This weekend is the August Bank Holiday Weekend AKA the UK's greatest weekend of the year AKA the weekend we have all been waiting for since last August bank holiday weekend. We've almost clambered over the last one of the year (ie: the weekend when we get the Monday off for no real reason); the only bank holiday weekend of the year that really matters. Shit, maybe even the only weekend of the year that matters. It's the Christmas of August. That's right lads: it's CARNIVAL WEEKEND.
This year, for reasons I still haven't managed to quite figure out because I'm from northwest London and carnival weekend turns me into Clopin the Jester from The Hunchback of Notre Dame on the day of the Festival of Fools, there's also another great, big event happening that thousands of people have been waiting for. So much so that they've paid the better part of £35 to £90 to attend it at the O2 Arena, juggling it with the biggest free party of the year absolutely miles away from Notting Hill. Mad.
Having looked at the line-up for the Boy Better Know Takeover however, it becomes apparent why so many people (not me – please see above for Clopin the Jester reference) would want to head to Greenwich this Sunday to watch a load of extremely talented musicians from the BBK collective and beyond do their thing. The BBK boys are taking over the entire arena for a multi-venue, multi-discipline curated day of activities and performances with some of the biggest names in music right now.
If you're lucky you might find yourself skateboarding with Slimzee, playing five-a-side football with Frisco or dancing with Donae'O. You'll be able to watch Mabel sing, probably in some sort of incredible monochrome tracksuit and crop top combo; you'll be able to catch some Noisey screenings in an early afternoon cinema room. You'll also be able to see in real time just how massive the BBK audience has grown over the years, most likely amassing some of the people below. Here, enjoy a list of some of these people – A Guide to All the People Who Will Definitely Be at the BBK Takeover, if you will.
Everyone knows Carnival Sunday is for babies anyway.
The roadman, who at a distance seems like the UK version of the scrub sitting on the passenger side but is so much more, will be lining the walls of every room at The O2 for the first five hours and shouting pick-up lines at any girl who walks past with her contour and highlight in perfect balance. These lines will range from the cute "oi my size" – yes I said cute (side note: does anyone say this anymore? I'm old) – to "ey! EY! EY YOU! YOU'RE BUTTERS ANYWAY!" Unlike the aforementioned passenger seat scrubs however, roadmen are actually some of the few young people in London who drive cars and have money. In fact they probably drove here and can give you a lift home, PLUS they are the only men that carry (admittedly tiny) bags which means they won't constantly be asking to put their shit in yours. Befriend a Roadman Today and spice up your life.
The New Guard
Wearing millennial pink baseball caps, fake Radar Radio T-shirts and the Silver Bullet Air Max 97s, this bunch are the flipside to the die-hards. They love Stormzy but have no idea that the beat from "Shut Up" is actually an instrumental from 2004. When not bussin' gun fingers at grime events in Shoreditch, you can find them arguing in Youtube comment sections about whether or not Giggs "Talking Da Hardest" should be London's national anthem despite the fact that they're from Berkshire and only moved to Camberwell a year ago to do an art foundation. They've never been to carnival but they might go this year because they heard Boiler Room is hosting a sound system. Actually, they'll probably just watch the live stream – their mate told them west London is shit anyway.
The OGs of the scene. They spend their free time looking for white labels of rare instrumentals and collectively pissed themselves with excitement when it was (erroneously) announced that Ruff Sqwad were finally going to release grime grail riddim "R U DOUBLE F" earlier this year. They loved JME from when he was still eating lahmacun and grime in general from before it was something the Brit Awards knew about – and they won't hesitate to tell you so either. They probably think Stormzy is overrated and feel that their incorrect opinion is bolstered by him not being on the line-up but it's actually because he's on a beach somewhere with Maya Jama and the Royal Family (David and Victoria Beckham). Catch them scowling at anyone who doesn't know every word to every song and assuming all the women here just came to see Mabel. They know their shit, so are like walking reference books that will also call you out if they can smell that you're a culture vulture.
After three months of pleading from her teenage son, Kelly has finally given in to buying him a ticket to the takeover, thinking she can spend the day at home alone ploughing through three bottles of wine and watching Game of Thrones. The summer holidays have been exhausting and she's cleaned up more jizz off the walls in the last six weeks than most hotel cleaners do in a year. She can't wait until the little shit fucks off back to school tbh. What she missed however is the small print, and now she's having to spend her precious Bank Holiday Sunday accompanying her 14-year-old child to the O2 surrounded by 20,000 young people who are shouting words she doesn't understand. What happened to rock and roll she thinks; that was good. Real music. Why are kids these days so angry? They don't know how good they've got it, do they? When I was a teenager…
14-Year-Olds Being Chaperoned by Their Mums
With a permanent scowl that is two parts future therapy fodder and one-part pure adolescent rage, this is a 14 years and 10 months-old teenager who spends most of the day trying to run away from mum and find their friends. He manages to get a couple of video games in, but when it's time to see A$AP Rocky he is forced to return to his mother and the seating area. Spends most of the rest of the evening watching the Snapchat stories of kids in the year above who got standing tickets and are secretly filming girls' bums. Tunes out when mum asks why kids are so angry nowadays.
The Whole of Essex
Tired of ruining carnival for everyone else for with their penchant for bindis and hilarious Bob Marley Reggae Rasta Hats™ since they discovered it four years ago, my sources predict that Essex will be moving their Bank Holiday festivities to The O2 this year. Freshly bronzed from summers spent in Ibiza and The Tanning Shop, and decked out in their best Palace and Boohoo respectively, the men and women of London's most-underrated seaside towns are coming to see Skepta. They were a bit disappointed with his Brit Awards performance but are hoping he'll come through here for the real fans, without the bleep machine messing things up. They're also the only people who are excited to see Tim Westwood in 2017.
Militant White Vegans with Dreadlocks Who Smell of Patchouli and Think All Lives Matter Especially Animal Lives Probably Not Black Lives *Specifically* But They Heard There's A Grime MC Called JME Who is Vegan So Maybe Not All Urban Culture is Bad?
Actually probably not.
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BBK Takeover tickets are still going here.