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Underage Festival
The Domino 15th Anniversary Stage at Underage Festival 2008
Location(s) Victoria Park, London
Years active 4
Founded by Sam Kilcoyne
Eat Your Own Ears
Date(s) Early August (2nd/8th/10th)
Genre Various, primarily Rock, Pop, Indie
Website Official Website

The Underage Festival is a music festival which takes place in Victoria Park, London. It is open to 14-18 year olds, and only those within this age limit are allowed entry to the festival. In the two years since its creation, the festival has taken place at the beginning of August each year. There are five main stages, the Converse Century Main Stage, the NME Stage, the Topman New Music Stage, the Domino Stage (aptly named the "Domino 15th Anniversary Stage" for the label's 15th anniversary of creation in 2008), and the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage. As well as this, some of the smaller features included the Habbo Dj Tent, the CM Tower Hamlets Music Space Stage, and the Artrocker Signing Tent. 2008's event also included a MySpace bus, where secret sets and interviews with bands took place.

The festival evolved out of a series of club nights held in the Elephant and Castle area of South London, hosted and organised by Sam Kilcoyne, the teenage son of Barry 7 from Add N to (X) after Kilcoyne was refused admission to a Buzzcocks gig due to his age (he was fourteen years old at the time). These grew popular with preteens and teenagers, even receiving press coverage in broadsheet national newspapers (The Manchester Guardian, to name one) and the BBC's arts programmes who reported this as a "youthquake".


2009 Festival

Soon after the 2008 festival, Eat Your Own Ears announced in an email to fans that the 2009 festival would again take place in Victoria Park in East London, on 2 August 2009. Tickets for the event were available from early February. During his BBC Introducing... show for Radio 1, Huw Stephens announced some of the acts playing the festival as Ladyhawke, Hadouken!, Metronomy, Rolo Tomassi, Esser, Tinchy Stryder, Kissy Sell Out, Caspa, First Aid Kit, JME, Marina and the Diamonds, Plastician, Pull In Emergency, Rosie and the Goldbug, Rusko, The Chapman Family, The Whip, The xx, Tomb Crew, Tommy Sparks and The Video Nasties. Further artists were announced in the lead up to the event. The festival was headlined by The Pigeon Detectives.[1] Stage Artrocker Stage Topman CTRL Stage Youth Music Stage

2008 Festival

The 2008 festival took place on 8 August 2008. The event was a success, with around 10,000 fans attending. Many queued for hours prior to the gates opening to gain entry.[2] Headliners included Gallows, Dizzee Rascal, Foals, and The Dykeenies.

Converse Century Main Stage
  • The Horrors were originally scheduled to play the Main Stage, but had to pull out due to recording commitments.[3] They were replaced by Dizzee Rascal. Mystery Jets were also scheduled to open the festival with a set on the Main Stage, but pulled out just a few days before due to their lead singer Blaine Harrison being in hospital.[4] They were replaced with Kid Harpoon.
  • Those Dancing Days performed on the Main Stage after Care Bears on Fire instead of the NME Stage, as previously billed.
  • OCD were selected on BBC Radio 1's BBC Introducing show to play the festival. A number of young, unsigned bands were put forward by a variety of BBC Introducing Djs including Huw Stephens and Vic Galloway to win the opportunity to play on the Main Stage. An eventual winner was picked by Sam Kilcoyne, the festival's organiser. The entire feature was released in special Underage Festival podcast by Radio 1, in the week before the festival took place.
  • Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans, played a DJ set on the Main Stage between each of the three main headliners.
  • Gallows' headline set included an appearance by Lethal Bizzle, for a special cover of The Ruts' "Staring At The Rude Bois". As well as this, lead vocalist from hardcore punk band Blackhole - and Gallows' lead singer Frank Carter's younger brother - Rich Carter sang vocals on a number of tracks towards the end of the set.
NME Stage
Peace camp in Parliament Square
  • XX Teens set featured an appearance by famous anti-war protestor Brian Haw, who is currently the longest residing resident of the peace camp situated outside Parliament Square. Following set-closer "For Brian Haw", Haw gave a ten-minute speech regarding the War in Iraq.[5]
  • Polly Scattergood designed and curated a special shed for the festival, "Pollyworld", which featured small acoustic performances by herself and a number of other acts.
Topman New Music Stage
Domino 15th Anniversary Stage
Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage
CM Tower Hamlets Music Space Stage
  • Lo-Fi Culture Scene
  • Underground Heroes
  • Why Whiskey Why
  • Goldielocks
  • Alex Starling
  • Fifth Element
  • Toy Toy
  • Temporarily Blank
  • The Purple Socks
  • Risofthescorned
  • Directive
Habbo Dj Tent

2007 Festival

The 2007 festival took place on 10 August 2007.


Artrocker, a magazine which sponsors the festival, together with Converse held a competition for five readers aged 14–18 to attend the festival to report for them and feature in their magazine. The winners were announced on 30 July 2007 as follows:

  • Ollie Savage - videographer
  • Jeremy Cave - photographer
  • Louise Lazell - photographer
  • Nathan Lyttle - journalist
  • Hannah Platt - journalist


The competition was held again for the 2008 festival, ending on 31 July 2008. Five winners were announced on 1 August 2008 again as follows:

  • Kayleigh Jones - photographer
  • Nick Burman - journalist
  • Henry Graham - journalist
  • Madeleine Maria Grossi - journalist
  • Marlowe Tatiana Granados - journalist


External links

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