‘After one member of Crack had finished their cucumber sandwiches and donned their bright red suit in homage to the royal festivities on the TV, there was definitely a sense of regal anticipation in the air. Even if you couldn’t give a cocktail sausage about Kate and Wills and their finery, the bonus Bank Holiday gave you a real reason to be cheerful. Even the anti-monarchists who resent every little penny the UK Royals receive, would have been at least slightly thankful to them for granting us a bit of extra holiday.
‘Alfresco Disco is a night in Bristol whose credentials have been rising steadily for a while. What they pulled off on Royal Wedding Friday was truly one of the best days of Bristolian party entertainment seen for some time. After reputedly securing the licence to Castle Park for a mere £30 because of flexibility in the law regarding street parties due to the wedding, there was no time wasted in making sure this unique opportunity was grabbed with both hands. Set in the natural amphitheatres at the far end of Castle Park, the Alfreso By Day party featured live music on the bandstand and stalls around the outside of the grassed area, a double-decker bus acting as the stage and sound system behind the bandstand in the bricked terrace area. As a set-up for daytime raving goes, this was as perfect as it got. Featuring a set from Secretsundaze main man James Priestley, the ethos was strangely reminiscent of Mr Priestley’s groundbreaking London soiree.
‘Taking all the best bits of daytime/free partying (fancy dress, glitter, good setting) and discarding the negatives (crack addicts, shit soundsystems, dogs and psy-trance), any tourist passing Castle Park at 8pm that night would have been in for treat. Inner city partying with this level of professionalism should act as a catalyst for the council to grant more licenses for such events. With security more focused on dancing than checking for indiscretions and a minimal police presence, the house and disco (with a splash of Prince) bounded around Castle Park with freedom. From the ukulele sounds of the Rinky Dinks, to Futureboogie’s house/disco groove-on, this was a varied and musically colourful occasion.
‘And so attention moved from Castle Park to the Trinity, the scene of Alfresco By Night. Never announcing the line up before the event is a prominent feature of the Alfresco ethos. Residents JG Alim, Little Tom, Frankie Mann, Credible and Lukas provide a solid musical base, and word of mouth clearly does the rest judging by how quickly tickets sold out for Alfresco By Night and the subsequent frenetic search for tickets at Alfrescio By Day event. So as we were greeted by wedding-dressed drag queens full of sparkle and innuendo on our way into Trinity, Crack was certain we were in for a treat. With the King Of Ping table tennis tournament upstairs adding a bizarre twist and yet more fancy dress and serious house sounds downstairs, as the night progressed the cream of Bristol’s partying folk danced away to a surprise house-inspired set from Appleblim and the Alfresco residents.
‘A great lighting and sound system was given the full treatment during the royal bridal drag show, before the rest of the night became a blur of incandescent colours and faces. All-dayers are rarely done with this level of precision. If only royals got married a bit more often.’