We Out Here festival brought burgeoning talent to Dorset last week, with a vibrant lineup including Mos Def, Yazmin Lacey and Ezra Collective.

Last weekend, We Out Here invited festival goers far and wide to Dorset for four vibrant days of legendary acts, hidden gem stages, and introductions to burgeoning new artists. Kicking off on Thursday, it all began with artists Nia Archives, black midi, COLLECTIVA, Galliano, and Gilles Peterson, who brought their individual eclectic sounds to the Main Stage and prepared the 18,000-strong crowd for the headliners to come.


Friday marked hip hop’s 50th anniversary, which was celebrated in style across the weekend. British rap extraordinaire Knucks took to the main stage after Manchester’s own Children of Zeus, Meshell Ndegeocello and more. And, to close off a fine day of celebration, Drum & Bass legend Goldie shut the night down with a solid selection of D’n’B classics. 


As the sun rose on Saturday, it was clear things were only just picking up. Jazz was the focus on the main stage, with Brazilian hero Marcos Valle followed by jazz-dub fusion Mala and Joe Armon-Jones. Nubya Garcia joined the duo on the saxophone ahead of her own sunset performance, before Bonobo kicked off a hedonistic Saturday night including sets from the likes of Roni Size and DJ Koze. 


The final day wasn’t one to miss, either, with special performances from a handful of iconic musicians, including Cymande, Black Star and Mercury Prize-shortlisted Ezra Collective, before a cinematic closing set from Mr Scruffs.

It wasn’t just the music that made this year’s We Out Here one to remember, though, with the spectacle expanded by partners, wellness, talks, family activities and some of the best festival food out there. Crowds formed to catch England play Colombia in the Women’s World Cup quarter finals, while those who fancied a getaway could escape from the chaos to massages and yoga. 


Speaking on the weekend, founder and curator, Gilles Peterson “I can’t tell you how much I value this gathering of the tribes. The crowd, the crowd, the Crowd!!! That’s what it’s all about – you can’t buy that – it’s what’s been built over the years… a unique and magic mix – with a massive shout-out to a growing number coming in from all around the world. As Femi Koleoso said during the incredible Ezra Collective closing set … ‘this moment (scene) was built on previous moments’. This isn’t algorithmic, this is relationships built up through music over time, and how beautiful it is to see the youth taking it to new levels!”

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