Public Enemy take away the chill in the air at London's Freeze

Freeze Festival 2012 review

published: Fri 2nd Nov 2012

Friday 26th to Saturday 27th October 2012
Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth, London, England MAP
£65 season ticket
last updated: Thu 4th Oct 2012

As someone that is used to attending festivals in the great outdoors and camping on site, I booked to attend Freeze Festival 2012 at Battersea Power Station in London with an open mind. I spent most of Friday lunch time battling through the M25 traffic, finding where I was due to be staying then using public transport to get to the festival to be met with the amazing four tower backdrop of the Battersea Power Station.

The 'Big Air' jump looked amazing and the action had already started when I arrived on site. The athletes were already flying through the air; battling it out with each other to progress to the next round, and aiming to win the prize money up for grabs.

Although I enjoyed watching the skiing and snowboarding, I was really interested in seeing how the festival presented the music side of things. On Friday the festival lived up to its name, with temperatures feeling like -4°C possibly putting a few people off coming as the main stage tent initially looked to be quite empty.

Besides the large marquee for the main stage, there were three other smaller venues, Après Ski bar, Desperados Factory, The Metro Lodge and The Relentless Energy Sessions Bar. There was also the O'Neill indoor 200 seat cinema at the festival playing host to some exclusive UK premiers of snowboard and ski films. These smaller venues looked to be better attended than the main stage but as the day progressed more people felt the cold and went to the main stage for a drink and some music.

The first performer I saw on the main stage was Swami Baracus (a recent addition to the radio 1 daytime playlist), however as the tent seemed quite empty even though his performance was good, the lack of people in the large tent made it feel like there wasn't much atmosphere.

I wandered over to the Desperados Factory to grab a drink and see who was performing there and found Duke beat-boxing and delighting the crowd. Duke were amazing and demonstrated their wide range of beat-boxing talent. From then on in I knew that where the crowds formed were talents I may not yet have heard of but would enjoy – there were performances from Major Look in the Desperados Factory and DJ Ez on the main stage before one of my highlights A-Yo! (a combination of Mark Ronson and Zane Lowe) took to the stage. They were simply amazing and took away the chill that was in the air.

DJ Shadow soon followed to end the night but a trip around the various stages also let me witness the Scratch Perverts, Plastic Thumbs, and Ms Dynamite. The performance by Ms Dynamite in the Desperados factory was obviously a popular one as it was extremely difficult to get in and get anywhere near the stage to see her (although they did have it shown on a large screen outside too).

We started the Saturday with more skiing and snowboarding action before hitting the tents for more music – there seemed to be many more people on the Saturday than there were on the Friday as the tents already seemed to be getting quite full. Performances by The Rubberbandits with Spar bags on their heads seemed to get the crowd pumped up for Smiler, and Stanton Warriors, before Grandmaster Flash warmed up the stage ready for Public Enemy to close the festival with a storm.

The snowboarding action had continued well into the evening with the main event, the Big Air competition, featuring a 5 man super final round starting at 19:50 seeing Britain's Billy Morgan finish with the top prize of £5,000.

Overall the festival was an amazing experience, but with more people there on the Saturday than the Friday I enjoyed Saturday the best. The level of skill displayed by the skiers and snowboarders there was truly amazing and inspirational for people looking at getting into the sport.

A superb festival for music lovers and snowboard/ski enthusiasts alike!
review by: Martin Evans

Friday 26th to Saturday 27th October 2012
Battersea Power Station, Wandsworth, London, England MAP
£65 season ticket
last updated: Thu 4th Oct 2012

latest on this festival

Freeze Big Air
festival home page
last updated: Tue 13th Dec 2016
Freeze Big Air - CANCELLED 2015
festival listing
last updated: Wed 21st Oct 2015
Freeze Festival 2013
photo galleries
last updated: Fri 17th Jan 2014

more on this festival