Holi Festival of Colours Review

Holi Festival of Colours has been running for three years now, and it’s an intriguing little event. It’s rare to find a festival where people are more attracted to the other entertainment than the music, however, this is exactly the case with Holi Fest. This weekend, we headed down the festival on Saturday to see what all the fuss was about, and get a bit colourful. The drinks were flowing, the colour was exploding and the crowds were having a great time.

The music

With only one small stage, Holi Festival of Colours is a festival which seems to focus less on the music than the experience. Being at a festival, or any gig really, when you hear the artist say “everyone put your hands up!” you sort of expect the sea of people around you to all do as instructed and thrust their hands in the air. Same with instructions to clap along, sing along etc etc. Completely not the case at Holi fest, which was pretty hilarious. Every instruction from each of the DJs in the line-up seemed to be completely ignored by the crowd, who were definitely more interested in drunkenly covering each other in their bags of coloured powder, than paying attention to the artist on stage. The only real exception to this was Nervo, the headlining act of the day, who seemed to be a real crowd pleaser.

The colour

On entry to the festival, you buy or collect your pre-paid for bags of paint powder. From this point on, there is only one word to describe Holi Festival: carnage. Nowhere else in London is it perfectly acceptable to walk up to a random stranger, and pour brightly coloured powder all over them. Completely acceptable at Holi Festival, and usually, people will return the favour. If anything, the powder was great for crowd bonding. Sometimes, it’s easy to go to a festival and not talk to anyone other than the people that you came with. But it’s kind of hard to not spark up a conversation with someone who you’ve just coated head to toe with pink powder. The highlight of the festival were the colour countdowns which took place every hour, when everyone in the crowd threw their powder in the air at the same time. 50% the most beautiful thing ever, 50% I want to cry because there is so much powder in my lungs right now I feel like I may actually collapse.

Be prepared to take at least three showers when you get home from the event though. I am not joking when I say, you will be finding that powder EVERYWHERE. For days. In your nose, in your hair, in the corners of your eyes. Gross. But, almost worth it.

Getting there

Getting to the festival was pretty easy. Stratford train station is just a 10 minute walk from the festival gates, and it wasn’t hard to figure out where we were meant to be going – just follow the sea of people dressed in white roaming the streets of London. Alternatively, if you don’t want to risk the tube covered in powder after the festival, the Westfield car park is located right next to the station, and at £9 for up to 24 hours parking, it’s not too pricey.

Food and drink

Food and drink at Holi fest was typical festival food. Pricey food vans, serving up chips and burgers at obscene prices that they just know drunk festival goers will pay. The system was pretty rubbish here though, as you couldn’t buy the food with your own money, but had to go and purchase tokens from the other side of the festival. Meaning two queues, and spending more money than you wanted to, because you had to buy at least 10 tokens.

The verdict

Holi Festival of Colours is a must do festival, purely for the experience of the colours. The music gave the day a great vibe, and it’s one of the friendliest festival crowds I have ever been in. It’s a small festival, but it packs a punch - definitely a great night out in London.


By Lauren Chassebi