Splendour Festival 2016 Review

The sun was shining hotly and brightly on Nottingham’s favourite festival, Splendour 2016.  Set in the grounds of the stunning Wollaton Park, I was delighted to be attending for the second time and it didn’t disappoint.  There was definitely no shortage of festivals this weekend but with a fantastic line-up and variety of entertainment, Nottingham’s sell out festival was definitely the best place to be.

The site was well set out with plenty of toilets and water points.  The food stalls were spread evenly across the site and offered plenty of choice including vegan and gluten free options.  I enjoyed a gorgeous gluten-free chicken and chorizo paella topped with a delicious salsa and lemon for £7.  Later on I tucked into nachos with guacamole, salsa and cheese for only £3.50!  Drinks tokens could be purchased for £4 each or in multiples.  Tokens were then swapped for alcohol and soft drinks at a choice of 3 bar areas.  Given that there were over 23,000 people attending, we didn’t have to queue once to get a drink.  The bar staff were really friendly although with only beer, cider, JD and coke and wine, there wasn’t much choice.  More spirits would have been welcomed.  Stalls offered a variety of clothes, jewellery and trinkets all reasonably priced.  Fringe entertainment included songs and laughs from Mrs Green; circus shows; activities for youngsters in the Kids’ Zone, silent disco and Magician, Daniel Dore.  It was clear that Splendour has a great family atmosphere and well catered for all age groups.

Headlining the main stage was Grammy award winner, Jess Glynne.  After dropping out of Splendour last year due to illness, her appearance was hotly awaited.  She opened up with ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself’ which instantly got the crowd dancing!  She looked stunning in a two piece gold outfit and I loved the focus that she gave to the music and the audience rather than dance moves and outfit changes.  She followed up with hit after hit; ‘Rather be,’ ‘No rights no wrongs,’ ‘Gave me something,’ ‘Not letting go,’ and ‘It ain’t right.’  She then did a beautiful acoustic version of ‘My love’ which she dedicated to her dad who is from Nottingham, which the crowd loved.  She engaged with the crowd and asked everyone to shine the torch on their phone which created a beautiful sea of light as far as the eyes could see.  She followed up with hits such as ‘Home’ and ‘Real love’ and then did a cover version of Chaka Chan’s ‘I feel for you’ where she pulled off some funky dance moves with her backing singers.  For the encore she sang ‘Right here’ and her number one track ‘Hold my hand.’  The crowd went crazy singing and dancing and it was a perfect end to a fantastic headlining artist.  Jess Glynne did Nottingham proud!

Over on the Confetti Stage, a large crowd gathered for the headlining act, The Darkness.  Donning a flamboyant purple one-piece glam-rock-esque cat suit, Justin Hawkins thrusted himself into their opening track ‘Black shuck.’  The charismatic front man belted out ‘Growing on me’ ‘Love is only a feeling’ and their original glam rock track ‘I believe in a thing called love.’  Justin entertained the crowd with his own brand of sweary banter adding to an electric atmosphere.

Set list was

Black Shuck

Growing on me

Givin’ up

One way ticket

Love is only a feeling


Get your hands off my woman

Stuck in a rut

I believe in a thing called love

Love on the rocks with no ice

Scottish rockers, The Fratellis,  kicked off with ‘Henrietta’ and finished with a crowd-rocking ‘Chelsea Dagger.’  Earlier in the day veteran Irish punk rockers, Stiff Little Fingers, played a fantastic set to a large crowd.  Legendary tracks ‘At the edge, ‘Tin soldiers’ and ‘Gotta gettaway’ got the crowd rocking.

UB40 got a warm response with one reveller shouting ‘UBeee, UBeee, UBeee!!’ ‘You gotta love UB!’ she tells me.  The crowd are dancing and singing to the glorious reggae tunes of ‘Cherry Oh Baby’ and ‘Red Red Wine.’

The Human League put on an impressive show opening with ‘Mirror Man,’ and ‘Electric Dreams’ is slickly played into ‘Don’t You Want Me’ for the finale.

Over on the acoustic stage, Jonny Olley kicked the day off, with acts like Josh Wheatley, Bru-C and Brad Dear performing throughout the day.

With its eclectic mix of artists and bands, there is sure to be something for every age group at Splendour Festival which makes it the perfect family day out.   I cannot wait for next year! Roll on Splendour 2017!

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