Mighty Hoopla, perhaps the world’s most LGBTQ-inclusive music festival, returned to London’s Brockwell Park last weekend (3-4 June), bringing with it some 30,000 girls, gays, theys, and allies.
Attitude was naturally out in force for the sun-drenched two-dayer; here’s a run down of our favourite pictures, moments, and performances of the festival… (Not including Bill Murray bopping along to Kelis – we don’t have access to that picture!)
Róisín Murphy wore this headpiece and gays gasped
We also want the gloves, which we recognise from ‘Jacuzzi Rollercoaster’ singer’s Royal Albert Hall gig last month
Nadine Coyle made an on-stage reference to being a “Gemini”
…if you know, you know.
Kelly Rowland performed a Destiny’s Child medley
As well as her own hits, Kelly sang shortened versions of DC classics including ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’, ‘Say My Name’, ‘Independent Woman’ and ‘Lose My Breath’. To read our full review of Kelly’s set, click here. Also, what better outfit to perform ‘Commander’ in than this corseted, sci-fi warrior-esque one-piece?
Adam Lambert made a surprise appearance at Beverley Knight’s set
The pair know each other from ITV singing competition Starstruck; Adam will once again perform in the British capital for Pride in London on Saturday 1 July.
The force of nature that is Loreen sang her heart out
Criminally, we only caught the final two songs of Loreen’s set: the one-two punch that is ‘Euphoria’ and ‘Tattoo’. Their gigantic choruses filled Brockwell Park, as did Loreen’s powerhouse vocal. We also love that she wore burnt orange for the set: an autumn mood at the start of summer, because why not?
The Vengaboys were good, clean fun
The famous Eurodance group didn’t fail to deliver a good time on their Hoopla set. Bringing great energy, characteristic fun, and energising style, they were definitely a highlight of the Sunday lineup. The Dutch group played their biggest hits and had everyone dancing and singing along to their bangers. The Candy Crush Arena they performed at was packed.
It was probably the most happy, feel-good performance on the day. The crowds were buzzing from start to finish, and loving the energy the band brought to the festival. Paired with the great weather, it was a perfect, crowd-pleasing moment that delivered the energy one expects from an event that has become famous for kickstarting both the summer festival season and Pride month.
Olly Alexander and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears sang ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’
Two generations of gay pop gods – all we’re missing is Elton! Y&Y are a worthy queer standalone act as they are, rightly reserved as the main closing act of this year’s Hoopla. Belting out their staple hits would have been more than enough for us. But bringing out Jake for a duet of ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’? We were gagged.
Olly also sang with inclusive choir, Trans Voices
Heavenly harmonies all around for the slowie ‘Eyes Shut’.
Finally, Olly formed a pop supergroup with Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts just for Hoopla
Well, this was unexpected. When Girls Aloud members Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts joined Olly for a rendition of the girls’ hit ‘The Promise’ last night, we were momentarily sceptical. For it to really pop off as a ‘moment’, are Cheryl Cole and Nadine Coyle not required? It’s not as if the other girls wouldn’t have been up for it – Nadine, of course, performed at Hoopla only the day before, and Cheryl headlined in 2021 – so it must have been down to scheduling issues.
But as soon as we heard that opening instrumental – they’re trumpets, right? They go off! – we were into it. And once we got over how absurdly glamorous the women looked (Nicola’s elbow-length gloves were a vibe) we noticed how on point all the vocals were. Indeed, while Olly’s grittily charismatic voice may not seem a natural bedfellow for Kimberley’s dulcet serenading or Nicola’s full-throated belting, the harmonies here were glorious, and lifted the audience to another plane. Then, for GA’s best-ever song ‘Call the Shots’ to get an airing was a treat.
The performance obviously sparked memories of the late Sarah Harding, the Girls Aloud member (and beautiful walking primrose) who passed away in 2021. But it was an emotional moment, too, because Olly was clearly living his teenage fantasy. We think he was even more gagged than we were. An utterly camp closing to an utterly camp weekend.
For more information, visit MightyHoopla.com.