Indie band Sports Team took over Margate's Dreamland for their day-long 'Bus Trip' Festival. Find out what went down.

On a miraculously sunny Friday, Margate’s Dreamland played host to hundreds of music-lovers, hungry for their first festival experience in two years. Organised by Sports Team, proceeds from the annual show went to Stagehand and the Music Venue Trust to help the industry recover after more than a year on pause.


Sports Team frontman Alex Rice explained: “I think like everyone we’ve felt fairly crushed by the relentless cancellations. You’ve got a load of bands around desperate to play and it’s got to the stage where the quickest route to doing that seemed to be putting on a day festival ourselves”.


What started as a humble bus trip on a 30-seater with no aircon three years ago, fans in Margate were greeted with fresh sea air, fairground rides, booze, and a whole host of tasty food trucks. With an absolutely unrivaled line-up of bands and artists, the event very much lived up to expectations.

Posting on Instagram ahead of the festival, the band wrote: “We’ve been going to Margate since the very earliest days of the band. We’ve recorded there, filmed videos, played there in sweaty basements and tiny clubs and spent longer than we should have in various dubiously legal pubs (god bless you Phil). Feels only right to be headed back there for our first show without restrictions. Will be taking the Bus Trip to [sic] Dreamland Margate for a day of drink deals madness, sunburn and badly played rock.”

  • Pictured: Bull
  • Pictured: Bull

Kicking off the festival was four-piece band Bull, fronted by Tom Beer on vocals, guitar and trombone, as well as Dan Lucas, Kai West and Tom Gabbatiss. Warming the crowd up with lively renditions of their tracks, the band certainly got everyone in the mood for dancing. In fact, not much later, moshing commenced, and barely halted for the rest of the day (save for the more relaxed sets).


New band English Teacher played next. Having debuted just last year, they’ve already been gaining a loyal fanbase and describe themselves as ‘Post-Lame’.
Lily Fontaine led on the keys, reciting oddly poetic lyrics such as “I am the world’s biggest paving slab/ So watch your fucking feet” in a rather mesmerising manner.

  • Pictured: Lily Fontaine of English Teacher
  • Pictured: Jalen N'Gonda

Jalen N’Gonda switched things up with his soulful solo act. Born in Maryland, USA, Jalen re-located to Liverpool and then London to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician. With smooth-as-honey vocals and woozy guitars, Jalen may not have released any new music since 2018, but we’ve got all our fingers crossed that he will soon.


Liverpool band Courting really had the crowd going with their raucous songs and hair-raising energy.  Fuelling the long-awaited Britpop revival along with Sports Team, fans really went for it in the mosh pit during the 45-minute set.

  • Pictured: Sean Murphy-O’Neill of Courting
  • Pictured: Courting
  • Pictured: Sean Murphy-O’Neill of Courting

Following up Courting was TV Priest, the London post-punk band signed to Sub Pop. Consisting of Charlie Drinkwater, Nic Bueth, Alex Sprogis, and Ed Kellend, their music traversed political angst, despair, and uncomfortable questions. Despite the subject matter, it was a fun-filled set, with frontman Drinkwater knowing exactly how to play to the crowd, despite only launching last year.

  • Pictured: Charlie Drinkwater of TV Priest

Deep Tan slowed it down with their atmospheric, haunting pop jams. Formed of Wafah, Celeste and Lucy, the trio has previously been compared to the likes of The Slits and Joy Division, drawing on post-punk and new wave, but with a modern twist that keeps things minimal and lo-fi.


With only three released songs to their name, four-piece band Los Bitchos brought a psychedelic edge to the festival. For fans of Khruangbin and Mac De Marco (the latter of whom they have previously toured with), Los Bitchos were spotted sharing shots of Tequila between tracks (encouraged by a cheering crowd) and absolutely shredding like no one’s business.

  • Pictured: Deep Tan
  • Pictured: Deep Tan
Pictured: Los Bitchos

Then it was lastly time for headliners Sports Team. Famously, the six-piece band went head-to-head with none other than Lady Gaga for the #1 post on the Official Albums Chart. Narrowly pipped to the post, it heralded the return of guitar music to the charts.


The whole band was at their best for the festival’s closing performance. Frontman Alex Rice strutted around on stage like a Margate Mick Jagger, while Al Greenwood pounded the drums, Oli Dewdney slapped the bass,  and Henry Young and Rob Knaggs strummed the guitar.


Playing a range of bangers from their popular ‘Deep Down Happy’ album from 2020, including “Fishing” and “M5” from their ‘Keep Walking’ 2019 EP, the band also treated fans to some new songs from their upcoming album, set for release later this year.


All in all, a rocking day. We already can’t wait for next year.

  • Pictured: Rob Knaggs of Sports Team
Pictured: Alex Rice of Sports Team
Pictured: Sports Team
Pictured: Alex Rice of Sports Team
Pictured: Alex Rice of Sports Team
Pictured: Oli Dewdney of Sports Team

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