Boardmasters 2016 Review

BOARDMASTERS 2016.

 

Boardmasters is undoubtably Cornwall’s biggest festival. Much like it’s partner, Nass, Boardmasters thrives off its love for music and sport. This year I had the pleasure to head down to the beautiful coastline of Newquay to soak in the sun, the surf and the music.

For anyone who has yet to go to the festival, it is located over two main beaches, Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay. Surfing competitions including Men’s and Women’s Open and Men’s and Women’s Longboard (LQS1000) located at Fistral and the music located at Watergate, with this year’s headliners being Chase & Status, Deadmau5 and James Bay. Other sports include BMX and Skateboarding which took place over the course of the weekend at Fistral as well as music ranging from Eliza & The Bear to Rat Boy at Watergate.

Walking into the festival arena on Friday, it was clear that it was something special. With the main stage to my right and the never ending sea on the horizon to my left, the atmosphere and energy was a completely different level to that of a city based festival. The air was fresh, the sun was out and the music was loud. With a buzz of people heading down from all over the country to go and embrace the popular festival, the diversity of families, students and children meant this festival was welcoming for all. One of the first acts which caught my attention was Nahko and Medicine for the People who really captured the alternative melodic music scene which is ever increasing down in Cornwall. Having played London’s KOKO in Camden a few days prior, the Oregon-native and percussion heavy artist drew a surprisingly huge crowd for such an early time slot.
Another up and coming band which caught my attention were the blues rock ’n’ roll trio Smokin’ Durrys. All three bands members spent their university lives down in Cornwall and where brought together by their love of classic rock and blues music. After their performance at Boardmasters, they are hoping that because of the positive reaction from their set that they are in the hopes of securing a slot in next years Truck, Y Not and 2000 Trees Festival.
As the day drew on all I could hear around the arena was the anticipation for Catfish and The Botttlemen. Having played Truck and Y Not Festival this year, they have definitely been one of my favourite acts of the summer and their crowds do not disappoint. Having been announced for Lollapalooza, Berlin as well as touring USA with Mumford & Sons, it is clear that they could easily be headlining festivals next year.
Chase & Status however proved that they deserved that headline slot. Drawing the biggest crowd of the day making the perfect end to the first day of the festival by playing some of their most classic and popular tunes.

I headed down to Fistral Beach for the majority of Saturday to witness the Surfing Men’s Open competition. As you walk down to the beach the paths are crowded with stalls selling all kinds of food and surf related clothing and merchandise. The sun and the clear blue sky, the clear water and the plan trees made Newquay look like California.
The beach was packed with spectators, photographers, and families, all soaking up the beautiful weather proving why Cornwall is one of my favourite places in the UK. The men’s open consisted of over 50 surfers battling it out for the grand prize. The semi-final consisted of Heat 1 between Shane Campbell and Tomas Fernandes and Heat 2 between Angelo Bonomelli and Bruce Mackie. With 0.57 difference Bonomelli managed to take lead in his heat taking him to the final alongside Campbell. However when it came to the final, an interference on Bonomelli’s second wave meant that Shane Campbell with a final score of 13.50 took the winning title of Boardmasters Men’s Open 2016. All scores from the other surfing events as well as video highlights from the 5 days at Fistral can be found on the official Boardmasters website. (http://www.boardmasters.co.uk/surfing/results)

 

By the evening I had made it back to the arena at Watergate to continue with the music, starting with Gabrielle Aplin. Famous for her feature in the 2012 John Lewis advert with her Frankie Goes to Hollywood cover of ‘The Power Of Love’. Her music is a lot more relaxed than the rock headliners of the Land of Saints stage, Maximo Park, but none the less her music brought a beautiful innocence and relaxation to the festival. Her voice so pure and strong for a 23 year old, drawing a huge crowd and performing songs for her first 2012 EP Home and her 2015 Album Light up the Dark.
Kaiser Chiefs undoubtably had a staggering, if not bigger crowd than Chase & Status. They are a band who have been around for many years but have proven they can bounce back with strong force. Bringing all kinds of characters together to enjoy the classic Brit-pop band, they played songs such as Ruby which drove the crowd wild.
Headlining on the Saturday of Boardmasters was Deadmau5. (I have never heard so many people pronounce his name incorrectly at a festival). His electronic dance music brought a beach rave element to the Newquay Festival. Having been a fan of his music for a long time, his set did not disappoint with a spectacular light show which took you into a trance with his melodic tracks. With many waiting impatiently for Craig David’s set after, it was much to his disappointment that he had to cancel his appearance due to a flight cancellation which left his fans upset. Nevertheless, Example performed his heart out to make up for this over at the Land of Saints stage.

 

 

 

Boardmasters had a range of different stages including Unleashed which centred around DJ and dance music, The View which turned an old metal camper into an acoustic stage and the forever famous Keg and Pasty Stage, which essentially summed up the Cornish atmosphere brilliantly.
The final day of the festival had a more rock and alternative lineup with Primal Scream performing main stage and James Bay finishing the night. With the previous headliners bringing electronic music to festival, having the folk-pop style of James Bay on the final night proved to be an excellent finale. Boardmasters is one of the most beautifully located festivals in the UK, and it is definitely worth the travel to far ends of the UK to visit.

 

 

 

James Bay set to headline Boardmasters 2016

Boardmasters, Cornwall’s own surf and music festival, has today announced its first headline act set to take to the main stage this summer will be UK singer-songwriter of the moment, James Bay. Boardmasters returns to the stunning sun-drenched Cornish coastline for another year, giving festivalgoers the best in surf and music. The festival runs from Wednesday 10 – Sunday 14 August 2016.

British homegrown talent, James Bay is riding the wave of platinum-selling success, with his No.1 debut album, ‘Chaos and the Calm’, featuring one of the biggest hits of the year ‘Hold Back The River’ and his current worldwide tour is selling fast. Having been honoured with the Critic’s Choice award at last year’s BRIT’s, he’s been nominated for a massive four awards at the 2016 ceremony and is also in the running for three Grammys. Continuing its role in bringing the hottest new acts to the South West, Boardmasters is stoked to welcome James Bay as he continues to dominate the UK and global music scene.  Fans are in for a treat, with James Bay set to put on a spellbinding performance when he takes to the main stage for his first headline appearance.

Boardmasters has also announced further acts to perform at this year’s festival. First up is the undisputed king of the UK garage sceneCraig David, tipped as one of the most hotly-anticipated comeback acts of 2016, with his latest hit ‘When The Bassline Drops’ currently storming the charts. Also announced are some of the UK’s hottest music acts – Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Lawson who signed to Ed Sheeran’s record label last year, Example, Sigma, Wilkinson, BRITs British Breakthrough Act nominee Wolf AliceJack Savoretti, Gabrielle Aplin, MNEK, Nahko and Medicine for the People who will join James Bay and Craig David for what’s sure to be a weekend of high-octane performances from the biggest names in music. 

Isle of Wight Festival 2015 Review

The Isle of Wight festival has returned for its annual event bringing artist and music lovers together to celebrate 45 years since Jimi Hendrix performed his last ever UK performance in 1970. Where they estimated over 600,000 people turned up to experience his music in the flesh, In celebration of the man himself they have taken the opportunity to name the main stage ‘Electric Church’ This referring to how Jimi Hendrix himself described his music, as though music itself is a religion, away to express, influence and bring positivity to audiences all around the world, through his guitar and vocals. 

45 Years later music is adapting, changing and influencing their audiences, and today i am in Seaclose Park, Newport in the Isle of Wight,  The festival begins, here’s to threes days of music, dancing, paint fighting and food.

FRIDAY 12th JUNE 2015. IOW OFFICIALLY BEGINS

So it is Finally here I am arriving at the Isle of Wight festival 2015.  Gear at the ready, Tent… check, Portable toilet… Check, Clothes… Check and myself… Double check. The crowds are gathering and the atmosphere is captivating, The fashion of the season is floral, and the young female hipster’s seem to favour the hotpant welly combination, this was thriving through the sea of people, they might find that they will be regretting that later. When the monsoon type weather hits the isle of wight. Although this has not dampened their spirits but motivated them to create a buzzing atmosphere and supporting the artists of the festival, with what i would consider rain dancing, glasses of cider and laughter. Myself on the other hand thought after being in the rain for an hour, that is was more sensible to listen to the artists from my tent, in the dry. 

When walking around the event, which you do a lot of you see a variety of people from all walks of life, getting involved in the festival spirit, getting creative with the airbrush tattooing to dancing in the rain to 90’s pop sensations, communities sitting around being social with each other getting involved with the discussion of the moment. Getting the feeling of what the isle of wight festival is about, Families, music and people appreciating and creating that memorable year at the Isle of Wight festival. 

Through out the evening there were bands performing on the ‘Electric Church’ stage. The line up included The Struts, Kodaline, Counting Crows, You me at six, The Black Keys and the prodigy. Even though there was heavy rain Festival goers still went out and supported the bands, The Black Keys alone sounded amazing, you could hear them from the camp site and even hear the audience cheering along with them, you could imagine the audience was their in the rain, rain macs on and arms in the air enjoy the sensational Black Keys and not caring that the rain was lashing down. The headliner of the night The Prodigy I was informed was outstanding, they didn’t falter under the weather conditions, the crowd went wild, raved, danced and enjoyed the electronic music from the 90’s and now. Some people only lasted half of the set but most stayed for the whole gig enjoying the captivating performance from their fellow English brothers. 

Even though the weather was horrendous it was a great way to start the Isle of Wight Festival 2015.  Now the sun should shine the clouds be visible and the weekend should improve for the upcoming bands of 2015.

Photo courtesy of Isle of Wight Festival by Sara Lincoln

 

SATURDAY 13TH JUNE 2015-IOW: DAY TWO 

After the torrential weather from the  previous night, The people at the Isle of Wight Festival were ready and waiting for the music sensations to start tickling their ear drums, no matter how much rain that came down,  it did not dampen their spirits, it just egged them on and made them want more. I can tell you, that day the small stalls around the festival made some money from Welly Purchases and Clothes alone before the food even came in to play. Lucky enough I woke up to slight clouds and a tent that was still standing, I feel this is a proud moment i would like to share with you guys, I Sharron put a tent together and it survived a storm and a half, and i survived sleeping through it, which i am grateful for as there are some outstanding acts that the Isle of Wight festival Goers are going to experience today.

Today was the Day Blur was performing on the 'Electric Stage', Their first ever performance at the Isle of wight festival, For me it was bag of mixed emotions. Damon Albarn the lead singer of Blur had previously lost his voice to illness before the gig, but this did not stop the man from performing with power, passion and giving 110% to his fans. They Did an hour and fifty minutes. Their first section was a mixture of their new album, which i felt didn’t get the crowd moving as much, and i found that it was to much new and not enough of the classics, which finally came towards the middle of the set, when they started playing songs such as Parklife which had guest star Phil Daniels performing with the guys,  this got the crowd jumping around, the atmosphere changed and people started moving and getting involved with the music, they followed this up with Coffee and TV, Girls and Boys, Song 2 and the classic Tender. For me the classic win over all, it got people moving and ended the night with a bang. 

Photo courtesy of Isle of Wight Festival by Sara Lincoln

Previously to Blur we had the one and only Pharell Williams who first performed at the Isle of Wight festival back in 2008 with his band N.E.R.D, Tonight he gave a performance of old and new songs which included his special Guest his band member from N.E.R.D, They performed classics such as Lapdance and She likes to move, which they welcomed fans from the audience to dance on stage with them, a highlight of the night was the women who danced with the band to the song she likes to move. She bought entertainment to the Isle of Wight festival and the audience cheered her on as her performance bought laughter and fun to the event. He took a moment to celebrate Jimi Hendrix 45 years through an instrumental of the song one love, which the audience in turn put one finger in the air to celebrate a legend that stood on the Isle of Wight stage 45 years ago. He then went on to play renditions of songs that he performed with artists such as Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg and many more.  He ended the set with the all time Minon favourite song ‘Happy’ He bought to the stage, the children that the Isle of Wight festival where raising awareness and donations for. To join him and to perform and dance on stage to get the crowd clapping along to the song. 

Between Blur and Pharell Williams we had the sensational DJ Shortee Blitz, Getting the atmosphere and audience ready for the next big act Blur, he played songs from the 80’s and 90’s to get people on their feet, the last two songs were from the legendary Queen, We are the Champions and Bohemian Rhapsody. This got everyone going and ready for the rest of the night, the crowd was singing and the Isle of Wight was in full song. It was a stunning moment to bring on the one and only Blur

Through out the day we had performances from bands such as, Ward Thomas, Nothing But Thieves, Jess Glynne, James Bay, Jessie Ware, Kool and the Gang and Dj Shortee Blitz. James Bay created an electric acoustic feel to the festival, He bought his soul and spirit to his music creating a mind blowing set that inspired people and relaxed them, whilst they singing along to the lyrics from hold back the river from his number 1 album and songs such as Let it go and if you ever want to be in love. He was followed by the astonishing Jessie Ware our London goddess, she bought her wonderful voice and performed her electro-pop music, whilst enchanting the audience with songs known as champagne kisses, wildest moments, Say you love me, running and kind of.. sometimes.. maybe which she considered to be her flirtatious song. Jessie ware gave an exceptional performance one of my favourites from this years Isle of Wight festival. 

Over on the 'Big Top' stage we had band such as Twin Wild, New City Kings, La Femme, The Shires, Foxes, Stiff Little Fingers and Paul Oakenfold. Foxes performed on this stage creating a strong and fun atmosphere for their audience, people where coming from other venues such as the Colourena, where they had live Djs performing around the clock with classics from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s they provided Paint fighting with music for people to go and let their hair down in between acts and to burn off those calories added from all the food venders on site. It was a fun way to meet, mingle and to dance your socks off before going to rock out to your favourite artist on stage. 

SUNDAY 14th JUNE 2015 IOW: DAY THREE

Sunday was the lead up to the headliners Fleetwood Mac and Paolo Nutini, through out the day you witnessed more and more people arriving to get a good spot at the main stage known as the ’Electric Stage’ for the evenings events to unfold.  The line up through out the day consisted of The Rainband, Suzanne Vega, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, The Courteeners, and First aid Kit.  Suzanne Vega performed with her Guitarist classics such as Left of centre, known for the Pretty in Pink soundtrack in the 1980’s. 

In the ‘BIG TOP’ stage we had the band Coasts performing songs such as Modern Love and new hits from their upcoming Debut album also known as ‘coasts’ a new number 1 in the mix called Tonight, this Bristol band got the audience jumping around, whilst pulling people in from all around the Isle of Wight festival to enjoy this fresh new sound created by this 5 piece band from the UK.  They where followed up with The ViewLightening Seeds and the one and only Ash.  

Ash who performed songs such as Burn baby burn and Shining Light, bringing their music to their fans, the audience were bursting at the seems, the 'BIG TOP' stage was packed and people were gathering to watch this captivating performance, Although I only got to witness the first 15 minutes of this i can tell you these guys where rocking this crowd, and keeping the standard of the Isle of Wight festival which was created over the past two days going. 

Even though there was rumours of Fleetwood Mac possibly cancelling the show due to illness and two previous cancellations on their current tour which they have already done 90 shows since last year, they turned up and Gave a performance of a lifetime, Fleetwood Mac Arrived with such grace and presence. The field was full, the Fans where waiting and the night was about to begin, the act that everyone was waiting to see was here, over 50,000 fans filled the Isle of Wight creating an nostalgic atmosphere with the sun setting in the background, creating a perfect evening for an outdoor gig. 

They had previously been warmed up by the ever popular Paolo Nutini, His soulful, gruff voice wowed the audience with such power and grace, he topped this of with his dynamic stage presence it created the perfect show to watch and to get the crowed moving to songs such as Better Man, Jenny don’t be hasty and a beautiful rendition of New Shoes. A stunning performance by an amazing Artist, Thumbs up! 

Fleetwood Mac opened the show with the song The Chains creating the atmosphere for the evening, and not disappointing with their renditions of classics such as, Go your own way, Rhiannon, Gypsy and who can forget Landslide which Stevie Nicks dedicated to her friend and fellow Artist David Grohl, Who has recently broken his leg whilst touring. This  song was written and performed originally in 1974, 41 years prior to Isle of Wight 2015, this did not disappoint but left the audience in ore.  They provided a spectacular end to an amazing weekend with the song ‘Don’t Stop’. Whilst performing, Fireworks where provided the perfect end with the perfect song, the crowd danced, they sang and they didn’t want the night to end wanting more from the legendary Fleetwood Mac who had performed for an outstanding 2 hours, getting better and better with each song, and their individual solos showing us what the music industry is all about.

Once Fleetwood Mac had ended, people departed the ‘Electric Stage’ and went on to other events within the Isle of Wight Festival, In the ‘BIG TOP’ stage The Charlatans where closing down the last gig to be performed on the ‘BiG TOP’ for the Isle of Wight 2015, the fans filled the tent and crowded around the edges to see these guys perform, people still buzzing and enjoying their last night at the Isle of Wight Festival, taking in the music, the atmosphere and their fellow music lovers around them. Joining in with the music and capturing these moments through images and tweets via social medias such as Twitter and Facebook. Truly showing what the Festival season is about, Music, Artists, Fans getting together under one Social weekend to celebrate 45 Years of music inspired by those who performed at the Isle of wight 2015 and those who helped to create the Isle of Wight Festival since 1968. 

Artists known as: Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Supertramp, Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Chicago, Procol Harum, The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Muse, Foo Fighters, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Kasabian, Amy Winehouse, Kings of Leon, Jay-Z, The Strokes, Coldplay, The Sex Pistols, The Police, Blondie etc. 

Thank you guys for a wonderful weekend and an oustanding festival…till next year. 

Gibraltar Music Festival add James Bay, Ella Henderson and more

With a lineup already fit to burst with huge names including headliners Kings Of Leon and Duran Duran alongside the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Paloma Faith, Madness and Tom Odell Gibraltar Music Festival 2015 are now adding even more names to this year’s lineup. Providing a fitting and appropriately huge end to the summer festival season, GMF provides sun and music in abundance all within the picturesque surroundings of the Rock of Gibraltar.

Heading up this announcement is British singer-songwriter James Bay. Having won this year’s BRIT Awards Critics Choice Award and also as runner up in the BBC Sound of 2015 list his is a talent that is utterly undeniable and not least showcased on this year’s breakthrough album ‘Chaos and the Calm’. His set is not to be missed.

Since gracing the nation’s TV screens on the X Factor back in 2012 Ella Henderson has proven herself to be a true superstar. With both her debut single ‘Ghost’ and debut album ‘Chapter One’ charting at number one; she is undoubtedly one of the UK’s finest pop exports.

It’s been two years since Union J went from talented unknowns to overnight sensations on the 2012 series of The X Factor, andthey have been on quite a journey. Their army of young fans will be delighted to hear the boys' next stop on their path to boy band greatness will be at GMF this September.

Also joining the lineup are Gibraltar via Manchester sibling trio This Side Up who come to the festival hot on the heels of their summer UK tour as well as Dead City Radio and Kharma 13.

Easily accessible, affordable and suitable for the whole family, GMF rolls a holiday and some of the world’s biggest acts into one incredible weekend.

Tickets available at: http://www.gibraltarmusicfestival.com/tickets-and-packages/

Full Lineup So Far:

Kings Of Leon

Duran Duran

Paloma Faith

Madness

Kaiser Chiefs

Estopa

Tom Odell

The Feeling

Lawson

James Bay

Ella Henderson

Rae Morris

Third World

Hudson Taylor

Dub Colossus

Reach

Guy Valarino

Kristian Vinales (DJ Set)

Headwires

Paddy Taylor

Strange Brew

Tim Garcia ft Afterhours

Jeremy Perez with Tom Stott

This Side Up

Dead City Radio

Kharma 13

Top Artists to see at this years Isle of Wight Festival 2015

Okay, so it's officially that time of year again the Isle of wight festival 2015 begins. Hope you've got your camping gear and your dancing shoes on to rock out with some of the top artists from around the globe. I can say I am officially exited and looking forward to all the acts this year. If you're starting early and camping on Thursday I recommend you go and check out the one and only Billy Idol, he will be getting you ready and in the mood for what is to come, over this epic weekend. He will be followed up by UB40'S Ali Campbell, Astro and Micky Virtue, so get dancing and ready to party. 

From the 12-14th June 2015 there are going to be some great performerances coming your way, here are my top 10 to look out for at the Isle of Wight Festival this year. 

1. Fleetwood Mac Bringing you Classics such as Dreams, Go your own way, Songbird and Don't stop, performing with Christine McVie after taking 16 years out, but now back to perform on their current tour, check them out on the "Electric Church" stage on Sunday 

2. Blur Bringing their indie-pop music and the original four line up performing classic that rocked the 90's such as Park life, Boys and Girls and Song 2 and songs from their current number 1 album The Magic Whip, performing on the "Electric Church" stage on Saturday

3. Pharrell Williams Who last performed at the Isle of Wight in 2008 performing with his band N.E.R.D, but now soloing with many hits under his belt such as Happy, Get Lucky and GIRL, performing on the "Electric Church" stage on Saturday 

4. Paolo Nutini This Scottish smooth artist will performing songs such as New Shoes, Jenny don't be hasty and Better Man, bringing his soulful rendition and vocals to the "Electric Church" stage on Sunday

5. James Bay This is guy is one to look out for, this guys has been going from strength to strength, bringing his unique and soulful voice and capturing his fans with his individuality, See him performing on the "Electric Church" stage on Saturday.

6. Counting Crows Who last performed at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2003, are back bringing their Californian vibe, These guys will be performing on the 'Electric Church' stage on Friday 

7. Jessie Ware This London sensation, will be bringing her electronic soulful sound to the stage gracing you with songs such as Champaign Kisses, Say you love me and Wildest Moments, she will be performing on the "Electric Stage" on Saturday

8. Prodigy Will be opening the festival bringing their electronic, industrial rave music to you via the "Electronic Church" stage Friday get ready to rave like it's the 1990s 

9. Ash Bringing their alternative rock to the stage with songs such as Shining light, Girls from mars and A life less ordinary you can check these guys out on the "Big Top" stage on Sunday 

10. James Bringing classics such as don't sit down, she's a star and sometimes, bringing the 90's to the stage taking you back to those dancing days he will be performing on the "Electric Church" stage on Saturday

So guys can't wait to see you all there, not long now. Isle of Wight Festival 2015, enjoy and bring your dancing shoes and check out the Isle of Wight lineup and see who will be on your list to see. 

Parklife 2015 Review

On June 6 and 7, 80,000 people descended on Heaton Park for Parklife 2015, indulging in headline sets from Disclosure on Saturday and Rudimental on Sunday, while Hudson Mohawke, Todd Terje, Jamie XX and the weekend’s highlight, FKA twigs, had Summer Festival Guide darting from stage to stage.

SATURDAY 

Saturday belongs to Jamie XX. Throughout a perfectly-crafted set, 'Girl', 'Gosh' and 'Sleep Sound', along with the soon-to-be defining track of the summer festival season, 'Loud Places', and older percussive house gem 'Far Nearer' pack the Now Wave tent – one overexcited reveler climbing the tent's rigging, becoming barely visible, to an eruption of cheers as he carefully eases back down.

Earlier, in the Big Top, Everything Everything – dressed in matching red suits – belt through new material, their current single 'Regret' achieving anthemic status.

Disclosure's graduation to main stage headliners comes with a plethora of new material from their imminent second album, 'Caracal', along with a host of upcoming vocal talents. 'White Noise', 'F For you' and 'You & Me' gain as incredible a response as expected, but it's Guy and Howard’s newest creations which stand out, as the Lawrence brothers tease, "Parklife, we've got some surprises for you". Lion Babe's leading lady Jillian Hervey – with the longest legs and wildest hair SFG HAs ever seen – comes first, her R&B-orientated vocals perfectly complimenting the slinky synths of an as-yet-unnamed track as she struts across the stage in arm-length silver gloves and nearly knee-high black boots. London-based future R&B vocalist Nao soon follows, her vocals and onstage presence similar to Aluna Francis, before Kwabs’ soulful tones command the crowd from a raised platform throughout two untitled tracks. The arrival of American jazz legend Gregory Porter for an on-point rendition of current single and collab ‘Holding On’ mesmerises the mainly young crowd with his unparalleled ability to hold a note, fusing two musical worlds seamlessly. After a brief stage leave, ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ and ‘Latch’ – the latter is dedicated to Sam Smith who’s just recovered from vocal surgery – sees friends on shoulders in a moment of hysteria.

Bidding farewell for the evening, the flocks of thousands head for the shuttle bus appropriately chanting the lyrics to Blur's ‘Parklife’.

SUNDAY 

As SFG arrive on Sunday, Ella Eyre is playing to a massive crowd to the main stage despite her early afternoon set placement, launching herself across the stage in a leopard print leotard, belting out 'Deeper' and 'If I Go' along her energetic way.

Later, Labrinth arrives – suit and shades on – blasting through his synth-heavy chart hits 'Earthquake', 'Pass Out' and Sigma-collaboration 'Higher', the latter emptying everyone's lungs.

Meanwhile, in an equally busy Resident Advisor tent, Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum – together they're known as J.E.T.S – pump out thumping techno as green inflatable aliens and neon balloons are slung around in the air; Ben UFO's back-to-back set with Pearson Sound continuing the bass-heavy electronic onslaught.

Oliver Dollar's back-to-back with Jesse Rose proves an early evening highlight, opting for Dirtybird's booty-house with Claude VonStroke's 'Make A Cake', assuring an up-tempo energy from the off.

Over at the MK Area 10 stage, Ben Pearce – of 'What I Might Do' fame – drops a housier edit of Take That's 'Relight My Fire', completely unexpectedly.

Later, in the Big Top, James Bay proves himself as having the potential to command the main stage in a year’s time; 'Let It Go' and 'Best Fake Smile's infectious chorus inducing a sense of euphoria.

US-based Sango, sporting a Manchester City sports jacket, opens the Kaytranada stage on Sunday with hip-hop and trap-influenced bubbling synths and bass beats in a tucked away Greek coliseum-like vicinity; even the security guards are bouncing along as they make their way through the crowd amidst a sparse edit of Skepta's ‘That's Not Me’ and a Cashmere Cat-sounding remix of Drake's ‘Through The 6’.

Chet Faker, sporting a topknot for the occasion, packs the Sounds of the Near Future stage with his synth-laden sound. Alone at first, he intricately and passionately delivers electronic instrumentals, before he’s joined by a guitarist and drummer. Encouraging us to "use those muscles" before ‘No Diggity’, a sea of phones are hoisted to record the cover, as everyone’s vocal muscles flex while singing along to ‘Drop The Game’.

Bristol duo Blonde meanwhile pack the Drop The Mustard stage with their summery house anthems ‘Foolish’, ‘All Cried Out' and ‘I Loved You’ as part of a new live show, wheeling out guest vocalists – expect them to be as big as Disclosure this time next year.

Todd Terje, with his live band The Olsens, who alternate between saxophone, flute, bongo drum, guitar and keyboard, build into their funky set with zooming laser synths, though it does take a while for the crowd to warm to the sounds. ‘Delorean Dynamite’ and set closer ‘Inspector Norse’ soon get them moving though, as the funky bass line kicks in; one Terje fan who’s celebrating a birthday screams “this is the best day of my life” while his friend, clearly intoxicated, jokes, “is this Lady GaGa?”

Jungle's well-deserved transition to the main stage sees them play to a massive crowd, the summery weather perfect for their almost 70s sound as the seven-piece perform their biggest hits, ‘Julia’ and ‘The Heat’ just as the sun beams down.  

Back in the Sounds of the Near Future tent, Hudson Mohawke walks onstage with a new live set up, bringing out Redinho on keyboards and Two Door Cinema Club’s Ben Thomas on drums. Drawing on material from his new album ‘Lantern’ and his and Lunice’s collaborative project, TNGHT’s biggest hits, intense bass and red strobes match the maximalist electronica of ‘Acrylics’ and ‘Higher Ground’, sending the crowd into mass hysteria.

An hour later, FKA twigs, visible only through a cloud of smoke, leaves thousands in awe, as her hauntingly ethereal performance remains compelling from start to finish. Easily the largest crowd of the day, there’s a ritualistic sense to her set as she flows through her debut album ‘LP1’ and new material from her imminent third EP, ‘Melissa’. With an incredible vocal from the off, twigs, dressed in double denim with her hair to one side, is joined by a three-piece band who delicately tap their synth pads respectively, producing the intense, almost apocalyptic trip-hop beats of ‘Water Me’, ‘Number’ and ‘Papi Pacify’. How she was once only Jessie J's backing dancer is unbelievable for her unique talent as a vocalist, dancer and performer. Effortlessly charismatic, the entire crowd’s eyes are transfixed on her throughout the hour set as she reaches vocal notes you didn't know existed, all whilst popping her body around the stage. Removing the denim jacket to show off her toned body in a stripped white top, her enigmatic presence is made even more likeable when she speaks, sweetly and humbly. "It’s great to be back in England,” she delights, “I just got back a week ago.” Closing with a faultless rendition of ‘Two Weeks’ and then ‘How’s That’, it’s evident that the summer festival season belongs to FKA Twigs.

Day tickets released for No Tomorrow Festival

This weekend, 6th & 7th June in Nottingham’s Wollaton Park, music lovers at No Tomorrow festival will welcome in the summer to a soundtrack provided by headliners John Newman, Jessie Ware and many more including Bondax and Gorgon City. In the buzzing build up to the party, due to high demand, a batch of day tickets priced at £47.50 (including booking fee) have been released via notomorrowfestival.co.uk.
 
As well as the promise of some of the best electronic acts around, reports of a heat wave are adding to the excitement for No Tomorrow festival this weekend. A site map is now online to highlight where festival-goers can grab food, drink, join in workshops, grab a shuttle bus or duck into the festival photo booth for a selfie memento. Furthermore ticket holders will soon be able to plan ahead to catch chart-topping, and award-winning talent such as James Bay, SOAK, DJ Fresh and many more by heading to the No Tomorrow website where the all important set times will soon be published.
 
In addition to the new day tickets, the last few weekend (£65 + booking fee) and VIP tickets (£125 + booking fee) are also still available via notomorrowfestival.co.uk.
 
The clock is ticking, it’ll soon be time to party like there is No Tomorrow. 
 

BBC Radio 1 Big Weekend Norwich Sunday Review

Despite the rain falling hard and fast onsite at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Norwich, the second day of the festival was one full of anticipation ahead of the arrival of Taylor Swift to Norwich. Perhaps perfectly timed by the universe, the clouds cleared and the sun emerged to beam down upon the incredibly large crowd just in time for Swift's performance that cemented her dominance as the biggest and best popstar in the world right now.

Having conquered the charts, Clean Bandit made sure everyone was dancing as if there were no tomorrow, playing tracks from their debut album 'New Eyes' as well as bringing out the incredibly talented Rae Morris to perform collaboration 'Up Again'. Violinist Neil Milan brought out his trademark dance moves as he bounded about the stage like he was headlining.

Rae Morris performing onstage with Clean Bandit at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend. Image from the BBC

Gaining exposure at such an early stage of an artists' career brings with it an incredible weight of exepctation, and Irish singer-songwriter SOAK showed signs of nerves as the usually chatty performer kept talking to a minimum as they delivered heartbreakingly beautiful odes that would have you think she was much older than her young years. Channelling the raw emotion of legends such as Tom Waits. 'Be A Nobody' and 'Blud' brought the In New Music We Trust stage to a stunned silence, as the audience became visibly introspective about what these songs that many had perhaps never heard before made them feel. 

SOAK bringing the In New Music We Trust Stage to a standstill 

As a self confessed pop music sceptic, it was with trepidation that Rita Ora's set was approached. But such scpeticism was unfounded, as Ora delivered one of the highlights of the weekend. However you may want to criticise artists who perhaps don't have total creative input when making music, there is no denying that Rita Ora can sing. Really sing. Her set was heavy with hits from across her already impressive career and tracks such as 'Doing It' and 'RIP' went down an absolute storm with the age spanning crowd. Pop music at it's finest.

As the sun peered out from behind the clouds, Jungle took to the In New Music We Trust Stage to kickstart the carnival atmosphere ready for the night ahead. 'Busy Earnin' 'Time' and 'Julia' amongst many others had the tent bursting at the seems with people dancing and partying their way through a set that felt very much like a victory lap for a band that experienced runaway success across last year's festival circuit.

How does one describe James Bay? Well according to more than a few people poised to see him, he falls somewhere between "the most beautiful man in the world" and "his face was carved by angels" which when coupled with his amazing voice and melodies shows exactly why he was deserving of this year's BRIT Awards Critics Choice Award. 'Hold Back The River' and 'Let It Go' erupt massive crowd singalongs that are almost loud enough to drown out Bay's own voice. 

One name has been synonomous with this year's Big Weekend. You might have heard of her before? She likes to shake it off with fellas with hella good hair and recently she unveiled an already iconic video seeing her army of powerful ladies do battle against the forces of evil. Still unsure who it is? It can only be Taylor Swift.

Introduced by a BBC Radio 1 listener who won the opportunity to welcome Swiftie to Norwich, Taylor was greeted by screams of 'TAYLOR! TAYLOR!' as she emerged in a decadent sparkly outfit to reminds us all what a star she is. Opening with 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', the next 40 minutes passed like some sort of euphoric chorus direct from the heavens. There were lifelong Swifites rubbing shoulders with recent converts following the release of '1989'. Strangers became friends over a shared love of shaking it off and that is exactly the kind of slap in the face that any present music snobs needed because in case you didn't get the memo; life's too short to be hating on someone as perfectly brilliant aas Taylor Swift. Ya hear?!

The beauty of BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend, is that you don't get just one globe conquering act in a day. Oh no, you get TWO! Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters never thought he'd get to say Taylor Swift was his opening act which was greeted with thunderous cheers from a crowd who have grown up with his mighty powerhouse of a band.

Playing to a crowd of die hard Taylor Swift fans was never going to be an easy for a band who fall on the total opposite side of the music spectrum. But the appeal of the Foos is twofold – first you have the anthem after anthem back catologue of tracks such as 'Walk' and 'Congregation' and then secondly you have the heart warming personality of Dave Grohl that feels like you and he have been friends for decades. 

The euphoria washing over Earlham Park throughout 'Times Like These' induces a swelling of happiness and warmth in the heart of everybody onsite. Closing with a spectacular firework display, Big Weekend closed it's doors for another year and as the crowds poured away from the site in Norwich, there really was a collective consensus that this was without a doubt the biggest Big Weekend there has ever been.

 

 

James Bay, Jack Garratt and more for Barn on the Farm 2015

Award winning Barn on the Farm returns with another show stopping line-up and additional third stage for what is set to be a stellar 2015. Today BOTF announces Brits Critics Choice winner, James Bay for his first ever worldwide and UK only headline festival performance. Also unveiled is Zane Lowe’s Future 15, Jack Garratt, highly tipped Rhodes and headlining the new stage, Nottingham five piece Amber Run. Artists also announced include, Foy Vance, Nothing But Thieves, JP CooperAlex Vargas, Chasing Grace, Flo Morrissey, Port Isla, Freddie Dickson & The Guard, The Academic, Osca and Louis Berry. BOTF continually delivers paramount artists to its cosy 1,500 capacity for one of the UK’s most intimate and true independent music festivals. Tickets start at £100 for Saturday and Sunday only.  For more information please visitwww.barnonthefarm.co.uk
 
Heavily renowned for a carefully tailored line-up predicting future success, BOTF once again displays some of the finest emerging and established folk, rock and indie. Revealed as the Saturday night headliner, Brit award winning James Bay will play his first ever worldwide and UK only festival headline performance. Following his critically acclaimed track, ‘hold back the river’ and heavily anticipated first album, it's already been an extremly exciting 2015 for James who mentions that,"Barn On The Farm has quickly become one of my favourites. An intimate festival, but with a crowd that always makes it feel massive!”
The announcment today also sees the multi-talented and frequently featured as one to watch, Jack Garratt who will bring his outstanding one man show to the farm, also the ever so mysterious Rhodes and soft folk-rock Amber Run, who will headline the new stage after their sell out tour. BOTF are extremly excited to announce Essex’s finest five piece, Nothing But Thieves who have been gaining huge respect after thier latest release, 'ban all the music'that has been working itself up the Radio One playlist, additionally the sensational Foy Vancewill headline the Wooden Barn Stage plus in true BOTF style, newbies but increasingly talked about Port Isla and Osca are set to impress.

Completing the first announcement are JP CooperChasing Grace, Alex Vargas, Flo Morrissey, Freddie Dickson & The Guard, The Academic and Louis Berry plus many many more. There will also be an exceptionally special guest to headline Friday night that will only be revealed on the evening to limited full weekend ticket holders. 

With music at the heart of the festival 2015 is set to be another exciting year at BOTF that over the years has seen some of the biggest names including Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Bastile and Catfish and the Bottlemen all play at the farm. Set in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside BOTF is the perfect setting for a weekend full of supreme performances from some of the most exciting up and coming artists. 

Calvin Harris & Kasabian lead V Festival 2015 lineup

Global platinum-selling artist Calvin Harris and Iconic rockers Kasabian are today announced as the headliners for V Festival’s Virgin Media stage.

Taking place across the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd August 2015, the local lads from Leicester and the DJ from north of the border will be joined by a host of music heavyweights to ensure V Festival sees out its second decade in style.

Joining the headliners across the two festival sites in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire will be a supporting cast of Britain’s finest talent and biggest names. Music lovers with this summer’s hottest ticket will also see performances from recent four-time Grammy and 2015 Brit winner Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, The Script, Hozier, George Ezra, Stereophonics, Brit winners Paloma Faith and James Bay, Olly Murs, Tom Jones, Clean Bandit, Kodaline, Ella Henderson, Nero and Courteeners plus many more to be announced across four stages at the two festival sites.

Making his debut on top of the bill, Calvin Harris said: 

V Festival is always an incredible time and I can't wait to headline it this year. See you there!”

Kasabian’s Sergio Pizzorno, said: 

“V is for victory, V is for voodoo, V is for vacuum cloud, V is for very very very very excited. See you in the fields!”

The hugely popular Glee Club Comedy Tent also returns as the festival’s fifth stage this year, with a hilarious line-up that will be announced in the coming months.

Over the festival weekend there’ll also be sets from The Kooks, Marina & The Diamonds, The Proclaimers, Jess Glynne, Andy C, Imelda May, Gregory Porter, Fuse ODG, Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, Hannah Wants, Reverend & the Makers, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Annie Mac.

The glamorous V Style camping will also return for its fifth year. V Style is now an established part of the V Festival family, giving music fans the chance to experience the best of both worlds – enjoying a mix of music and comedy and relaxing at pampering stations and in ready built bell tents, huts, and luxury yurts.

Tickets go on sale from March 6th at 9am with fans advised to visit www.vfestival.com, where all official outlets are detailed. V organisers again stress to fans that purchasing tickets from unofficial outlets could lead to disappointment.

The full line up includes: Kasabian, Calvin Harris, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, The Script, Hozier, George Ezra, Stereophonics, Paloma Faith, James Bay, Olly Murs, Chvrches, Imelda May, Kodaline, Ella Henderson, Nero, Reverend & the Makers, The Courteeners, Marina & The Diamonds, The Proclaimers, Tom Jones, Jess Glynne, Andy C, The Kooks, Gregory Porter, Fuse ODG, Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Jessie Ware, Ella Eyre, Hannah Wants, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five and Annie Mac.