Forbidden Fruit 2016 took over the Royal Hospital Grounds in Kilmainham last weekend. TLMT was there to review.
Sitting to one side of the main stage awaiting Skepta’s Forbidden Fruit set on Saturday evening, I watched a group of young festival goers dancing in a circle. Break dancing, to be more precise. Each member of the pack was taking it in turns jumping into the middle, doing their piece, then jumping back out to a chorus of cheers. On the outskirts of this circle, half in and half out, was a small blonde girl who kept attempting to join in, but nerves seemed to keep getting the better of her. She wanted to join her new festival friends but was unsure of what the result may be.
After a while she finally found herself in the middle. The circle cheered then waited, silently. She raised her hands in the air, smiled, moved forward, then suddenly did the most perfect cartwheel and flip I’d every seen. The group paused, almost for a second, then gave one of the biggest cheers of the evening! The girl then ran right round the dance circle, high fiving as she did it, then ran and hugged her friend, who screamed in turn.
The reason I bring this up is that it seemed to encapsulate the vibe of this year’s Forbidden Fruit, especially the Saturday. Caught in the middle of a heat-wave the festival shined in a haze of music, dancing, beer, food and sunshine. It was infectious, and that group of young festival goers were soaking up each and every moment of it.
From a music stand-point Forbidden Fruit 2016 was cohesive. There was no point during the festival that a group or artist felt out of place. Contrasting styles like MMOTHS (who built a mood all of his own in the Lighthouse tent) and Skepta complimented one another by offering something completely different but still in-line with the Forbidden Fruit sound. This carried across from tent to tent, as the festival started to come more and more into it’s own as the weekend progressed.
Driven on by the palpable vibes that flowed around Kilmainham during each sun soaked summer evening, Voxx, Kormac, Pusha T and the ever brilliant Young Fathers all seemed to up their game. Delivering full-on quick-snap sets that added to the overall feeling of midsummer elation.
The headline acts also delivered, Katy B was in stellar form playing to each and every audience member, Dizzee Rascal was bold and brash, Tame Impala were everything you’d want from the neo-psych group and Underworld brought the three-day festival to a suitably electronically ecstatic close.
And so it goes, another Forbidden Fruit has been and gone. The meld of “summer in the city” vibes, a free-flowing line-up and overall mood made for a true festival experience. Dublin glowed, as did the music.
It can be hard sometimes to see the wood for the trees. You can look at at an event and think one thing then walk out thinking another. The experience is key. No, the experience is the most important thing. How we interact with the festival setting, and how the audience and the artists merge into one working community. And for me, the heart of Forbidden Fruit was found in that circle of dancers and the joie de vivre felt when the perfect cartwheel is pulled off.
All photos by Stephen White. See full photo galleries – here. For more information on Forbidden Fruit 2016 visit forbiddenfruit.ie. Click and scroll through the gallery below.