funday. There’s going to be Drag Queen Bucking Bronco, glitter stations, a “Boob Bus” (we have no idea) and karaoke.
Oh, and a lipsync competition. Make sure you catch a glimpse of the incomparable Maxi More, one of our favourite London queens.
4. You’ll get inspired to do drag by The Glory
London’s most diverse troupe of drag queens and performance artists will have their own fabulous area at the festival, so check out The Glory Stage for all the regular faces from the East London gay scene, from John Sizzle to A Man To Pet and Rudi Douglas’ gorgeously kitch, heartwarming and invigorating ‘Big Gay Songbook.’
If you love a good lipsync, there will be battles from the Lipsync 1000 Allstarz. The looks, talent and stage presence of some of these queens will have you jumping for joy. This is the real deal, bitches.
5. You know you can’t wait to see how your teenage heartthrobs have aged.
If you ever had a crush on anyone from boy bands Westlife, Boyzone or Five, members of each will be there in all their #daddy glory. Maybe they’ve aged well and you’ll fancy them even more. Maybe not.
Our favourite (we’re not telling you who, no, we’re not, *girly scream*) has still got his sparkle.
6. One of the Spice Girls is performing.
Maybe you had a crush on these gorgeous ’90s goddesses too? Who didn’t? Well, you’re in luck. Melanie C (aka Sporty Spice) will be performing live.
We’re desperately gagging to see a special duet with Just May, the UK’s Premier Geri Halliwell impersonator. If only, if only!
7. You’ll also get to see some fabulous new talent shining through.
Namely, in the form of Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who. Her feel-good pop with a truckload of gorgeous synth fits right into her ’90s retro extravaganza.
Also be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Andro, a soulful, quirky rising star we’re really excited to hear live.
8. If you love to dance, the diverse array of DJs at Mighty Hoopla Festival will knock your socks off.
And if the weather is gorgeous (fingers crossed), you won’t need any socks, just flip-flops and glitter. British Garage duo DJ Luck & MC Neat will be playing House and Garage, which will almost definitely get you through the night. There’ll also be the dinosaur-themed Jurassic Party, Bongo’s Bingo and a ton of House, R&B and, of course, more pop.
Mighty Hoopla Festival is taking place Sunday, June 3, in London’s Brockwell Park. More info here.
Featured image of Mighty Hoopla Festival by Luke Dyson