Meet Your Freshers' Festival Headliners

We've all been waiting for it, and now it's finally here. We present to you, the line-up for this year's Freshers' Festival.

It's finally here, your 2021 Freshers' Festival line-up!

We'll be welcoming the hugely talented ELLA HENDERSON as this year's Freshers' Ball headliner - an event that is taking place within the South Quad of the iconic Founder's Building  (Sat 25 Sep).

Brighton rapperArrDeewill also be making a Founder's appearance at Flawless (Wed 22 Sep), as will 220 Kid and Cuppy (DJ Set) at Juicy (Fri 24 Sep).

In the Union Venue, Karen Harding will provide the dancefloor slayers at Ibiza Sunset (Mon 20 Sep), while RuPaul's Drag Race UK favourite Baga Chipz will bring all the sass at our LGBTQ+ Glitterbomb event (Tues 21 Sep). If rock is more your scene, don't miss the Deaf Havana DJ Set at Smells Like Teen Spirit (Thu 23 Sep).

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It's not all about big club nights though - we've also got a load of Give It A Go events on offer. These are smaller-scale events that are predominantly alcohol-free and focused on you meeting new people in a fun, relaxed and welcoming environment.

Highlights include a Disney Movie Night, a Trip to IKEA and the crowd favourite Petting Zoo which sees tons of cute animals pay a visit to Founder's Field. There's also a fun Treasure Trail to help you find your way around campus.

Our other two venues, The Packhorse and Medicine are also offering up a range of events including our weekly favourites Two for Tuesday and MedsBevs where cheap drinks and good times come as standard!

But don't let us tell you everything - make sure you check it all out for yourself and get ready to create your perfect Freshers' Festival.

Check out the full line-up

Ella Henderson

Two-time BRIT Award nominee Ella Henderson is a fearless songwriter known for her debut single “Ghost” which reached number 1 in the UK Singles Chart and quickly gained success at just 18 years old. She has collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, appearing on hits produced by superstar DJ’s Kygo and Sigma, also taking to the live stage, touring with the likes of Take That, James Arthur and Rudimental.

Ella creates music written from the heart, sharing her personal experiences and turning them into something that can help others. Over the past nine years, Ella has ascended to a multi-platinum selling, 2 x BRIT Award-nominee, landing a No. 1 debut album (‘Chapter One’) and over a billion streams, all by the age of 25. Her recent track 'Let’s Go Home Together” featuring Tom Grennan charted at number 10 spending 25 weeks in the Official UK Singles Charts. Last year alone, she achieved her sixth UK Top 10 together with Nathan Dawes and KSI (‘Lighter’), and a platinum certification for ‘This Is Real’ with Jax Jones. Ella’s incredible songwriting, and stage presence is something we’re so excited to see as she headlines this year’s Freshers’ Ball.

 

 

ArrDee

Brighton's ArrDee won audiences with his cocky bars and outlandish persona, becoming one of the UK's most prevalent rap talents. A viral appearance on Russ Millions and Tion Wayne's 'Body [Remix]' landed both ArrDee and the track a spot in the history books: it became the first drill song to reach number one on the UK charts, in no small part due to the Brightonian MC's iconic verse.

Writing his own bars from the age of eight, ArrDee grew up on artists from 50 Cent to Bon Jovi thanks to a family-wide passion for music. Though he put his first songs out in his early teens, it wasn't until 2021 that the young MC made a concerted move into music; after a car freestyle found viral success on social media, the rapper released his debut single 'Cheeky Bars' via Mixtape Madness.

With his "cheeky chappy" persona, cocky lyrics, and agile set of flows, the rapper was quick to make a splash, racking up views in the hundreds of thousands with 'Cheeky Bars' and the subsequent '6AM in Brighton'. But any domestic success would soon be eclipsed by a show-stopping appearance on Russ Millions and Tion Wayne's "Body [Remix]."

With his name atop the charts after just three singles, the rapper was quick to capitalise on his newfound success, first appearing on Fumez the Engineer's Plugged In freestyle show before dropping the swaggering 'Oliver Twist'.

 

 

220 Kid

Amassing over 250 million streams across all platforms alongside a top ten spot for his first release ‘Don’t Need Love’ featuring fellow newcomer GRACEY, 220 Kid’s musical ascent has been somewhat stratospheric.

‘Don’t Need Love’ launched in December 2019, and continued to build organically garnering increased support across radio weekly from the likes of Scott Mills and MistaJam, who consistently shouted him out for his hilarious social media antics and excitable shout outs he would post for each radio play. He had support from Mollie King in ‘Best New Pop’ before the track was chosen as Scott Mills' ‘Tune of the Week’, afterwards being added to the main Radio 1 playlist and eventually making its way to the A list.

220 Kid returned with ‘Too Many Nights’ alongside close friend and collaborator JC Stewart, which saw support from Mollie King in 'Best New Pop', Dev, MistaJam (FutureAnthem) and Scott Mills in its first week, alongside additions to Kiss FM and Capital FM’splaylists. The track was also the #1 added dance song across Spotify globally.

In January 2021, 220 Kid remixed Nathan Evans’ viral rendition of ‘Wellerman’, the remix immediately picked up huge global momentum charting at #2 in the UK singles chart, added to Radio 1 and Capital FM playlists, being streamed over one million times daily on Spotify globally and clinching the #1 spot on iTunes UK.

 

 

Baga Chipz

Baga Chipz is the stage name of Leo Loren, who placed 3rd on Season 1 of RuPaul's Drag Race UK.

"I was having a drink in a pub in Birmingham and this fella came up and started flirting with me and my mate. I said: "Look, why do you want a burger when you can have me, prime steak on a plate?" And he was like: "Prime steak? More like a bag of chips."

On 21 August 2019, Chipz was announced as one of the ten queens to be competing in the first series of RuPaul's Drag Race UK. Baga won three challenges and finished in third place. During November–December 2019, Chipz and the cast of series one embarked on a tour hosted by Drag Race alumna Alyssa Edwards. In January 2020, Chipz attended the first-ever RuPaul's DragCon UK.

In December 2019 Chipz, alongside fellow RuPaul's Drag Race UK contestant The Vivienne, began starring in Morning T&T on WOW Presents Plus. The show sees The Vivienne and Chipz reprise their Snatch Game impersonations of Donald Trump and Margaret Thatcher, respectively, to host a fictional television news show, and consisted of six episodes as of January 2020.

In March 2020 Chipz, once again alongside The Vivienne, started presenting the UK version of I Like to Watch, a web series produced by Netflix in which they review Netflix programming.

In July 2020, Baga appeared on Celebrity Masterchef, and three months later she released her debut single titled 'When The Sun Goes Down' in collaboration with Saara Aalto. She also appeared on the ITV series Celebrity Karaoke Club which started on 23 September 2020.

Baga was a contestant on The Celebrity Circle in 2021 which was in aid of Stand Up to Cancer, where she portrayed Kim Woodburn.

 

 

Karen Harding

With over 400 million combined streams and just shy of three million monthly Spotify listeners, Karen Harding is a household name recognised for featuring and co-writing on a number of infectious dancefloor slayers, including the platinum-certified smash hit 'Say Something' and 'Undo My Heart'. You may also be familiar with ‘It Must Have Been Love’ - a stripped back ballad that was a favourite on the 2020 edition of Love Island.

Since launching her smash top 10 debut single ‘Say Something’ on Method Records (Disclosure, Tourist, Lxury), Harding has co-written and produced with Grammy-nominated wunderkind MNEK as well as featuring and co-writing with some of the best in the business including Blonde, Tujamo, Wilkinson, Giorgio Moroder, Kream, Le Youth, Paul Woolford and Purple Disco Machine to name a few

Work is underway for her debut EP and full album in 2021, and we can't wait to see what she brings to the SU for Freshers' Festival!

 

 

Deaf Havana DJ Set

Having formed in 2005, the band from Norfolk have since released tracks recognised all over the world with 1.6m listeners on Spotify in 2020.

Formed in 2005 while the band - lead vocalist Ryan Mellor, guitarists James Veck-Gilodi and Sebastian Spitz (later replaced by Chris Pennells), bassist Lee Wilson, and drummer Tom Ogden - were students at college in Kings Lynn, Deaf Havana signed to A Wolf at Your Door Records in 2008. A year later, they recorded their first album, 'Meet Me Halfway, At Least', with producer Matt O'Grady (You Me at Six). Mellor parted ways with the band due to personal reasons prior to the recording of their sophomore release and was replaced by Veck-Gilodi on lead vocals. Fools and Worthless Liars was released in 2011 and marked the start of their sonic shift. They released a deluxe version of the album with a bonus disc of the entire LP re-recorded in a stripped-back acoustic manner that brought out the musicianship and emotion of their usually aggressive sound. They added Veck-Gilodi's brother Matthew to bolster their guitar options, on both acoustic and electric, and also installed Max Britton on piano to further expand their sound.

Sessions for their third record followed Deaf Havana's acoustic shows at London's intimate Union Chapel, and in 2013, Old Souls was issued. Their sound had shifted even further from the heavy riffs of their debut to a more considered pop/rock sound, complete with Springsteen references and harmonized choruses. After the release of Old Souls, the band almost broke up but decided to persevere. Four years later, they released their fourth studio album, All These Countless Nights, in January 2017. Wasting little time, they returned to the studio and churned out another effort, which quickly arrived in 2018. The pop-leaning Rituals landed that August, peaking in the Top Ten on the U.K. charts.

 

 

Jonasu

German DJ, producer, and songwriter Jonasu has gained rapid success with his new single “Black Magic” shaping up to be one of the sounds of the summer and has already become Jonasu’s first Top 20 entry in the UK, racking up 11.5 million streams to date.

His music is often described as a joyful blend of house beats and tropical house-inspired takes on classic songs. It is without question that Jonasu has an ear for catchy melodies after his breakout single “Black Magic”s featured on Love Island 2021, resulting in the already charted track seeing a 198% increase in streams. Taking inspiration from his regular cycles around Amsterdam Jonasu says “In 20 minutes [on my bike] I can come up with a new melody or lyrical concept. Often I’ll arrive in the studio and have ideas ready to go.”

His songs and songwriting contributions have seen him accumulate hundreds of millions of streams and gain international recognition. We’re ready to see him take to the stage at our Freshers’ Ball 2021.

 

 

DJ Cuppy

Cuppy, who was born Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola in 1992, grew up in Lagos. Moving to London at 13, while attending boarding school, Cuppy’s parents gifted the precocious teenager an iPod. She filled it with Nigerian music so she could always keep a part of home. Cuppy learnt how to DJ purely from observation.

She has been chasing her calling ever since. She does this on the decks as a DJ, in boardrooms as a music businesswoman and even behind the mic as a producer and vocalist.

In 2014, Cuppy graduated with a degree in business and economics from King’s College London. She had already started DJing as a teenager and built a reputation as one of the foremost DJs in Africa when, also in 2014, Cuppy was selected as a DJ at the MTV Africa Music Awards.

That was followed by her first compilation, The House of Cuppy, where she produced EDM-esque remixes of songs by leading afropop artists. Soon came The House of Cuppy II, which took on a more afro-house slant. Endearing her pan-African brand to the continent beyond Nigeria, Cuppy went on the Cuppy Takes Africa Tour a year later. The tour was filmed and a documentary series of the same name aired on Fox Life.

Cuppy balanced the club and curricula effortlessly and earned a Music Business Masters Degree from New York University while interning at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint in 2015. That year, she appeared as the resident DJ on MTV2’s Uncommon Sense with Charlamagne tha God.

Her excellence transcends music. Cuppy is a Global Citizen and Save the Children ambassador and the welfare of young people is close to her heart. She started The Cuppy Foundation in 2018 and the Foundation’s Cuppy Gold Gala raised $17 million to help displaced children across Nigeria.

In 2020, Cuppy was inducted into Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 class.

A philanthropist and a stylista, this pink-haired muso believes it’s important for young people to go on the wild side and step out of the cages of their comfort.

 

 

Lilly Ahlberg

Rising star Lilly Ahlberg has broken into the music scene with a bang recently hitting 50 million streams in a very quick time and rising. Currently featuring on the song ‘Closer’ on EMI with Sonny Fodera & Just Kiddin, which is tipped to be the song of the summer with strong early support from Radio 1, Joel Corry, Majestic & Diplo. Lilly is also playlisted on some of the biggest playlists on Spotify and Apple Music from Mint, to Dance Rising to New Music Friday across 30 countries, as well as Dance XL and New Music Daily.

Her music is described as “Delightful Pop” and “Stylish” and Lilly has recently released her debut EP. Bursting with ambition and a fresh twist of minimalist Scandi cool with indie folk pop influences, Lilly’s debut EP is drawn from moments of turbulence in her own life resulting in an EP that is honest, liberating and 100% Lilly. Her new single “Call on me” is written by Lilly in collaboration with Justin Tranter (a power behind Lady Gaga, Ariane Grande, and Linkin Park), produced by Jerker Hansson (who has worked with Charli XCX, Panic! At the Disco, Zara Larsson) and mixed by Anthony Kilhoffer (known for his work with Kanye West and winner of four Grammy awards). Lilly is most certainly a rising star in the music industry and we’re excited for her to showcase her talent at our Freshers’ Ball.