We kicked off Pride Month cry-dancing to Push The Button, WBU?
BY ELEANOR NOYCE, IMAGE BY LUKE DYSON
Happy Monday, DIVAs! How’s your head? This Bank Holiday Weekend the UK’s most iconic pop festival, Mighty Hoopla, returned to the mighty Brockwell Park in South London and boy was it a queer celebration. With headliners in the form of Steps and Sugababes, it was quite possibly the campest event to take over Brixton to date. The gays have never stomped down Water Lane quite so fiercely.
Anastacia, Jessie Ware and Self Esteem delivered pop perfection with invigorating performances on the main stage, with Queer House Party, OutHaus and Basement Jaxx serving up non-stop beats across The Birdcage, House of Love and The Bump. Undoubtedly the highlight of the entire weekend was the moment Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy – the icons that are the Sugababes – stepped out onto the main stage to the beat of Push The Button. Tears were unanimous, and festival goers of all ages were united in screaming along to the likes of pop classics Round Round, Too Lost In You and Overload. It was euphoric.
A first for festival-goers, official festival partner Vodafone trialled out multi-sensory tech suits to allow deaf and hard of hearing people to connect with and capture the atmosphere of the crowd. With cuffs on the arms and legs alongside a gilet, the suit responds to both the music and the crowd with vibrations, communicating rapturous rounds of applause and cheers alike. The unadulterated joy of those trialling the suits did not go amiss, with smiles and cheers all round. What’s more, the multi-sensory suits have previously been trialled amongst people with autism and ADHD to an astounding reception, with the engineers behind this incredible technology looking to develop in this area whilst accommodating for sensory issues.
And if that wasn’t enough, Kate Nash supplied a stunning rendition of late 00s pop hit Foundations, all the while wearing a yellow dress, tiara-like headpiece and silver platform heels that screamed camp. Drag excellence was everywhere, with performances from The Bitten Peach, The Cocoa Butter Club, LADS and more. It was pure stun.
All in all, Mighty Hoopla 2022 was a celebration of the healing qualities of pop music. There’s nothing more cathartic than screaming your heart out to Cascada (that’s right, you heard us!) or enjoying a cheeky snog during Wildest Moments. The LGBTQI community has long used music as a source of community, and pop icons have – for the most part – been there for us. From Madonna’s call to arms during the HIV/AIDS crisis to Sinitta’s early support of same-sex marriage, popstars have the power to evoke real change and demonstrate real, tangible solidarity. That essence was at the very heart of Mighty Hoopla.
Did you miss Mighty Hoopla 2022? Fear not! MH returns to Bognor Regis in January for the Mighty Hoopla Weekender at – you guessed it – Butlins. This year, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Vengaboys, Nadine Coyle and Liberty X performed – now that’s one way to beat the post-Christmas blues! Grab your tickets here, and follow Mighty Hoopla across Instagram or Twitter to keep up with the latest on next year’s festival.
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