Junction 2 has set the bar pretty high, we’re sure you’ll agree. Such a high standard can be a curse as much as a blessing. Organising could be forgiven for not hitting the high notes of efforts 1 to 4. Realistic skepticism soon gave way to unbridled excitement once we saw the stage splits for this year’s festival. Are we assured moments to match Sonja Moonear and Nicolas Lutz in The Woods? Coxy and Beyer’s Clash of the Titans under The Bridge? And Dixon and Âme’s 6-hour marathon? You bet.
Starting with Friday’s programme, Jon Hopkins takes centre stage with top billing on the Main Stage. Little wonder, since it will be his only London show of the entire year and therefore one not to be passed upon. He’s joined by a pretty formidable support cast, with DJ Koze, Romy, Ceri and another live act in Rival Consoles taking care of business in Boston Manor Park’s upper meadow.
Next, we cross - quite literally - to The Bridge, still the site’s most striking stage. This year host duties have been handed to ION Festival - Junction 2’s Albanian endeavour which launches later this year. The talent is stacked accordingly, with Nina Kraviz leading the line of Four Tet, Midland, Leon Vynehall and electro wrecking group DMX Krew.
The Red Room
Something new materialises next, in the form of The Red Room, looked after by Resident Advisor across the whole weekend. The esteemed hosts have promised a “rave environment, where festival excitement meets the intimacy of a world-class nightclub”. We’ll, we’re sold. Even moreso, given the line-up: Honey Dijon, Chaos In the CBD, Yu Su and Zozo all star with a lead turn from animated live act Fatima Yamaha. Consider this the stop for the musos.
Old favourite The Warehouse is next on the agenda. Featuring raw aesthetic and tougher sounds, this enclosed stage is a piece of metropolis stranded on greenbelt. The likes of D. Tiffany, Roza Terenzi, Tasha and Aurora Halal (live) all perform earlier in the day, while the latter half of the programme gets really interesting. First, Ilian Tape comrades Zenker Brothers and Skee Mask link-up for one of their B2Bs, before Hessle Audio close with an extended set sure to be one of the highlights of the weekend.
The Woods is hosted by 9000 Dreams and is well worth checking-out, with couple Octo Octa and Eris Drew proving to be a big draw, along with weekend resident Avalon Emerson and Peach. Joy Orbison, who played on this stage in 2018, is back too.
New for 2020, the Loading Bay is J2’s sixth and final stage. A place for discovery, you’re sure to find some of the most underrated selectors on the planet playing here. In particular you should catch Scottish DJ and vehement political activist Eclair Fifi do her thing, as well as Saoirse.
Under any other circumstances, we would consider that a full weekend of entertainment by itself.But by J2 standards, we’re only just getting started, because the other half of the action comes on Saturday.
In reverse order, crate-digger Francesco Del Gardo is the well-known name at The Loading Bay amongst a list of DJs who are deserving of higher profiles. Make sure you hit to see what you’re missing out on.
In The Woods, Seth Troxler is arguably the biggest name ever to be listed on this stage. Adding an intriguing element to this super booking is Margaret Dygas, the two playing B2B in what could go down as one of the best sets in the festival’s history. Minimalist Fumiya Tanaka and Traumer add more clout as we head into the thicket with the Half Baked posse.
Heading into the darkness of The Warehouse and we can expect heart race and pressure to increase, with the reins being handed to Dax J and Kobosil for a blitzkrieg finale. Anastasia Kristensen, Blawan and Benjamin Damage will be providing the ammo beforehand.
The Red Room
Back with Resident Advisor’s Red Room, we can anticipate the spectacle of Avalon Emerson, Roi Perez and Dr. Rubinstein going B2B2B, plus DJ Boring playing live and Irish house sensations Brame & Hamo. How do you round that off? How about a go-home set from J2 and RA favourite Dixon, who’ll be making his third consecutive festival appearance.
Under The Bridge, Adam Beyer has compiled his Drumcode acolytes for a day of warped techo. Amelie Lens, Enrico Sangiuliano and Joel Mull make for an incredibly strong teamsheet, while Maceo Plex makes his debut on this stage having previously played The Hex on two former occasions.
Finally, we come back to the Main Stage. Are you ready? Two of our favourite duos, Dense & Pika and Mind Against, can both be caught here, as can the legendary Robert Hood who’ll be performing a rare live set full of Detroit originals. Rising Italian Adiel will ensure that the beats are top drawer from the off, while closing duties will see Berghain linchpins Ben Klock and Marcel Dettmann combine for an extended B2B that’s sure to take things off the Richter.
Frankly, we couldn’t enthuse enough. Junction 2 has delivered again. Not only on curated the best techno and underground house line-up anywhere in the UK, but masterfully piecing the jigsaw together and inviting a throng of music partners to put on this landmark fifth edition.
Junction 2 2020 takes place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th June.
4th release Friday and 5th release Saturday tickets are on sale now.