Peak in District and peak in UK sound system culture, Rosa Festival is a newcomer to the festival calendar taking place 7-10th July. Born during lockdown out of fear for the future of the events industry, Rosa originated as a free party and evolved last year into a unique festival in collaboration with the minds behind Musicology, a national UK hip hop platform that has hosted the full breadth of the country’s rap talents, from Chester P to CMPND, and everything in between. Last but not least, we’re there too with an absolute banger of a line up. More on that below.
Headlined by discerning DNB selectas Ed Solo and Basstripper, as well as the nourishing sounds of Dub Princess and the decidedly more energetic SOTA, Rosa aims to cover all corners of UK sound system culture. Crowned by its flaming cybernetic stag figurehead, each stage is similarly designed to evoke warm memories in the minds of any British party goer- from the house party themed Vibes Marquee to the comically familiar Sweaty Arms pub (ran by dynamic duo ‘Rig Monkey’ and ‘Hugh Watt’). Given the festival site’s sublime natural beauty, however, chill-out spaces such as Naturalia and the Sensory Sanctuary come as a welcome antidote to any adrenaline-related difficulties that may be encountered.
A special mention must also be given to producer/MC duo Eddy & Biscuit, whose speaker-rending debut release ‘HEART’ last year embodies much of the UK soundsystem culture Rosa celebrates. Also in attendance are house band Funk’d Up Collective, playing weekly at Leeds’ own secret jazz bar The Domino. Funk’d Up are open mic veterans, having hosted more jams than hot meals and are sure to foster some spontaneous magic with any MCs in the crowd.
Dig into the line up and there are plenty more hidden gems to watch out for… Representing for Leeds, poet T.M.O pens beautifully honest stanzas. Also repping the cities poetic edge AMSKI is worthy of your attention on lyricism/MC duties. K.O.A, Manchester’s 19 year old rising MC brings seriously hot flows and has been recently representing with Mungos Hifi, Danny T & Tradesman and the legendary Subdub and various other soundsystems. 5 piece Funk, Soul, Hip Hop, Grime, and beyond band Brand New Bag will also be holding session and TEKS from the legendary “Tha Office” click in Leeds can be found hosting the ceremony properly. Plus, Musicology and Rosa festival founding father BT3K will also be playing sets across site representing all styles.
If you thought that wasn’t enough hip hop, however, Team UKHH got you covered. Taking over the Cyberstag main stage for the Saturday afternoon, we’re unleashing a roster of invasive spaces into the Peak District’s delicate natural balance. Leading the charge is High Focus signee and The Low visionary Verbz, who’s a mainstay on any hip hop fan’s playlists at this point. Particularly fitting is his recent forays into DnB and liquid, which are well-poised for the Rosa crowd. Village Live Records leaders Pique Roscoe and Kuartz are also on board to turn the Peak District to the Pique District with classic boom bap production and timeless flow.
Combining the talents of rappers Bxrbarian, C.o.N-Vers and producer C.Facts, UK hip hop supergroup The Last Elect were no less than first-choices for the stage. Brain Scran Records‘ heavyweights are also in attendance, enlisting the electrified energy of Bristol-based MC Komposa and the tripped-out lyricism of Sheffield home town hero Katz with a K. Bringing up the vanguard are DJs Slippy Skills, Soul Trips and Akme Beats.