The Backstage Guide to Festivals

Benga

We asked Benga, solo artist, DJ and one-third of the UK dubstep supergroup Magnetic Man to recall his favourite festival moments. 

I’ve got a few good festival memories but I always go back to Glastonbury, 2008. I was playing a show on the Sunday, but I went on the Friday and spent two days with Artwork [from Magnetic Man] and a few others. I can’t tell you exactly what went down. But we partied.

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Our festival rider is champagne, loads of vodka, loads of gin and we always have Red Bull. If people don’t get your riders right, you know you can just go home? I’ve never done that, but it has been known.

When you go backstage there are always good people floating about. In terms of nice young ladies. I always wondered where they came from.

The secret of a good festival set is to bring something a bit out of the box. I could play dubstep slammers all day, but bring something out that people don’t expect and it sends them crazy. I’ve been using The Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”, but that’s about to change. I’m not going to tell you what to, though.

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My worst festival experience was playing Lowlands Festival about four years ago. I was playing dubplates at the time and the decks weren’t set up properly. I had to do two hours with a dodgy jumping needle. After that I got rid of all my vinyl and started playing CDs.

I first crowd surfed during a Chase & Status set. I was, like, 20 years old. And really, really hammered. I’ve probably done it 200 times. This year, there definitely won’t be any crowd surfing. I’ll have to hire a stunt man to do it for me.

Benga’s new album, Chapter 2, is out 27 August

Benga will play Pukkelpop, Lowlands and other European and UK festivals

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