Another year, another 60,000+ revellers descended on Heaton Park for two nights of music and fun this June and like any typical Parklife festival, it wasn’t done in half measures. STYLEetc were on hand to bring you first hand Manchester news from the northern event.
By far the greatest disappointment of the night was the no show of Green Velvet. Pushing our way eagerly into the tent, we were keen to see the Chicago bred DJ having seen some cracking sets previously, only to be told over speaker he had trouble with flights which had led to a replacement being drafted in last minute. Whilst they retained a good portion of the crowd, it just wasn’t the same vibe we had been hoping for.
Luckily Eric Prydz turned up for his headline of the Hangar, and boy did he turn up. Playing to thousands of sweaty, squished dance music appreciators in a makeshift tent-club, Prydz kept us moving and entranced with his beats. Everything about the set was skillfully set to complement the music, from the special effects to the out of this world light show which hypnotised as it went. Prydz entertained by mixing core hits, with his blend of ‘Personal Jesus’ a particular highlight of the night.
On the Saturday Lorde delivered stellar performance, with great sound quality as she sung her way through early classics including Royals and Tennis Court. This had the thousands in the crowd swaying and singing along with her in delight, as she took us through a journey of up tempo and moodier feels as she went.
N.E.R.D. made epic gaffe throughout their set, with Pharrell repeatedly thanking ‘Parkland’ festival goers clearly unaware of his error. By the end of performance, the group invited a few onstage to dance, which unsurprisingly resulted in hundreds rushing the stage, wanting to get in on a piece of the action and have their 5 minutes performing Parklife.
The XX capitvated fans with a stunning set from start to finish. Including most fan favourites, the band took charge of the main stage, drawing thousands in for love-in singalongs and dancey electro beats.
Sunday saw more local talent with Liam Gallagher headlining. Liam brought his usual swagger, keep the crowd pleased with Oasis classics amongst his own songs. In tribute to the night, he earlier announced he was renaming the festival ‘Parkalife’ in a nod to his typical performance attire.
Chvrches and Skepta also each brought something different to the party, getting the crowd going and belting out classic tunes. Fortunately for Sunday artists, the fans were not deterred by the downpour of rain, sticking jackets on heads and dancing through the bout until skies were clear again.
Horse Meat Disco brought vintage beats to the table in their VIP La Discotechque set. Set in a tent with a dancefloor consisting of hundreds of petals, music lovers could dance to their heart’s content and swirl around surrounded by flowers. A nice touch to give hippy feel to the free spirited vibe of the music. As always the lads brought happy tunes and chucked in a few crowd pleasers, as this was earlier in the day they didn’t draw the biggest crowds but their efforts were appreciated by all attending.
The day had started a little lacklustre, as we ended up in mega queue for an hour to collect box office tickets and be led into pen of slow moving wait for bag and ticket checks, this is an area we’d like to see Parklife improve over time if anything. Fortunately the day improved after we got through. Once inside and away from the seemingly never-ending queues, you are free to roam and check out the many tents and stages on offer.
Quirky stalls selling all your usual festival bits and pieces adorn every spare bit of space, offering ways to jazz up your outfit, glitz up your make up or buy a whole new look altogether.
The food is also decent, with wood fire pizza, bespoke craft food and the usual array of burger vans, with sweet treats and candyfloss options for dessert if you feel up to it. There are plenty of bars, which are typically price as with any festival, but the queues seemed under better organisation than we had seen in previous years.
The music selection caters to the majority, with grime and dubstep offering those heavy footed, stomp beats while house and electro DJ’s provide euphoria for appreciation and contentedness. Main Stage gives the most variety, with mix of the aforementioned as well as old school hip hop, r’n’b and indie artists, enough to capture a blend of personas and draw them in if they weren’t headed there already.
The set up gave room to wander, upon first arrival things were a bit hectic as revelers rushed to get to their chosen destinations, queue for that first drink and get their bearings, but as the day progressed the crowds thinned out, leaving a much more chilled environment to take it all in at your own pace.
To find out who we style spotted at Parklife read our earlier article.