10 years of Dubtendo

Celebrate a decade of retro gaming and upfront raving at Boomtown with 1 More Thing this year


They’ve caused more Boomtown roadblocks than Brexit’s caused lorry jams at Dover. It’s a technically a micro stage yet it attracts some of the biggest names on the line-up to come and have a cheeky spin, often unannounced. It’s run by a pair of Welsh dudes; the founder Jaketendo (AKA Jake Carless) and Sega Megavibes… And this year marks their 10th at Boomtown. A festival they exclusively call home.

It can only be Dubtendo.

“We used to put on free parties and house parties and would always have games set-up for people to play,” says Megavibes, or Kirk Holland as he’s more formally known. A integral part of the crew since Jake established it in 2012, Kirk is a stage manager/DJ who is the main man responsible for curating the console craziness and orchestrating the chaos that ensues at Dubtendo each Boomtown. “We’d always have retro games. I love sitting down and blasting off a quick game of Mario Kart with a total stranger. I’ve always felt gaming and raving have gone hand in hand.”

Like all the best brands in underground dance music, Dubtendo comes from a place of passion for the culture and the desire to contribute something meaninful to it. Their earliest incarnation began as a walkabout act where they would take mobile speakers on a backpack and patrol the festival gathering a procession along the way.

“We developed a custom 12V mobile DJ system – complete with Serato and mini turntables – then dressed like our fave Mario characters,” explains Kirk who is now the main captain and organiser of the brand. “We did mini pop up raves and processions around Boomtown inspired by computer game music, samples and big 8 bit vibes!”

The buzz quickly caught on and every year became a 1UP mushroom for the maverick dubsters.

“From there, it evolved in to a small theatrical window that we used as our base for the walkabout act – literally just a hole cut out in the wall with DJs performing behind a giant game controller, with retro games on TVs people could play while they raved! It went down a storm, with both DJs and the crowd loving the vibe. Over the years we’ve remained a small theatrical window, but more and more people keep turning up… Reaching in to the thousands in 2019!”

A must-check spot for ravers and selectors alike, Kirk explains how they’ve tapped into a universal niche of kindred 8-bit spirits. “You don’t realise how many people dress up at festivals as gaming characters until they amass at one spot,” he explains. “It’s funny; literally anyone who dresses like a computer game character will invariably congregate at our stage. I’ve looked out at the crowd on more than one occasion to be confronted by this beautiful rabble of Mario characters, Tetris pieces, Street Fighter characters. We’ve tapped into this crazy niche of people who love dressing up and gaming. It’s like a real life version of Ready Player One!”

Kirk and co have responded to this fancy dress fervour in the past by hiring parkour athletes to dress up like Street Fighter characters and theatrically ‘scrap’ amid the crowd. “That was really good fun. A real ‘what the fuck?’ moment,” he laughs. “It spun the ravers right out.”

The real spinning, however, is down to the DJs. With such a unique look, friendly vibe and high production values, Dubtendo attracts some of the biggest headliners who come down and play for the love. Over the years they’ve had everyone down for a play from the likes of High Contrast (who famously played a disco set in 2019) to the new-gen heavyweight likes of Bou by way of an endless menu of super-fresh new talent. One particular young DJ who went viral after his Dubtendo set was Arlo. Only 15 at the time, his 2019 set in particular went down in Boomtown legend and is still a highlight for Monsieur Megavibes to this day.

“He’s always there with a pack of cookies playing D&B and it goes off!” he exclaims. “The last time, he was there with his cookies and rinsing it out and people were going mental. The videos went viral and it pushed him to mad levels, which is so awesome to see. If we stopped tomorrow that would be my proudest moment.”

Don’t worry; there’s no chance of Dubtendo stopping tomorrow. Often spotted at club events around the west country, festival-wise they are exclusive to Boomtown which takes place this week – August 10 – 14.

“There’s no other festival in the UK that does what they do, creating a whole other world to experience, be part of and completely lose yourself in for a few days,” says Kirk. “The amount of effort they go to is just insane and it’s an honour to be a part of that. I’ve seen it grow from a tiny festival to the monster it is now and it’s just amazing how they’ve managed to keep it independent and stay true to it’s roots.”

You can catch Dubtendo staying true to their roots at two different locations this festival. On Thursday they’re hosting a street party in the Botanica area before heading to their own hidden micro stage for the evening where they will also be hosting music from 4pm – 1am on Friday and Saturday with guests such as Noisia‘s Thys, Krafty Kuts, JFB, DJ Limited, AC13, Sota and many many more. One of the many aspects of Boomtown that makes it truly magic; the secret micro stages are dotted around the site and often unlisted in most of the line-ups. This creates a free party style spirit and puts the focus well and truly on the music.

“It could be a huge DJ, it could be your new favourite DJ you haven’t heard of yet, either way come down and play with us, you won’t be disappointed!” grins Sir Sega who’s invited 1 More Thing to host the Friday session with a full takeover that ranges from breaks to jungle via UKG and rave featuring Katalyst, SHOSH, Uncle Dugs, Sabrina, Euphonique, Anais, Kelvin 373, Kaisha, Enta, DJ Hybrid and more.

“The 1 More Thing line-up is such a perfect progression of music featuring some of our favourite artists from up and coming acts, all the way to bonafied legends of our scene,” says Megavibes. “What’s more, we get to not only support the artists themselves, but also support a new platform that champions the same underground music and acts we love. It’s like a big ol’ musical group hug and pat on the back!”

High scores all round. The 1 More Thing Dubtendo takeover takes place Friday 4pm – 1am. Check the Dubtendo Instagram, or join their Telegram group for the full weekend line-up times. If you’re at Boomtown then come and find us and shake a leg or two.

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