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Jam on Rye makes a splash in its second year

A festival on its way up

By Ellinna Horton

On a classically rainy Spring Bank Holiday, Jam on Rye made its second annual appearance on to London’s summer festival line up with its particular blend of celebration of music, culture and an eclectic array of street food, all in the heart of Peckham Rye Park. 

Positivity flows through this dinky festival from the get-go – even the security guards were in high spirits. Across the park, children freely chase each other with handfuls of hay into the KidsDome, where DJs dressed as bananas get the babies bobbing their heads for the first time. Aromas of jerk chicken, curry and barbecue waft through the air, making it impossible to resist temptation.
Jam on Rye has a big focus on street food, and after scoping out dozens of trucks we settled upon Zephyr Burgers. A bargain at £7.50, the balance of the lightly toasted bun with the tender patty and subtle onion flavour was impeccable – these are no less than true burger artistes.
The three-stage system is constructed to give everyone the chance to experience a range of sounds. This year, the corner stage was the place to be to get loose to some soulful reggae and slowly two-step to Natty and the Rebelship, while the Balamii DJs spun some grime and D&B bangers for anyone wanting to throw it down at a faster pace.
It’s a great thing to see RnB legend Kelis playing a relatively new festival; a signifier of how much the festival could grow in the upcoming years. The female powerhouse belted out flawless renditions of her classics – the remix of her most famous hit ‘Milkshake’ with Wu-Tang Clan’s ‘Gravel Pit’ gave us a mash up we never knew we needed. Even overcast weather can’t stop a star like Kelis shining.
Summer is fast approaching and new London festivals seem to pop up every day. But the sophomore edition Jam on Rye left us eager to explore more of these local festivities to see how communities come together in a time when we need it most.

Jam on Rye 2019 was on 27 May in Peckham Rye Park