By John O’Ceallaigh; above Lovebox 2010

After a gruelling winter it’s been a long time coming, but the Great British summer is finally here!

Unsurprisingly this is also when the English festival circuit kicks things off, but the prospect of washed-out weekends spent cowering under canopies still threatens to scupper festivalgoers’ plans. Except at London’sLovebox, which takes place from July 15-17, 2011.

Although held outdoors, the daytime festival’s East London location negates the need for tents and torches and instead attracts crowds for parties that last until around midnight. (There are plenty of afterhour parties that go on much later, at indoor venues throughout the city.) Snoop Dogg, Metronomy and Jessie J are among the acts playing on Friday and Saturday, but gay guys who want to pace themselves should wait for Sunday’s Out & Out Fierce program.Although not officially marketed at the gay community, you need only look at the line up to recognize who’ll be making up most of the crowd. Headliners this year are the Scissor Sisters, and they’re joined by Kelis, Robyn, Blondie and Beth Ditto. Support comes from stalwarts of the capital’s clubbing scene, not least the infamous Horse Meat Disco and club kids’ favourite This is… Circus.

It’s all rather impressive for an event that’s only eight years old, but possibly of more interest to out of towners is its location. Held on the sprawling Victoria Park, it’s wedged between the Olympic site and the creative enclave of Shoreditch and attracts far more locals than tourists. There’s something about the festival atmosphere that’s conductive to making friends so play your cards right and you may even end up with an invite to come back for 2012’s summer of frolics.

Originally published in

Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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