Saturday TCHAMI X MALAA (NO REDEMPTION) (A-Z) ALISON WONDERLAND – AMINE EDGE & DANCE ARMAND VAN HELDEN – ELI & FUR – MADAM X MASON COLLECTIVE – NINA LAS VEGAS
+ VERY SPECIAL GUEST: BASEMENT JAXX (DJ SET)
Sunday WILKINSON LIVE presents ALL FOR YOU (UK EXCLUSIVE) (A-Z) ALIX PEREZ b2b SPECTRASOUL – BLACK SUN EMPIRE CASISDEAD – DEVLIN – FRICTION PRESENTS CONNECTIONS MS DYNAMITE LIVE – SWITCH: HYPE & HAZARD + VERY SPECIAL GUEST: SHY FX PRESENTS CUL.TURE
Joining the August Bank Holiday festival line up will be, ‘Pardon My French’duo Tchami & Malaa who will be bringing their gospel-based ‘No Redemption’ concept to South London for a performance on Saturday. They’ll be joined by a host of the biggest talent in electronic music, including US-trap mogul Alison Wonderland, Amine Edge & Dance, and legendary house figure, Armand Van Helden. With the likes ofEli & Fur, Madam X, Mason Collective, and Nina Las Vegas also added to the opening day of the 2019 festival, Saturday will also feature very special guests Basement Jaxx, with the legendary group following up their scintillating 2018 performance at the same event.
Sunday will mark a UK exclusive; Drum & Bass maestro Wilkinson will deliver his ‘All For You’ project to the Clapham site, an innovative live concept designed to showcase the producer’s most thunderous tones in. With a very special b2b between Alix Perez and Spectrasoul also bringing vibrancy to the final day of the 2019 event, the duo will also be joined by the likes of Black Sun Empire, masked UK hip hop enigma Casisdead, rapper Devlin, and a special live performance from the Mercury Prize winning pop queen, Ms Dynamite across the course of Sunday. Friction will be bringing his ‘Connections’ brand to the party people of Clapham following his recent album release of the same name, Hype & Hazard are also sure to get crowds jumping in preparation for the hotly awaited Shy FX presents Cul.Ture set; a fitting finale for Sunday’s bass-heavy sounds
The highlight of the summer calendar, Wireless Festival, is returning to London’s Finsbury Park from the 5th – 7th July 2019. Now in its fourteenth year, the three-day urban music event has cemented itself as the home of urban music and London sound – the go-to event for fans of the world’s most talked about rappers and DJs. This year will see headline performances from global superstars CARDI B, MIGOS (Friday co-headliners), TRAVIS SCOTT (Saturday headliner) and ASAP ROCKY (Sunday headliner), plus Future, Torey Lanez, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd, Ella Mai, Juice WRLD, Stefflon Don, Tyga, AJ Tracey and so many more. Last year’s event sold out in record time, so fans better be quick!
LIL BABY | GUNNA | NOT3S | AJ TRACEY | RICH THE KID
SKI MASK THE SLUMP GOD | DENZEL CURRY
D BLOCK EUROPE | LOSKI | J.I.D
RUSS SPLASH | FLOHIO | LADY SANITY
In what’s set to be the most talked about performance of the Summer – Queen of rap Cardi B and Kings of Atlanta Migos, will take to the stage for their first ever co – headline slot, in Finsbury Park next year. This will be Cardi’s debut Wireless performance.
Since the release of her critically acclaimed number one debut album ‘Invasion Of Privacy’, Cardi B has been placed within the pantheon of great rappers – The New York superstar continues to break records, she recently became the first solo female rapper to go number 1 in the US in 20 years, and her debut album broke the record for the most streams on Apple Music in a single week by a female artist. Fans can expect to hear global hits ‘Bodak Yellow’, ‘I Like It’, ‘Bartier Cardi’ and more as she co-headlines the iconic main stage alongside Migos.
Since the release of their 2018 record breaking album ‘Culture II’, Migos have established themselves as one of the hottest acts in the world and have joined the likes of Run DMC and NWA as one of the biggest hip-hop groups of all time. The Grammy-nominated multi-platinum rap sovereign group are set to bring their unique blend of hip-hop and trap to London as they co-headline the festival on Friday. With a mammoth 2018 which included billions of streams and inclusions in nearly every album end-year list, the hype has never been bigger for the Atlanta trio. Migos are poised to dominate 2019, in a year which will see the release of their fourth studio album ‘Culture III’.
Currently on his huge Astroworld: Wish You Were Here US tour; Houston rapper Travis Scott returns to headline Wireless in a UK festival exclusive performance. The Grammy nominated rapper released his third studio album ‘Astroworld’ in 2018 which was met with critical acclaim both sides of the Atlantic and has positioned him as arguably the biggest star on the planet right now. The rap icon is currently placed within the top 30 most streamed Spotify artists in the world, and his influence on pop culture continues to grow. 2019 will see him reach new heights with his Super Bowl Halftime show, various 2019 Grammy Awards nominations, and his Wireless headline performance. Expect to hear fan favourites ‘Sicko Mode’, ‘Butterfly Effect’, and ‘Goosebumps’.
Closing the Festival on Sunday in a UK exclusive is the successor to New York’s golden-age of hip-hop legends, A$AP Rocky. Since he first emerged Rocky has continuously broken the mold of hip-hop with mind-melting beats and raps, experimental sounds, and an unparalleled musical landscape rarely seen in music today. The New York rapper has been championed by fellow rap superstar Drake and has accumulated over 4.5 billion streams worldwide. Rocky is set to create a historic moment at Wireless 2019 when he performs fan favourites from his huge catalogue that includes hits from his two US number one albums and 2018 release ‘TESTING’.
Elsewhere, one of Atlanta hip-hop’s biggest contributors Future joins the line up for a special performance and the only chance to see him in the UK, bringing hip-hops centre of gravity to London and demonstrating why he is known as the king of trap. Since bursting onto the scene, self-proclaimed rockstar and ‘XO Tour Lif3’ hitmaker Lil Uzi Vert has truly shaken up modern hip-hop. Known for his high energy live show, his set is not to be missed at this year’s festival. Music visionary and multi-art form superstar Young Thug is also added to the line-up. Heralded as one of popular music’s most charismatic and crowd-pleasing live performers, the innovative rapper is set to create an unforgettable Wireless moment.
Forever championing the burgeoning UK scene, Wireless 2019 will play host to some of the hottest talent that the country has to offer. Flying the flag for London is rap queen Stefflon Don who returns to Wireless in 2019 following the release of sophomore mixtape ‘Secure’ and her place on the 2018 XXL Freshman list. Fellow Londoner AJ Tracey is also added to the line-up. The rising grime star has become one of the best in the game and will be bringing his dynamic hook-laden tracks to Wireless this year, as well as Hackney born and bred rapper NOT3S. R&B singer songwriter Ella Mai hit the mainstream in 2018 with slow jam ‘Boo’d Up’ ahead of the release of her self-titled debut album in October, which reached Top Five in the US Billboard 200. Since then she has received Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Best R&B song, as well as a Brit Award nomination for British Breakthrough Act, making her one to watch in 2019 and one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. Elsewhere, Manchester’s rising star IAMDDB will be bringing her mesmerizing trap-jazz vocals and infectious hits including ‘Shade’ to Finsbury Park.
Returning to the Wireless stage on Sunday are the incredible Rae Sremmurd. Based on their 2018 performance, the Mississippi hip-hop duo will once again give one of the performances of the summer. These two brothers have an ever-growing fanbase who will be treated to a memorable hit-heavy set including chart-topping single ‘Black Beatles’, ‘No Type’, ‘Swang’ and many more.
Making his Wireless debut is hip-hops next global superstar Sheck Wes. Endorsed by none other than Kanye West and Saturday headliner Travis Scott, the New York rapper released his critically acclaimed debut album ‘Mudboy’ in 2018 and has become one of the most exciting new rappers around. Elsewhere, Tory Lanez heads to Finsbury Park fresh off the ‘Assassination Vacation Tour’ with 2018 headliner Drake. The Canadian rapper and producer will be showcasing his R&B and rap fusion and 2018 sophomore release ‘Memories Don’t Die’ and ‘Love Me Now?’. Joining them is Chicago rapper Juice WRLD who had an outstanding 2018 releasing his acclaimed debut album ‘Goodbye & Good Riddance’ which included breakout single ‘Lucid Dreams’ which has gained over 604 million Spotify streams.
Californian rapper Saweetie will also be bringing her breakout single and viral smash ‘ICY GRL’ to Finsbury Park, while West London MC Fredo joins the bill after appearing on NME’s ‘100 Essential New Artists for 2019’ list and ahead of the release of his forthcoming debut full-length album ‘Third Avenue’ having proved his rapping ability with features on tracks like huge 2018 UK single ‘Funky Friday’ with Dave.
The latest addition to Festival Republic’s ReBalance programme, Birmingham’sLady Sanity will take to the Wireless stage on Sunday. ReBalance was launched in 2017 and has so far secured and provided recording time, mentorship, support, and much more to the thirteen artists that have been chosen for the pioneering project. Lady Sanity has already won the GRM Daily Get Rated Award in 2017, and last year won Best Solo Female Artist at the Birmingham Music Awards and will no doubt go down a storm at this year’s Wireless Festival.
Other acts taking to the stage across the weekend include XXL Freshman Trippie Redd, Compton rapper Tyga, Lil Baby, Gunna, M Huncho, Unknown T, Ambush Buzzworl, Rich The Kid, Lil Skies, Ski Mask The Slump God, Denzel Curry,Bugzy Malone, D Block Europe, Loski, J.I.D,Maleek Berry, Steel Banglez,Cadet, Headie One, Flohio, NSG, B Young, Deno Driz, Russ Splash and DigDat, with more still to be announced.
As the mud settles in Huntingdon and we readjust to normality, it’s those moments where we find ourselves alone with our thoughts where we reflect on a whirlwind weekend that chewed us up and spat us out, kicking and screaming, back into the real world. Billed as the last ever (though rumours flood those conversations as the rain flooded our tents) this review inevitably strikes a more consolatory tone of what has to go down as one of the best festivals this country has seen.
I’ll crack on with my actual review of this year’s SGP. The one that’s a compromise between what the festival was like and what I actually got up to (which is probably best reserved for a private audience) in a language we can all understand. If you’re familiar with my festival review style, which is unlikely, you’ll know that I prefer to relay the festival as an experience, not a blow-by-blow account or detailed description of a particular set. I hate writing generic baloney like so-and-so stole the show with their trademark blend of floor-ready Venezuelan techno beats and signature Botswanan ukelele riffs, reminiscent of their first few albums before they went mainstream, and they mixed their music in their gran’s greenhouse using samples recorded from the humming churners at an early industrial cheese factory. If you want that, you’ve come to wrong little crevice of the internet.
In another festival this would probably be the biggest section. Whilst credible and enjoyable, the strength of SGP lies beyond the list of names on the payroll. Acts ranged from Akala to Eats Everything, Toots and Maytals to Metronomy. None of which were particularly inspiring on paper but I enjoyed every set one I took in.
The absolutely fucking radical set of fanny-out, bass heavy anthems from Peaches. Dick, dick, balls, 2000-and-dick… and Sucking on my titties like you wanting me… She was incredible, from start to finish. An unexpected treasure; defiant, empowering and spectacularly unapologetic.
The rain on the Friday night [this is when Paul's camera broke!]. I left for the Main Stage area in a t-shirt, shorts and a jacket of optimism but by the time to main acts kicked off I was riddled with drizzle and my motivation to slide through the puddles speedily fizzled. There were welcome breaks from the black clouds as day broke. The sun poked its head out to brown my mud-specked skin before applying another level of slippy slop to the festival floor pretty much from thereon-out.
Setup, setting and organisation
As always impeccable. Originally conceived as an antidote to the increasing commercialisation of the UK festival scene (and that was in 2004) the way I always pitched SGP to my friends was an unrivalled setting with a unique and genuine approach to the finest of details. A festival that embraced it’s rural surroundings; that simultaneously allowed the locals to celebrate their environment, and culture, but also people from across the country to immerse themselves in a world that blended the pastoral and the fantastical, or magical. It’s something which has been embedded in our culture for thousands of years, both reaffirming and reconnecting with a past. Everything from Stonehenge to Narnia is woven into this place they created to escape from the grind of daily life – our relationship with nature, through the looking glass.
I tell my friends about the stage design; the Pagoda on the lake, the Drop cut into the verge, the Lost Woods, the boxing ring and its terrace of hay bales. The world they have created through the years is immersive, authentic, full of surprises and most importantly, believable.
The sound was underwhelming, never quite loud enough to get lost in. I guess sound is more of an issue to some than others but it was universally noticed. Personally it didn’t kill my buzz as much as the rain but there were several occasions where I could found boogieing pretty much inside the speaker boxes at Pagoda.
As good as it gets. Perhaps a victim of its own success, the broadening of the crowd added a few extra elements that I hadn’t noticed in previous years but there was never an edge. Our gang of three snowballed into diverse bunch of dispersed groups within 24 hours. We flicked between and clung to these guys the whole rest of the time; a cracking bunch of maybe twenty people – unbelievable characters. In my head it felt like our age and experience framed us these mythical role models; heavenly manifestations of reprobatory shenanigans. In reality they probably just kept us within sight like loco parentis guardians of lost children. In the name of balance we’ll just leave it at a group of absolute sick guys that found another two kindred spirits and joined forces gloriously, and effortlessly. Every random encounter and interaction ranged from entertaining to uplifting; weirdness, coolness and just a general unguarded approach by nearly everyone I came across.
We quickly got word of a stall known colloquially as ‘Buttermilk Chicken.’ I don’t eat meat, but let me tell you, their buttermilk, deep fried hallumi burger with a hash brown on top was probably the best burger I’ve ever had the pleasure of hamming.
Personal highlight for me was just the people I met and whom I shared the whole experience with; from Thursday morning to Monday afternoon. A real festival experience should be a story in of itself – a deeply personal one, much deeper than simply following an itinerary and wandering between stages at specific times on specific days to specifically have a specific laugh. So many good people. We met a few first timers, who’d never done a festival before, and the way the embraced it for me was an inspiring cocktail of expectation and nostalgia. It’s hard to explain without sounding like a complete twat, but I’m willing to sprinkle a little twattery on top at the expense of integrity, so chiggedy check this one: as a seasoned festival head, I knew what to expect in terms of the camaraderie and connections you can make at such places, but seeing it spark for the first time in someone else filled me with a bittersweet ambivalence. It was beautiful to see people’s minds being opened, and blown while at the same time being acutely aware that although for them, it was the start of the incredible journey that is your twenties, and your youth, it was also the end of mine. There were parallels between myself and Secret Garden Party itself. An unwavering commitment to celebrating the weekend as if it was my last, and the knowledge, that actually, maybe it was my last, at a festival.
In the end, a great send-off and a particularly poignant one for me because it was also a send-off for my best friend and photographer/general partner in crime at all these festivals we’ve done over the last decade, starting with Exit ‘07. It also turned into a send-off for my new friends, and in many ways, the remaining part of my own youth. All these goodbyes – old friends, new friends, a fair few clothes and trainers, Huntingdon and SGP. This is an obituary of sorts and I have to give thanks to SGP, the organisers, the people who worked it, the people who went, everyone, for giving me everything I wanted from it to such a significant extent. It was a complete festival experience undoubtedly. I gained a part of me on those fields and I left a part of me on those fields and I guess that’s as big a compliment as you can pay to a festival. It will be missed.
I’m still sad now. I’ve got a bad dose of festival blues. Midnight blues not by-the-beach-at-high-noon blues. I got back Monday night. The next 48 hours are a blur of nostalgia and social, physical and emotional withdrawal. I was holding back tears at Grey Worm and Missandei’s sex scene when I finally got round to catching up on GoT. I had to get a ten hour flight to Vegas on Thursday and cried at the inert and sterile performances in Rogue One, a true testament to the serotonin splurged in that incredible weekend (and I’m usually one of those ‘if the milk turns out to be sour’ cool af mf’s). Even in the cold, wet reality of Monday morning, I didn’t want to leave. But life is not a festival (I write this on a road trip across America) but I couldn’t imagine life without them. At 31 I’m coming to terms with some melancholy realities but if I have any advice it’s as follows. Go to festivals. Go to as many as you can. Meet as many people as you can and soak up as much as you fucking can, while you fucking can. You’ll be a better person for it. I heard someone describe Secret Garden Party as ‘Glasto-lite’ by the kind of person whose personality slid quicker than my old Reeboks in the Cambridgeshire mud but it has been a true great in a superficial, over-commercialised scene and the perfect platform for me to express myself outside of the boxes and hoops we navigate in our day-to-day.
Special shout-out to the tepee wankers and the ‘Secret’ girls and of course man like Paul Taylor, best of luck in the Big Apple my g x
With only a month to go, the 12th edition of Latitude Festival once again sets the bar high for summer festivals, with a host of names announced across the stages including the BBC Music Introducing Stage, The SpeakEasy, Music and Film, Solas and many more. Latitude Festival takes place on 13th – 16th Julyin the stunning grounds of Henham Park, Suffolk. Tickets are available here.
40,000 people will witness Brit Award winners The 1975 perform tracks from I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It for the last time, as well as a Fleet Foxes returning in a UK Exclusive after a five year hiatus, backed with the recently announced album Crack-Up, and Saturday night headliners Mumford & Sons who bring with them their Gentlemen Of The Road takeover to curate the day’s line up.
They’re joined by a line up brimming with huge names and exclusives across all stages, combined over 40 Top Ten albums, from the legendary Placebo in a UK Festival Exclusive to returning indie rockersThe Horrors; from Scandi indie-pop darlings The Radio Dept. (another UK festival exclusive) to the inimitable former Velvet Underground stalwart John Cale; from the iconic Mavis Staples to the all-out party that will be Fatboy Slim on the BBC Music Stage.
This year’s bill sees these marquee acts joined by a plethora of local talent including Ipswich’s Bessie Turner who plays The Lake Stage on the Friday of this year’s festival hot off the back of being described by BBC Music Introducing as a superstar in the making. Her debut single ‘Big Sleep’ was only released in April but has already gained the love of BBC Radio One and BBC 6 Music. Turned is joined by a cavalcade of Suffolk and Norfolk-based performers that include Beth Orton, Superglu, While the World Sleeps (who has a studio half-an-hour from Henham), Mullally and Rad Pitt, as well as contributions from locals on the arts side of the bill such as Gecko & Suffolk MIND, a local theatre company and mental health charity; Luke Wright, a poet and writer of award-winning verse; popular classical sopranoLaura Wright; John Osbourne, who performs his new show Circled in the Radio Times; and Mark Thompson with his The Show at the End of Universe.
Hot off the back of their acclaimed debut album The Witch, London’s own Pumarosa will be bringing their captivating live show straight from our nation’s capital to the Obelisk Arena on the Friday and the profoundly arresting Swedish singer-songwriter Albin Lee Meldau who will take to the Lake Stage.
Fresh talent joining Saturday’s already brimming bill include Scandinavian troubadour Skott who opens the BBC Music Stage, and another addition to the Sunrise Arena as part of the Gentlemen of the Road takeover: renowned folkster Beans on Toast. Sunday sees exciting from hook-heavy Humberside heroesLife on the Alcove Stage and former Let’s Wrestle frontman Wesley Gonzalez on the Lake Stage.
Returning to Latitude for its second year, the BBC Music Introducing Stage once again welcomes an eclectic array of talent specifically chosen for Latitude, submitted via a plethora of local BBC Introducing shows. Over the years, BBC Music Introducing has played a pivotal part in nurturing the careers of some of the biggest acts to have graced Latitude including Ed Sheeran and Florence and the Machine. This year’s stage comes presented by BBC Radio 3 mainstays Max Reinhardt (the Late Junction) and Suzy Klein (In Tune), and BBC 6 Music’s “modern day musical anti-hero”, Tom Ravenscroft.
Friday’s festivities are kicked off by a stellar bill that features jazz/R&B collective Solomon’s Garden, Conwy sensation Omaloma, Essex’s Sound of 2017 star Lisa Wright, alt-folk instrumental troupe Fishclaw, Scotland-via-Transylvania singer-songwriter Lizabett Russo, spoken word performer Banwo the Poet and denizens of doo-wop Be Good.
Flying the flag for BBC Music Introducing on the Saturday of this year’s festival are Edinburgh genre-benders Sink, ascendant hush-popper Tender Central, acclaimed Mande master Sefo Kanuteh, hotly-tipped jazz quartet Flying Machines, Glaswegian producer and composer Iona Fortune, rapidly rising hip-hop talent Piers James, and blues classicists Amanda Brown & The Common Ears.
Sunday is rounded off by another eclectic array of talent that includes the spellbinding Tinderbox Orchestra, the elusive House of Hippies, Welsh post-folkers Adwaith, enrapturing classical guitarist Valerie Hartzell, Sheffield mainstays Black Thorn, West Midlands multi-instrumentalist Lumi HD and composer extraordinaire Neil March. Highlights from all the sets on the BBC Music Introducing stage will be available across the network of Local Radio Introducing shows, BBC Radio 3 and BBC 6Music. To find out more information go to www.bbc.co.uk/introducing.
SOLAS returns to Henham Park, bringing its signature mix of transcendental experience for the Latitude audience. Whether it’s rejuvenating treatments, yoga, moments of relaxation or artistic inspiration, SOLAS has carved out an enclave of creativity, openness and excitement at Latitude. Treatments start at £30 and are available to book at www.solas.appointy.com.
In tandem with art and healing, the Solas Stage is an intimate venue which plays host to some of the best emerging UK and Irish talent from across the musical spectrum; from folk-tinged acoustic troubadours to ambient electro, from dark pop to the spacier end of electronic music.
This year sees a line-up on the Solas Stage that includes genre-straddling MC Afrikan Boy, funk-pop beach bums Parcels, folk storyteller Westerman, production wizards Blue Lab Beats, Dublin singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy, poptronic amalgam Talos, psych-dub maelstrom Pangani, Irish troubadourDavid Keenan, indie-house duo Le Boom and acoustic dreamers Into the Ark. Nile Rodgers’ favouriteBrian Deady, renowned producer and songwriter Willy Mason, multi-instrumentalist wunderkind Leo Stannard, the critically revered Seamus Fogarty, experimental pop trio White Kite and Irish sensualistsShips also join the Solas bill.
Dutch indie-pop dreamers Klangstof, hotly-tipped 4AD signing Aldous Harding, the bright and brilliantRosie Carney, Scandi-pop five-piece Broen, Sweden’s shimmering Geowulf, dancefloor stomperAndrew Kearney, restlessly inventive Danish quintet Lowly, the fingerstyle acoustica of John Smith, Australian singer songwriter Hein Cooper and the sprawling 9-piece funk-soul of TooFools round off the line up of up and coming acts on the Solas Stage.
This year we are bringing all our debate, discussion, literary & poetry events under one roof, in The SpeakEasy. From established wordsmiths to emergent talents, literary legends to radical insurgents, The SpeakEasy will host author sessions with award-winning writers, poetry performance from the brightest voices and lively discussion until late into the night.
Booker-nominated author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary, Colm Tóibín will come to Henham Park to discuss his latest novel, House of Names, a reimagining of the Greek classic tale of Clytemnestra's family tragedy. Also visiting The SpeakEasy for the first time, Geoff Dyer will discussWhite Sands; his creative exploration of why we travel which was recently shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2017. Both Colm and Geoff will be interviewed by Guardian journalist,Alex Clark.
Sarah Winman, author of the international bestseller When God was a Rabbit and the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller A Year of Marvellous Ways will be at The SpeakEasy to preview her highly anticipated new novel Tin Man, in conversation with The Bookseller’s Sarah Shaffi.
The Women’s Prize for Fiction, Standard Issue and Wellcome Book Prize will all return to Latitude for one-off panels with leading literary women. Chaired by Sam Baker of The Pool, Women’s Prize for Fiction will present Stories for Revolutionary Girls with Naomi Alderman, whose novel The Powerrecently won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, author and academic Elif Shafak and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party Catherine Mayer. Standard Issue will present a lively panel with Hannah Dunleavy, Mickey Noonan, Jen Offord, Deborah Frances-White, Susie Wokoma and a special guest. The Wellcome Book Prize bring the Latitude audience their Reading Cures with Joanna Cannon, Bryony Gordon, Dr Pippa Kennedy and Di Speirs.
Andy Parsons will return to Latitude with his Slacktivist Action Group. Joining Andy to discuss current affairs and agree one direct action will be The Sunday Times columnist India Knight, Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party and Reprieve Director Maya Foa. Carole Cadwalladr (Observer),Nick Hopkins (Guardian) and Carl Miller (Demos) will be discussing the Fake News phenomenon, chaired by Dr Daniel Glaser. James Brown (Above Head Height) and Alexandra Heminsley (Leap In)will be in discussion on amateur sports.
Latitude-goers of all ages will enjoy Choose Your Own Jolly Adventure with Bruno Vincent, the author of the hugely successful ‘Enid Blyton for Grown Ups’ series, with Five Lose Dad In The Garden Centrecurrently top of the charts.
Also joining The SpeakEasy line up is Global Pillage; the brand new comedy panel show podcast all about idiom, culture, customs and norms. The panel, led by Deborah Frances-White, will include Susan Wokoma, Sarah Bennetto, Bisha K Ali and Athena Kugblenu. BBC 6Music’s Shaun Keaveny will also produce a special episode of his Middle Aged Night Out from The SpeakEasy with special guest Dane Baptiste, whilst Robin Ince’s Festival Shambles guests are Katy Brand, John-Luke Roberts, Joanna Neary, Barry Crimmins and George Egg. History Hit Live present The Art Detective at Latitude, with Dr Janina Ramirez joined by special guest Professor Alice Roberts as they uncover history and culture through a single artwork.
Exploring their recollections of pop culture through memoir will be Lol Tolhurst and Cosey Fanni Tutti,each interviewed by celebrated music journalist Pete Paphides. Lol Tolhurst will be discussing his poignant memoir Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys, a passionate and evocative account of his time in one of the defining bands of the 70s and 80s, The Cure, and a frank and moving look at his personal addictions and his road to recovery. Cosey Fanni Tutti will be discussing her hugely acclaimed autobiography Art Sex Music which charts her rise with era-defining COUM Transmissions through to her time with Throbbing Gristle. John Lloyd will reflect upon his career creating some of the most iconic comedy TV shows including Not The Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Blackadder and QI, interviewed by author and TV critic, Viv Groskop.
Yours Faithfully, Edna Welthorpe (Mrs), will celebrate the life of playwright Joe Orton in the 50thanniversary year of his death. A panel led by Leonie Orton, Chris Shepherd, Dr Emma Parker and Robin Ince, will discuss Orton’s life, work and perform his witty letters of complaint, written under the pseudonym of Mrs Edna Welthorpe. John Osborne, creator of John Peel’s Shed and Sky 1’s After Hours, will also present Circled in the Radio Times a new storytelling show exploring the changing nature of how we all watch television.
Multi-award winning poet, playwright and novelist, Simon Armitage will return to Latitude to perform from his collection of poems The Unaccompanied. Insightful, relevant and empathetic, The Unaccompanied is a bold new statement of intent. Jamaican-British dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson will call Latitude to arms with his poetry on Saturday. Linton’s highly political poetry has been at the forefront of counterculture since the 1970s and in 2002 he became the second living poet to have his work included in Penguin’s Modern Classic series. Murray Lachlan Young, who shot to fame in the mid-90s when he become the only poet to sign a contract worth £1m, will present an anthology of work in How Freakin’ Zeitgesit Are You?.
Recent Ted Hughes Award winner for Nobody Told Me, a poetic memoir about becoming a parent, Hollie McNish will be at Latitude to discuss her latest anthology. Plum is a genre-bending candid account of Hollie’s memories from childhood to attempted adulthood. This is a book about growing up, about flesh, fruit, friendships, work and play. Hollie will also team up with Rosy Carrick and Hannah Silva to honour the Russian revolutionary poets in The Language of Revolution. Bang Said The Gun, the team who put on poetry nights for people who think they don't like poetry, will host guests Deanna Rodgers, the youngest UK Poetry Slam Champion and voice to watch, and Kriss Foster who has won plaudits for his stories about Vimto, trains and the seaside.
Recently selected by London's Evening Standard as one of the exciting new and young poetic voices in London, Richard Osmond will be taking audiences on a poetic foraging walk starting in Latitude’s stunning Faraway Forest on the Saturday. Richard is a professional forager, a hobby from childhood that grew into a career and has in turn gone on to shape his life and his first collection of poems, The Useful Verse. Other poets confirmed for The SpeakEasy include: Ross Sutherland, Mark Grist, Michelle Madsen, Jonny Fluffypink, Bohdan Piasecki, BAC Beatboxers, Mark Grist, Lisa Luxx, Toby Thompson and Ian Duhig.
In Pandora’s Playground, we welcome back Dylan’s Mobile Bookstore where the audience can immerse themselves in the poetry of Dylan Thomas, Swansea’s most famous son.
In the Music & Film Arena, Latitude is delighted to welcome MOBO founder and music industry pioneer,Kanya King to the stage for a very special interview exploring her extraordinary work to bring black music to heart of international music culture. Comedian and magician Pete Firman, known for his appearances on The Magicians and The Next Great Magician, will be joining the Comedy stage on Saturday for a performance of his trademark tricks. Hosted by Phil Ellis, London’s innovative Soho Theatre will welcome hip-hop duo Rubberbandits, Swedish musical comedian Carl-Einar Häckner, Colin Hoult performing as his alter ego Anna Mann, live art provocateur Lucy McCormick and high-octane stand-up Desiree Burch. In the Theatre Arena, National Theatre Live will broadcast the Old Vic’s hugely acclaimed production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Deadwhich stars Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire as the eponymous duo. Rave Karaoke will play karaoke classics of yesteryear in The Cabaret Theatre, presented by DJ, performer & full-time show-off Anna Greenwood.
In the Wellcome Trust Arena,Caroline Wright will present Breath Control: Osmosis, featuring classical soprano Laura Wright. Join Caroline and Laura as they lead an interactive session with the Breath Choir, exploring pulmonary health and providing a snap shot of lung capacity through song. Also joining the festival’s Wellcome Trust supported programme, giving talks at Unlimited Theatre’s Space Shed in the Faraway Forest, are endurance athlete Shu Pillinger, to speak about optimizing the body for athleticism on earth and in space, and Beth Healey, the doctor who spent a year in Antarctica in the name of space exploration.
Elsewhere in the Faraway Forest, audiences will encounter sheds, talks and installations from artists and companies including the V&A, who will preview images and an immersive chorus audio experience from their forthcoming Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition in collaboration with Royal Opera House. This immersive exhibition spans 400 years, through the lens of seven premieres in seven cities, and explores the seminal forces that drive so many stories. Audience should also keep an eye out for The Hypercollider, Emily Goss’s Grow Your Own Love Revolution, and can drop in to visit the Arts Council, Amy Winehouse Foundation and Medicins Sans Frontieres. Our unseen artists in the Faraway Forest include Metro Imaging, who support the Gallery, and Jane Lennard, who will transform the Forest’s iconic Tree of Life into a mass of yellow roses.
The Secret Garden Party is pleased to announce the full line-up for its Grande Finale. For those in any doubt, this is categorically the final edition in its illustrious 15-year tenure as one of the most celebrated and fun events on the summer calendar. Tickets are about to sell out so SGP has issued a strong ticket warning for those who may be still undecided. Don’t miss out on the ultimate send-off for this much-loved slice of eccentricity. Because when it’s over there will be nowhere quite like it again….ever.
Throughout the 4-day event, 15 stages and venues will feature some incredible live music and dj sets, including many unique collaborations and b2bs. Plus, there’s a whole host of theme-based hilarious and very naughty VIP activities and games to get involved with. As ever, the devil is in the detail, and SGP promises to deliver one of the most idiosyncratic and original parties on the planet to celebrate this final send-off. Sweet dreams indeed.
The full line up for Secret Garden Party 2017 is as follows (there will be a few unannounced secret special guests so ears to the ground).
THE GREAT STAGE
METRONOMY / CRYSTAL FIGHTERS / TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS
JAGWAR MA / PEACHES / WILD BEASTS / JEREMY LOOPS / HONNE
JORJA SMITH / KATE NASH / DEAP VALLY / DMA'S / FICKLE FRIENDS
TOM MISCH / RAY BLK / REJJIE SNOW / DAVID RODIGAN / CHARLOTTE OC / WILL JOSEPH COOK /
TOM GRENNAN / THE CORRESPONDENTS / ANTEROS / BEANS ON TOAST
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
JAIN / AKALA / BONZAI /THE MOONLANDINGZ / ZAK ABEL / PUMAROSA / ALL THEM WITCHES / CLEAN CUT KID / MABEL / ETTA BOND / BE CHARLOTTE / TOOTHLESS / NORTH DOWNS / LET’S EAT GRANDMA / SERAMIC / BOXED IN / LAUREL / AINE CAHIL / CROOX / COSMO SHELDRAKE / ALICE JEMIMA / MONT JAKE / WOWH / OSCAR MIC / LOST COLOURS / MALKA / SASHA BROWN / GECKO / MR VAST / NED DYLAN / EARL OKIN / ALL ABOUT TOBE
THE LIVING ROOM
THE WANDERING HEARTS / HONEY & THE BEAR / SKUFF & INJA / SIVU / ETHAN ASH / MORGANWAY / SUNDAY DRIVER / OPAQUE / WILL ROBERT / KYAN / THE INEXPLICABLES / PARK BENCH POET / LAURA OAKES / AMETHYSTS / SAMUEL JACK / CRINKLE CUTS / MATT MALTESE / SONNY / TOM LUMLEY/ FLINT MOORE /GOLDEN BANTIC / ANNABEL ALLUM / ISAAC GRACIE / KERRY DEVINE MAHALIA / THE KINGS PARADE / SONIA STEIN / HEAVY SUGAR DJ'S / PIXEY / RICKY BOOM BOOM plus SUPER SECRET SPECIAL GUESTS
RINSE FM TAKEOVER
TEMPLE OF BOOM PRESENTS:
EXAMPLE & DJ WIRE / NERO / ALEX METRIC / HERVE + MC JDP / MAJESTIC / UTAH SAINTS / EDDY ™ + MC ANGEL / 1991 / DOCUMENT ONE / SHAPES /THE DANDADDA / MISTRESS MO + MC BOOGIEMAN
HOSPITALITY VS RAM:
SUB FOCUS VS METRIK / CAMO VS KROOKED / SPY VS RENE LA VICE /
FRED V & GRAFIX VS CULTURE SHOCK
NU:LOGIC VS DC BREAKS / KEENO VS CHORDS / FRANKEE VS KRAKOTA /DAXTA RUTHLESS ID / CARASEL
FISH SEEKS BICYCLE PRESENTS: THE CRAFTY RASCALS
VERY SPECIAL GUEST: MATHEW JONSON LIVE
EATS EVERYTHING PRESENTS EDIBLE
JACKMASTER / SKREAM / DJ TENNIS / NASTIA / CRAIG RICHARDS B2B NICOLAS LUTZ
WILD SIRRENDA (LIVE) / CHILDREN OF THE DUST / DAX LEE / BANOFFEE PIES / SHAPES / NICK GYNN /
JESS FARLEY / MANAMI BABA / SARAH FRENCH / TAMMY MILES
….and many more secret special guests
GEORGE FITZGERALD /MARIBOU STATE (DJ SET) / WAZE & ODYSSEY /SOUL CLAP / JONAS RATHSMAN / CRAIG RICHARDS /MAN POWER / HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM / MAXXI SOUNDSYSTEM /LUKE SOLOMON / PEDESTRIAN /FELIX DICKENSON / MATT TOLFREY / ADAM SHELTON / DAVE HARVEY / WAIFS & STRAYS / CHRISTOPHE /BOBBY PLEASURE / ITCHY RICH / CHARLIE MCFARLEY / OLLIE MUNDY / ASHLEY WILD / SLEAZY WONDER / FOR BETTER OR WORSE
LOST WOODS LIVE – CHAI WALLAHS
K.O.G & THE ZONGO BRIGADE / SHEELANAGIG / SMASH HI FI /HORSEMAN & THE UPPERCUT BAND / HONEYFEET / GYPSIES OF BOHEMIA / ABSTRACT ORCHESTRA KOFFIE /GALLOWSTREET / SOCCER 96 / THE URBAN FOLK QUARTET / LAKUTA LIAM BAILEY / MAMMAL HANDS /NEW ORLEANS SWAMP DONKEYS / YUMI & THE WEATHER / LAZY HABITS / TIME FOR T / ME AND MY FRIENDS / DOJO / SOLA ROSA / OLAH BLISS /HOLLY HOLDEN / Y SU BANDA / DAKHLA BRASS / BALAPHONICS /MORE LIKE TREES / SOLANA / FEELGOOD EXPERIMENT / KIOKO / TOKIO MYERS / VOJTA / ASH WALKER
LOST WOODS DISCO
ANDHIM / JONAS RATHSMAN /STEVE DAVIS & KAVUS TORABI /ADAM FREELAND FLAMINGODS DJ SET / JONO MA / ZERO 7 DJ SET /OLAF STUUT LIVE
MOJO FILTER / POLYNATION DJ SET / UONE / SAM GOKU / MARIBOU STATE DJ SET / HEAD GARDENER / LANCELOT / AUDLEY LEELAND WILD LIFE) / GENTLE MYSTICS SOUND SYSTEM / DOM SERVINI (WAH WAH 45s) / QASH / LU:SID / TIMANTI /SLUG RAVE / RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW / DAVID MINNS
WAZE & ODYSSEY PRESENTS:
LORD LEOPOLD / DUSKY / EDU IMBERNON / WAIFS & STRAYS B2B ITCHY RICH /MELE / EATS EVERYTHING / HUXLEY / EJECA / MELLA DEE / JONAS RATHSMAN /STEVE HUERTA / URULU / CITIZENN / THEO KOTTIS / DENNEY / BUCKLEY / FRANK TOPE / RED RACK'EM / SOUL CLAP / HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM / KRYWALD & FARRER / HOUSE HUSBAND / MAZE & MASTERS / THE BAY DJS / ED KARNEY /DOM CHUNG / JAMIE MORRISON / ALIE HORTON / CHARLIE MOORE / MR PRICE / JAY KARIM / MICHAEL PALMER / SOPHIE LLOYD / TOSH OHTA / BEDLAM DJS
LITTLE GAY BROTHER
ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK / CRAIG CAMPBELL / FAT TONY / FRANK CO. / JAMES PHILLIPS / JIM WARBOY / JONATHAN BESTLEY /JONJO JURY / LEWIS BURTON /MANSUSHI / MAZE & MASTERS NIC FISHER /OLI KEENS / PAUL HERON /SPACESTATION /TERRY VIETHEER /THE MENENDEZ BROTHERS / TIM FANUCCI /TWICE SHY PRESENTS GAY GARAGE /WAX WINGS /ZENZERO
THE TEMPLE OF EXCESS
THE PLUMP DJS / SHADES OF RHYTHM / EVIL NINE / DUKE SLAMMER / HEAD GARDENER / VIGI / MR B / PAUL DARKING / MARGARET SCRATCHER / CAPTAIN STEARNE / SAM GREENWOOD / PIRATE / KONTROVERSI / C-UNIT / S. SEAGULL / ANDY BARLOW / EUAN SIMPSON / SIMON HOME BOY HOLMES / QVC / SMYLEY JAY / BONGO TED / EMBER / PUKA 1 UP / SILVER SURFER & THE GENERAL DEALER / MARK HOUSDEN / BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM THE ORDER OF THE VELVET NOSTRIL CURTAIN / SISTERS COLLEEN & SUZIE BROTHERS JULIAN & PAUL / BEYOND MONKEY / IRRELEVANT DISCO / GRANDADS BACKROOM ANTICS / DEREK INCOGNITO
THE KITSCH INN
THE CORRESPONDENTS / SAM AND THE WOMP /THE SKA VENGERS /THE BAGHDADDIES / LAZY HABITS /SWING ZAZOU / THE DESTROYERS / CUT CAPERS / THEY SAY JUMP / EMPATEE DU WEISS / TOKYO SEXWAIL / WORLD’S TALLEST DJ CABARET SPECIAL / DJ CHRIS TOFU / BEATING HEART /BAKERS BROTHER’S FUNKY FAREWELL / TWO FOR JOY TAKEOVER / WOODBURNER TAKEOVER
THE COCKTAIL BAR
HALF BAKED / FLUX / SHAPES / GIN & JUICE / SO FRESH SO CLEAN /
FUNK FROM THE TRUNK / WONKY DISCO / B.A.R.E / HOUSE OF CLEARANCE HOUSE PARTY / KITE HIGH /
JONNY CADE / SKINNY & SELECTA / MISS T / MAX HAGENBACH / ALGY STRUTT
THE HEATWAVE /FELIX DICKINSON /JOE LYE & KATIE BARBER
CLASH MAGAZINE PRESENTS: ANNA WALL + NIMMO
CHRISTOPHE / PETE LUNG / KENNY WISDOM / CRAIG CHRISTON /JENNY JEN /ANDY ALLDAY /MORPH & SANKY / WAYWARD / SOPHIE SKY /REMI /CASA VIDA
THE LAKE STAGE
PRAWN CRACKER / LYNX AFRICA / DJ CHEEKY
SECRET GALS PARTY PRESENTS: ANNA WALL / COLLYER TWINS / EDA / E11E / EMERALD / GEORGIE ROGERS / GI JAMES / HAZE / LOU ELLIS / SWEET LEMONADE
After the month we’ve had, particularly in Manchester, it’s hard not to frame this year’s Parklife in relation to the Manchester Arena. That’s not to say this is a bleak review. Quite the opposite. The crowd’s unflinching capacity for a great time was matched by heartfelt tributes by the artists, and the organisers, and the ravers themselves. It didn’t affect the festival but you could sense its presence, almost out of sight, but not like the many dark clouds that shrouded the festival in a near constant state of shite weather. Love overcomes terror was the message.
Another external force that you could taste here and there, now and then, was a buoyancy that I’ve felt around me since the General Election, or more significantly, since Jeremy Corbyn managed to really whip up the young and youth culture and give it a platform to rise to prominence. There’s a real buzz, a real hope and a real voice that has been given to a whole generation that it hasn’t had in my lifetime and it looks certain that we are entering an era that will be defined by its young people. And by solidarity.
The grime movement seemed to be a vocal supporter of Jeremy Corbyn in the recent General Election and it was represented en masse on the stages of this year’s Parklife. A genre itself buoyed by a new wave of devotees that found a resonance in the energy and frustration and defiance of something the UK can really call its own. It’s so big now guys like Stormzy are doing adverts for Man United, the most valuable football team in the world. That’s why I was hyped to see the alpha and the omega, the grime I fell in love with as teenager that has now once again found relevance and forced itself further than it’s ever been. A man at the top of the current crop of made men like Stormzy, and the godfather of it all, Eskiboy himself. With artist careers that stretched back to the ‘70s, there was always going to be those different generations of artists represented, and intergenerational divides are a thing in 2017, but Parklife offered a musical experience that seemed to show a way to bridge that gap.
I’m not sure that necessarily had that effect on the crowd though. As I said earlier, this was a much younger crowd than I had seen before. Twenty years ago we didn’t really have much going on in terms of festivals, now they’re non-stop. I came of age at a time when it was just starting to take off. I’ve been to festivals all around the world. But the majority of mine in those days were camping festivals, self-contained, on-site festivals. Festivals where for five days you didn’t leave and got to know every little area. You knew what time to hit the showers, you found the best place for chicken and chips, you knew where to get cigs and where to get cash. But since then we’ve seen the rise of the one-dayer.
Parklife have been keen over the years to stress it’s a ‘weekender’ but really it’s just two one-dayers back-to-back. They sell tickets for individual days. Part of the reason for that is to mitigate for the loss of food, drink and merchandise sales for those who have weekend passes but don’t make it to the second day. That’s a problem. There’s no commitment. From what I saw (though I have no figures to back it) the majority of people there were either from, or based, in Manchester and the surrounding area (though there were still plenty who weren’t). People could turn up when they wanted, leave when they wanted and if they couldn’t be arsed or were incapable of the basic functions required to get there, could just sack off the Sunday altogether. No one really committed to it, and you could feel it. Lots of fun no doubt, great music unquestionably, positive people in abundance, but no real vibe.
The weather didn’t help. It was miserable and demoralising from the get-go. I went once when it was sunny and thought Heaton Park was the perfect setting for a festival. It still is, but part of the magic was that it combined a festival, with the age-old English pastime of just chilling in the park on a nice day. Snap back to Parklife 17. People were huddled in ponchos on the bank that overlooks the Temple/Ram jam stage, cowering under shelter, rubbing their hands between their thighs, wading in wellies. That said there was still plenty of movement visible in the canopy above the thousands strapped to every stage, especially when the black clouds turned grey and the acts were in full swing.
On the Saturday Anderson .Paak gave an energetic headline performance of most of Malibu, with no coke (disclaimer: unconfirmed), in the Sounds of the Near Future tent on Saturday. Rodigan got the bare ‘signal’ from the gathered crowds. It was great to see Damian Marley thrash his body-length dreads chanting More Justice and Welcome to Jamrock if only his amped up rendition of Could You Be Loved was under blue skies. Wiley disappointed. He just played vocal versions of his most commercial tracks and basically just ad-libbed over the top. I still loved seeing him, and the crowd loved it and he had them in chorus. Better be careful what I say though considering his Twitter moves the next day. BBK were good. Jme – a key torchbearer for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign – did Don’t @ Me, Frisco was decent, you don’t necessarily hold your breath in anticipation of Jammer but Skepta was hype. We had to leave early because we decided to approach this festival professionally, with a professional plan and professional attitude. Unfortunately that meant limiting time with each act and tear-arsing it around the back of the festival in buggies to a stage on the opposite side of the Park. I’m not sure that approach is really suited to my review technique. That’s not me.
What I did get to see from that was how large an operation the festival was. How much work went on behind the scenes. How many police and paramedics and security and artist liaisons and press escorts and engineers that were on hand, often invisible, to put together an event like that. It really was an enormous project. Credit to all of them because it couldn’t really have been better organised and executed. Particular shout out to the press team. That’s testament to the size of the brand now. Parklife really has come far in almost a decade since the early days of Mad Ferret. We had the Mayor deliver a tribute to the 22 people who died in the bomb, and the emergency services of the city in front of a packed Parklife Stage and there was a genuinely emotional minute of noise in memory of 22 people, many of them children, who went to a concert, to hear music, and be a part of a live performance, who never came home that night, and that was heard during that celebration. That was the moment I was most aware at how young some of the faces were there. And then I realised it was because the 1975 were on next. I couldn’t tell you anything about their performance. I honestly had never heard of them before seeing them on the line-up and also because by then we were already hightailing it down a mudpath in a petrol golf caddy to see BBK.
Shoutout to Paul Taylor, who has taken the amazing photos. They’d gone the extra mile with the tents this year. Not just big top carnival style ones, oh no. Palm House (like the one in Kew Gardens) was a huge conservatory with white walls and what looked like real-life palm trees, though being from Manchester I’m not familiar with such exotica. I didn’t get there in time for Moodymann, though I got to see Jasper James later on at Soup Kitchen in town. All eyes were on the Feel My Bicep line-up on the Sunday, I only caught glimpses regrettably. The Hangar was another mammoth arena shaped like a place you might store jumbo jets when you’re not using them. Again I didn’t get to spend much time in there but I was passing though during what were the unmistakeable, trashy sounds of Eric Prydz, to bear witness to some absolutely out of this world, other-worldly, outta sight, light green laser beams flying about in every direction.
The food was mostly shit, I thought, and comms was as ever impossible. The search policy, though understandably strict following recent events, seemed a little ineffective seeing as though on both days I was fruitlessly searched at the whim of a sniffer dog that couldn’t do anything to prevent some of the jaws I saw getting about the place.
Disappointed I didn’t get to see J Hus and or Carl Cox. I did however see someone who I wasn’t particularly keen on seeing, mostly because I have a selective dislike for hype. Funny how these things can influence how we approach music. Need to cut that out really, this probably helped. Run the Jewels I’m talking about by the way. They were actually sick. Their music went off, they were gassed, the crowd were gassed. I guess part of it is that some artists really are made for the main stage. When you have a lot of energy in your music, and your performances are animated and interactive, you just can’t squeeze that into Spotify. So big shout out to them. It reminded me of UK soundsystem culture, even had an essence of the early 2000’s Wiley that I had looked forward so much to seeing.
I closed out the whole thing with a performance that I consider my favourite. In previous years this has been someone like Moodymann, or Loco Dice, Optimo, or Scuba, or Patrick Topping, or Nina Kravitz, or even Dizzee Rascal at one festival for the lols. This year it was nothing of the sort. It was the last sound of Parklife 17 to echo around north Manchester. It was Frank Ocean. Thousands descended, in the darkness, on the Parklife Stage. On both days the sky was black way before the sun went down. The crowds squeezed as far back as the flashing lights of the ferris wheel and the high, spinning ride. Tension grew in the silence. Frank Ocean was running late. Pockets of ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’ chants drifted in the chilly wind. And then something happened. It wasn’t immediately clear what was going on.
The main stage was filled with two huge screens that mostly didn’t struggle with keeping on top of aspect ratio, orientation and displaying info that was presumably not meant for the public eye. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty confusing. I heard Frank’s voice and I could see a part of his head on one of the screens. Then it became apparent he was performing, not from the stage itself, but from a little satellite stage opposite the stage. He introduced himself with a humbling softness, both carefree and charming. He maintained this throughout. The crowd felt a little flat but in his own way he dominated the next forty or so minutes.
It was a huge open park, it was open air, it was dark and cold, breezy with patches of drizzle, but he made it intimate. His stage lit up like a tiny island in the sea of people. Lights twinkled in the distance like candle-light. He built the energy with the ebb and flow of the playlist he kept referring to, even if the transitions involved him skipping the track on a player, awkwardly almost exposing the illusion. His performance was sometimes clumsy. Goofy even. A couple stop-starts, issues with his headphones, with his mic, visibly alone, at times marooned. But when he sang Chanel, when he sang Nikes, when he sang Ivy, when he finally sang Thinking Bout You, with 70-odd thousand people around him failing to hit those angelic notes that lift the chorus, he had still managed to carve out a real connection with the audience. A bond that went above and beyond the hectic hustle and bustle of earlier in the weekend, when energy levels were still cruising and the frantic thrashing through mud from stage to stage.
Frank Ocean’s deeply personal lyrics, stripped back melodies, his live guitarists and his voice brought peace to Parklife. It ended when he finished.
Set in the beautiful, conservation status village of Tynemouth, The Mouth of Tyne Festival is set for its thirteenth annual edition. Headliners such as Elbow, Laura Marling and Tom Odell will perform at the Priory and Castle Arena, as well as other musical acts on the Sunday, and also other kinds of events at Playhouse Whitley Bay and the Surf Café as well as amazing, local craft beers.
There’s a heavy focus on art and music, particularly local and community art with hundreds of children from the area taught new skills in the weeks leading up to the event and they’ll be kicking things off with a parade. Later, ticketed live music concerts will be happening in the majestic grounds of the Tynemouth Priory and Castle – an English Heritage property. “Local street food pop-ups trade under festoon lighting whilst customers gather around shipping bobbins and on reclaimed driftwood seats” – this as well. At a nearby pub, looking over the sea, a jazz stage will fill the seaside air and a free programme of international street theatre will provide the entertainment. You can also take surf lessons on the sandy beach, or get stuck in with a spot of beach volleyball.
Here’s more from the organisers:
“There’s an innovative programme of dance and one-off attractions on the platforms of Grade II listed Tynemouth Station, as well as evening concerts at Playhouse Whitley Bay and Tynemouth’s Surf Café. As part of the festival, the 45 seater café played host to a BBC Introducing night, an intimate album performance from The Futureheads Barry Hyde and their fastest selling event ever – an acoustic night with Gomez’ Ben Ottewell – in 2016.”
Wildfire Camp is back for its third instalment. Set in an “an ideal summer hideout” in a Kentish heritage forest, it’s an immersing blend of adventure and music, perfect for a weekend away from the pressures and banality of modern life.
The idea is to spend the daytime tackling (or at least giving it a decent crack) any of the 80, enriching activities put on for all. There’s something for all abilities, tastes and passions, from bushcraft to adventure sports, arts, crafts and engineering, all included in the price and which can be booked in advance.
After an energising day packed full of fun and satisfaction, the setting sun brings a different side out of the camp; then comes the wildfire. The festival is transformed into a “a hedonistic utopia of live music, crazy fun and unabashed revelry.” The diverse array of music has been curated by the award-winning team behind LeeFest, especially for such a setting.
Be warned, Wildfire Camp operates a “analogue-only” policy, which means no smartphones, no tablets, no laptops, which in turn leaves idle scrolling, trashy selfies and work emails back in the real world where it belongs.
“Wildfire Camp is a challenge Only the Curious can meet.”
NEW ACTIVITIES FOR 2017:
Extreme Hill Rolling (Zorbing):
“Ever wondered what it's like to be trapped inside a ball and flung at 30 miles an hour downhill?” Not really, but let’s do it anyway because it sounds like a laugh. For those in the know, this is “old fashioned rolling on a hill.. taken to the extreme.” Hang on. Before you get straight to buying tickets, there’s more. There’s even a competitive element. It sounds wacky as. I’m not even sure I fully get it but basically you have to roll over/into different targets to accumulate points and apparently you can get “splattered.”
Billed as “paintball but with bows and arrows.” This is starting to get wackier by the second. This is an “intense and exciting combat sport” in a deathmatch-type situation. Expert instructors are on hand to load you with the tricks and skills needed to survive; ducking, dodging and even plucking whizzing arrows from the air on the way to your face.
Hemp Ice Cream Making:
“It's all about making your own ice cream from hemp,” to paraphrase just a little. All the hemp is grown in the forest. This place is like The Beach.
Wild Obstacle Course:
Wet and wild obstacle style. “Test your skill and strength or simply flail wildly through it in a fit of laughter,” depending on your personality, and get caked in shit in the process.
Hammer Horror Mud Run:
Another mud-mad bit of deathmatch shenanigans this time escaping famous monsters of Western culture, trying to grab your tags (three in total, representing your heart, lungs and brain, as many as two of which are wackily expendable). If you fail to keep hold of your tags, uh oh, better get a mask on and join the other side!
Wild Game Cooking:
“Grill wild venison on our open campfire under the guidance of our survival experts whilst listening to some seriously extreme adventurers tell their treacherous tales of travel.”
And there’s all these old chestnuts thrown in as well: High Wire Rope Course, Leap of Faith, Bee Keeping, Scavenger Hunt, Archery, Extreme Water Slide, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Sign Language, Wood Fired Hot Tubs, Survival Skills, Rifle & Pistol shooting, Swing Dancing, Jewellery Making, Meditation and Mindfulness, Pioneering, Aerial Circus, Macramé and Nipple Tassel Making! And much much more.
For a full list of activities: www.campwildfire.co.uk/adventure
Tickets are available now at: www.campwildfire.co.uk/tickets .
Wildfire Camp is a challenge Only the Curious can meet.
Ariana Grande is returning to Manchester to headline a special One Love Manchester benefit concert on Sunday 4 June to honour and raise vital funds for the victims and families who were tragically affected by the Manchester attack after her show last week. The concert will take place at the Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground. General admission and hospitality tickets will be on sale through Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.co.uk/arianagrandemanchester) from Thursday 1 June 2017 at 10:00AM BST.
Ariana Grande has called on the biggest international names in music to join her for this unforgettable evening, including Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pharrell Williams, Usher, Take That, Niall Horan, and others. The concert will be broadcast on BBC Television, and on BBC Radio and Capital Radio Networks. The BBC will be the host broadcaster for international television networks. The show will also be streamed with a digital partner worldwide, to be announced soon.
All net ticket proceeds of the show will go directly to the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund which was set up by the Manchester City Council in partnership with the British Red Cross, in aid of grieving families and victims of the horrific attack.
Ariana is offering fans who were at the Manchester show on Monday free tickets to this benefit concert. Customers who would like to attend will need to follow this link (http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/arianagrandemanchester) and register before Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 4:00PM BST. Ticketmaster will be in touch via email within 36 hours of registrations with instructions on how to process your free ticket.
Ariana Grande said, in an open letter posted on her social media accounts:
“My heart, prayers and condolences are with the victims of the Manchester Attack and their loved ones. There is nothing I or anyone can do to take away the pain you are feeling or to make this better. However, I extend my hand and heart and everything I possibly can give to you and yours, should you want or need my help in any way.”
She continued: “We will not quit or operate in fear. We won’t let this divide us. We won’t let hate win… Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.”
“Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together, to make us happy. So that is what it will continue to do for us. We will continue to honour the ones we lost, their loved ones, my fans and all affected by this tragedy. They will be on my mind and in my heart everyday and I will think of them with everything I do for the rest of my life.”
The attack – which took place after Ariana’s Dangerous Woman concert at Manchester Arena on Monday 22 May – killed 22 people, seven of whom were children, and injured hundreds of others.
ONE LOVE MANCHESTER
LOCATION: Emirates Old Trafford, Talbot Road, Stretford, Old Trafford M16 0PX
For speed of entry, we are requesting that concert-goers do not attend with bags.
The Secret Garden Party’s patron saint Eddy Temple Morris is bringing back the spirit of The Remix tent and the much loved Temple Of Boom to the last ever Party in The Colosillyum.
Taking place Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 6am, The Colosillyum is the perfect venue for the high octane artists that Eddy always pulls in. This year, the line-up will be both spectacular and ground-breaking, with several acts who've played blistering sets in the past, coming back to send SGP off in style.
Friday night sees an eclectic bill of friends old and new: Utah Saints,Hervé and two very special surprise superstar artists are coming back (to be announced nearer the time), plus Eddy's Producer Of The Year, the brilliant (Chase & Status signed), 1991, along with Document One and hotly-tipped bassline/mash up duo,Shapes, who made such waves in 2016, join the Party for the very first time.
"I wanted to strike a balance between history and nowism" says Eddy, "to have sets by people who've both had and given such good times in the past, and for a few newer producers to come and see why this is the best party on planet earth."
Thenroll up roll up for Saturday’s gladiatorial exclusive, an unprecedented union of the two biggest brands in Drum & Bass:
Temple Of Boom presents: Hospitality Vs Ram
Saturday Night! The Colosillyum! Never done before, never to be repeated, this is a special present for all those attending the last Party ever.
Line-up is as follows:
Sub Focus Vs Metrik
Camo Vs Krooked
SPY Vs Rene LaVice
Fred V & Grafix Vs Culture Shock
Nu:Logic Vs DC Breaks
Keeno Vs Chords
Frankee Vs Krakota
Daxta, Ruthless ID & Carasel!
"Without question the two most titanic labels in this genre, and most played on my Remix radio show, are Ram Records and Hospital Records. To have them collaborating on an event for the first, and probably last time in history is a dream come true and a reflection on how profoundly SGP is loved by the electronic music community.
I cannot thank both Ram and Hospital enough and all the artists who've supported us over the years. I'm truly honoured to be a part of SGP and to be hosting such an incredible line up this year."