V Festival 2016, sponsored by Virgin Media, will be graced by global chart royalty this summer as Justin Bieber and Rihanna dominate the headline slots across the legendary festival weekend. Our 21st birthday celebrations will take place at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire on 20 and 21 August 2016.
Performing exclusively at his only UK festival this summer, Bieber, who also shares his age with us, will treat you guys to his debut V Festival performance and a sneak peak of his upcoming tour, ‘Purpose’. After smashing UK chart records by simultaneously holding the number one, two and three spot in the UK single charts, the Grammy winner is expected to pull the V Festival crowds in their thousands.
To cement the line-up with true superstar status, Rihanna is will round off the headline bill with another electric performance as she returns to V Festival after five years. The Bajan singer will be bringing the hotly anticipated and unmissable ‘Anti World Tour’ to her only UK festival of the summer.
Adding to V Festival 2016’s international superstar line-up and will be Australian superstar songstress, Sia, and superstar DJ, David Guetta – who are both UK festival exclusives for V Festival 2016. Sia, who is word famous for her own critically acclaimed material, has also written for some of the world’s biggest artists including Beyoncé, Britney Spears and even penned headliner Rihanna’s hit ‘Diamonds’. Global DJ phenomenon David Guetta is one of the most successful artist DJ’s in UK chart history and is well-known for his energetic live shows, bringing the full-on party atmosphere and enthralling sold-out crowds across the world – this set will be unmissable.
Also performing on the Virgin Media stage are British indie rock favourites Bastille, the world’s biggest girl group Little Mix, Grammy winner Jess Glynne and party starter, John Newman.
In another V Festival debut, BBC Radio 1 will host a new stage on Friday night across both Chelmsford and Staffordshire sites. Adding to this incredible new set up, the BBC Radio 1 Summer of Dance stage will bring its all new Summer of Dance line-up, guaranteed to add chart-topping dance anthems, the hottest artists, and newest releases into the mix. Further details including the line up will be announced during Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show on Friday 4th March.
As well as international chart-toppers, a host of homegrown British talent will also feature on the star-studded bill. Legendary V Festival favourites,Faithless return for their seventh time, while BRIT Award winners Kaiser Chiefs will bring the hits. Further British talent includes BBC Sound of 2015 winners Years and Years, singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, UK Garage legend Craig David with his TS5 set, The Voice UK and X Factor star Rita Ora, two-time Brit winner Tinie Tempah and festival favourites Example and Katy B.
Halsey will grace the festival as well as Troye Sivan, who with a unique acting, blogging and musical background under his belt, is sure to deliver an unmissable set. Bringing the rock ‘n’ roll will be BRIT Award winners Travis, singer-songwriter James Morrison and Joe Jonas’ pop rock band,DNCE. Grammy winner Foxes, X Factor star Fleur East and legendary British-Canadian girl band All Saints will each add a pop flavour to the weekend. Soul II Soul will bring the good vibes, while ‘Fester Skank’ smash artist, Lethal Bizzle, DJ EZ, Sigma (DJ set), Flight Facilities, and Big Sean will bring the pounding beats and furious flow to a phenomenal V Festival 2016 line up.
Tickets go on sale on Friday 26th February at 9.30am. Please only book through our official outlets LISTED HERE. Purchasing tickets from unofficial outlets could lead to disappointment.
The full line-up includes: Justin Bieber, Rihanna, Sia, David Guetta, Faithless, Kaiser Chiefs, Years & Years, Jake Bugg, Bastille, Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah, Jess Glynne, Little Mix, Craig David’s TS5, Katy B, Halsey, Example, Troye Sivan, DJ EZ, James Morrison, Travis, John Newman, Foxes, DNCE, Sigma (DJ set), All Saints, Fleur East, Soul II Soul, Big Sean, Flight Facilities, and Lethal Bizzle with more acts still to be announced.
Following a successful first year, No Tomorrow festival returned to Nottingham for a two-day spectacle, showcasing some of the biggest names in EDM and other chart-topping artists such as John Newman and Jessie Ware.
Not your typical large-scale music festival with tens of thousands of party-goers, No Tomorrow was comparatively much smaller; but this made the experience thoroughly more enjoyable.
With the usually unreliable British weather holding up throughout the course of the weekend, punters were able to lie on the grass and soak up the rays whilst listening to their favourite artists. Three well-staffed bars also ensured revellers did not wait long for drinks in the summer heat.
Dominating the park was the main stage which featured a brightly coloured ‘No Tomorrow’ banner with the Stealth stage occupying a gigantic tent in a sub-section of the park.
Stealth was not to be out done by its larger counterpart. A set list consisting of Garage and House well-known names such as DJ EZ, Hannah Wants and Gorgon City arguably made it the highlight of the festival.
Saturday's bill did not disappoint, Hannah Wants well and truly got the proceedings of the weekend underway and set the tone for what was to come with her one and a half hour set.
Fans packed the Stealth stage for DJ EZ and despite technical sound issues he still managed to get the crowd buzzing with a trademark mix of old school Garage anthems, rounding off what was a hugely successful first day.
Sunday built on the success of the previous day, with performances from Justin Martin on Stealth stage and Milky Chance on the main stage meaning that wherever you were there was music worth listening to.
Milky Chance’s hit ‘Stolen Dance’ was met with a great reception as fans joined in singing along with the feel good music. Whilst over on Stealth stage, Gorgon City followed Justin Martin and carried on the upbeat vibe with some well-known House tunes as the sun slowly slipped behind the clouds.
Perhaps the most notable performance of the entire weekend was My Nu Leng who closed the Stealth stage with a combination of Deep House, Grime and Rap beats working to get the crowd hyped, and ending the festival in style.
Leaving the festival to John Newman’s popular anthem ‘Love Me Again’ echoing from the main stage, party-goers were able to travel back to the city centre from the gates of Woollaton Park for £2 thanks to festival organisers.
Overall a perfect way to start the summer, a well-balanced mixture of intense and laid-back music combining to create a memorable weekend, definitely a festival SFG would recommend for the future.
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.
No Tomorrow Festival will be crowned by a set from John Newman, a Yorkshireman channeling Northern soul into modern pop. Newman’s hits include the number one single ‘Love Me Again’ and guest spots on Rudimental’s ‘Feel The Love’ and Calvin Harris’ ‘Blame’, both of which also topped the UK Singles Chart. This performance will be the first time Newman has headlined a UK festival’s main stage. Also confirmed to headline is Jessie Ware, queen of an updated take on R&B teetering on the edge of the electronic. As well as her own Mercury Prize nominated material, Ware has appeared as a guest vocalist on tracks by the likes of Disclosure and SBKTRT. This announcement follows two sold out shows for Jessie Ware at Brixton Academy.
Elsewhere the festival’s attention turns to some of the most current and in-demand names attracting critical acclaim. Singer-songwriter James Bay features in the highest profile up-and-coming lists of the year including BBC Sound Of 2015 poll. Bay went on to win the BRITS Critics’ Choice award following in the footsteps of Adele and last year’s No Tomorrow headliner Sam Smith. DJ and house music producer Philip George brings homegrown talent to the festival. The Nottingham-based 21 year old recently made a big first impression by reaching number two in the UK Singles chart with his debut ‘Wish You Were Mine’.
Across No Tomorrow’s several stages the festival also boasts many more performances and a number of the finest international DJ talents. Bondax, DJ EZ, and Eton Messy will be delivering epic DJ set across the dance music spectrum. Also expect strong live performances from the enigmatic Bristol duo Blonde with full band, Grammy-nominated MNEK and Bondax guest vocalist KStewart, appearing in her own right with solo material.
Global superstar and seven-time Grammy Award winner TAYLOR SWIFT was the first headliner announced for Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park2015 bringing The 1989 World Tour to the Great Oak Stage in London’s iconic park on Saturday 27 June
Joining the most talked about artist in the world will be very special guests ELLIE GOULDING and JOHN NEWMAN.
BRIT and MTV Europe awards winner ELLIE GOULDING is one the UK’s best selling female artist having sold almost 20 million records worldwide. Her last album ‘Halcyon/Halcyon Days’ topped the UK chart, went top ten in the US and she has just had a UK top ten single ‘Outside’ with Calvin Harris. Ellie was one of the special guests Taylor Swift brought onstage in Los Angeles during her RED tour; the pair duetted on Ellie’s hit ‘Anything Could Happen’ and also her UK #1 ‘Burn’.
British soul sensation JOHN NEWMAN is currently working on the follow up to his UK #1 album ‘Tribute’ which featured the number 1 single ‘Love Me Again’ and was a top ten hit all over the world. Like Ellie, John has also worked with Calvin Harris scoring a UK chart topper with ‘Blame’ earlier this year.
Taylor Swift is the essential pop star headlining the essential event of 2015. Her critically acclaimed sell out 2014 RED worldwide tour saw her play five sold out shows at London’s The O2. With career record sales in excess of 30 million albums and almost 80 million song downloads, Taylor is the only artist in history to have an album hit 1 million plus first-week sales in the US three times (with 2010's Speak Now, 2012's RED and 2014's 1989).
Now in its fourth year, Sundown festival has played host to many of the biggest names in music, and this year was no exception. Returning as headliners for the second time, Chase & Status closed the Saturday night, while Ellie Goulding closed the festival on Sunday.
But all the fun actually begun on Friday night. After waiting nearly 2 hours in the queue for my friends to get their wristbands, we eventually made it to the campsite, with aching bodies from carrying everything for so long.
We weren’t going to let that stop us though, as the Big Top opening party proved to be one of the highlights of Sundown. New to 2014, the action kicked off at 5pm, but after a few drinking games, we joined the growing crowd of energetic teenage ravers a few hours later. Commercial house tracks and big room EDM bass drops were the soundtrack to the party, consisting of ‘Backstreet’s Back’ being mixed into Martin Garrix ‘Tremor’ – certainly not something you hear every day, a dubious Nirvana remix and some old classics in ‘You’ve Got The Love’. It all made for a great night, with an impressive laser light show shining up the packed tent.
We also checked out some of the stools selling funky sunglasses, hipster shirts, bum-bags galore and the festivals best-seller, judging from all the lads wearing them, – black printed bandanna’s.
The morning after, the campsite looked like a bomb had hit it – especially the far from sanitary toilets located at the bottom of the campsite. But that’s all to be expected, in fairness there was the option to pay an extra £25 to get some brilliantly titled and much cleaner VIPee toilets for the weekend if you wished.
Entering Sundown’s main site just in time to see Disclosure and Tinie Tempah collaborator Sasha Keable perform on the main stage, it was a nice ease back into the party spirit to cure our near-hangovers. Sasha Keable’s sound is mainly synth led electronica with an impressive vocal laid over the top of each track. Performing tracks from her debut ‘Lemongrass and Limeleaves’ E.P, ‘Living Without You’ showcases her powerful vocal range and ‘Sweetest Talk’ takes influence from Jessie Ware’s soulful R&B sound. ‘Careless Over You’ creates the first sing-a-long moment with Sasha’s voice climbing over the rolling drum and synth beats. It’s the collaborations with Zinc and Disclosure which get the biggest cheers and sing-alongs. ‘Only For Tonight’ pumps up the party atmosphere with air-horn sounds just in time for set closer ‘Voices’, with the crowd jumping and singing back every word. Already signed to Tinie Tempah’s Disturbing London label, a few more releases and Sasha Keable will soon be a household name.
Also on Tinie’s label are All About She, who perform next. The London based UK garage three-piece are made up of record producers James Tadgell and Jon Clare and singer Vanya Taylor. It’s Vanya who grabs everyone’s attention though, with a similar stylish appearance and voice to Estelle, she wastes no time in showing off her vocals. ‘I Can’t Wait’ is a highlight, while new feel good track ‘Beyond Heaven’ hears Vanya work the crowd singing “Sundown you take me there” before asking “where are all the lovers at, put your hands in the air.” ‘Like That’ sees Vanya dedicate the track to a birthday girl on the front row before the trio end their set with the song everyone’s been waiting for. ‘Higher (Free)’ still sounds as fresh as when it was released last November and reached the top 20 in the UK. Sung a capella for the first chorus, it’s given an emotive re-work before the garage beats kick in which return ‘Higher’ to its original club-ready state.
Before Foxes takes to the stage, there is an unwilling yet entertaining twerk off to Nicki Minaj’s new single ‘Anaconda’ between Kiss FM DJ’s Michael and Tania, who introduce each act and deserve praise for building the hype effortlessly. Foxes bounces onstage, looking ever the pop star, in a dress and massive sunglasses. Aside from the music, Louisa is loved by, females who want to be her, and males who want to be with her. The whole set is a highlight. Performing the main singles from her debut album ‘Glorious’, including ‘Youth’, ‘Let Go For Tonight’ and ‘Holding On To Heaven’, each song receives mass sing-a-longs with fans arms waving in the air. She’s not bothered by the worsening weather either, which she has experienced the worst of after a storm engulfed her set at Nottingham’s Splendour festival in July. Instead she shouts to the crowd, “fuck the rain”, and they oblige, continuing to jump with her. ‘Clarity’, her massive Grammy award winning collaboration with Zedd goes down a treat and proves one of the weekend’s biggest sing-a-longs.
Meanwhile, over at the Big Top tent, house music lovers are being treated to the best in the business, with the whole day hosted by Defected Records! Earlier in the day Copyright and Cristoph have bass heavy sets before Food music label boss Shadow Child. But it was Second City and Mark Kinchen who provided the best sets of the day. Second City aka 27-year-old producer Rowan Harrington took the crowd on a journey of commercial to more underground house hits including a remix of Breach’s ‘Jack’ (who would play the same stage later), his collaboration with Route 94 ‘Freak’ and his own track ‘I Enter’, but sadly his brilliant new collaboration with Ali Love ‘What Can I Do’ doesn’t get played. Ending with his recent number one piano-house smash ‘I Wanna Feel’, everyone’s hands wave while their lungs are given a full workout much to Harrington’s happiness.
Later, Marc Kinchen, whose set is swapped with Sam Devine’s, draws a massive crowd to the tent. Opening with a dub of ‘My Head Is a Jungle’ before recent single ‘Always’, MK is joined by four less than covered dancers waving fans in front of their face, creating the Ibiza atmosphere, when in reality we’re inside a sweaty tent.
Chase and Status, who headlined Sundown festival back in 2011 returned to close proceedings on Saturday night. And what a show it was. An intense laser light show, a number of unexpected special guests and some insanely heavy drum & bass, dubstep and everything in between made it the show-stealer of the weekend. Performing tracks from all three of their albums and some older material, it was a career spanning set with each track sending the crowd absolutely crazy. I’ve actually never seen more mosh pits throughout a set. And it just gets even more out of control when Tempa T pounces onstage to rap his part in ‘Hypest Hype.’ Later, British singer Jacob Banks is welcomed onstage to provide his soulful sing-a-long vocals to ‘Alive’. Moko appears large as life in the background video appearing to jump out of the screen during ‘Count On Me’, similarly with Plan B seeming to smash the screen during ‘End Credits’ and ‘Pieces’. Set closer ‘Smash TV’ from the duo’s 2008 debut album ‘More Than Alot’ made for the perfect end to their genre defying set!
Sunday hosted a far more pop orientated line up on the main stage while well respected drum & bass label Ram Records took over the Big Top. On the main stage, three-piece M.O, who are receiving regular plays on Radio One from the likes of Mistajam, are bringing the 90’s girl band back! They’ve toured with Little Mix and recently signed with Universal in the US – and it’s not hard to understand why. Arriving just in time to catch the last two songs of their set, the first is an impressive cover of Beyonce’s ‘Drunk in Love’, made completely their own. The second is new single ‘Dance On My Own’ with a garage beat which samples Sweet Female Attitudes ‘Flowers’ – one of the biggest UK garage hits from the 90’s.
Ex-The Voice contestant, Becky Hill, bounces onstage in a white crop top and sparkling Aztec skirt, making the most of the British sunshine. She described her sound recently as “leftfield, alternative, cool pop” and that seems fitting. Two Inch Punch-produced opener ‘Caution to the Wind’ is the perfect solo introduction to the world for Becky who I have been a fan of ever since she appeared on The Voice. Since then, she has achieved two number one singles in the form of drum & bass Wilkinson collaboration ‘Afterglow’ and recent house hit with Oliver Heldens ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ – both of which receive mass sing-a-longs during her set. You can’t help but love how down to earth she is, there are no airs and graces as she admits “my onstage chat is rubbish” after she cracks a joke about the sun being up for Sundown. She later tells the crowd “I’ve got a bottle of vodka in my room so I’m going to the RAM tent to rave it up” – she comes across as a typical partying teenager. Becky’s rise to the top has been stratospheric but she’s still the same loveable singer, as she tells the crowd, “I was recently working in LA and I got a call from my manager and he said, ‘Becky you’re number one”. She proves that she’s a real pop-star in the making during her next disco infused single, the MNEK-produced ‘Losing’ which she says is out in a few weeks. It’s safe to say that she gave the best live vocal performance of the weekend and I’ve already bought tickets to see her again!
Looking like Annie Mac and sounding similar to Katy B, Jess Glynne is the next rising female vocalist to perform. With two backing singers, a drummer, guitarist and keyboardist, Jess performs a set full of catchy pop hits in waiting. She asks the crowd, “did you enjoy my fellow husky, Becky?” much to the crowd’s applause. Jess gets straight into her recent number one with Route 94 in ‘My Love’ before it’s mixed into her second worldwide number one with Clean Bandit ‘Rather Be’, with both attracting mass sing-a-longs and smiling faces. “This is the last festival for us, so let’s go out with a bang”, exclaims Jess. Gorgon City-produced Set closer ‘Right Here’ which reached the top-ten saw the crowd swaying their arms and dancing along to the house beat.
John Newman appears like a young Elvis with slicked back hair and perfected dance routines from the start of his penultimate set of the weekend. Backed by a seven piece band made up including three female singers. The longtime Rudimental collaborator performs the majority of his debut number one album ‘Tribute’, taking the ever-growing crowd on a journey of soulful pop. Each track comes complete with John showcasing his beyond impressive footwork throughout set opener ‘All For You’, ‘Try’, and ‘Cheating’. It’s obvious that he’s a real showman with plenty of onstage confidence, treating the gig like a real show, saying “welcome to this evening’s entertainment”. During ‘Losing Sleep’ he throws himself and the mic around the stage before he pauses the song to shame a member of the crowd. “This guy’s trying to start a fight during my set. We’re not here to start a fight, we’re here to enjoy the music. Let’s put our middle finger up to him” – and everybody does. Back to proceedings and John gushes about his girlfriend, asking, “Did anyone see Ella Eyre earlier? That’s my other half” – of course everybody cheers. Later, John thanks the crowd for getting him where he is now, “We’ve done 38 festivals this season. It all started for me with Rudimental and it’s taught us that we’re ‘Not Givin In’”. The Rudimental collaboration sees John and the backing vocalists sing their heart out with John running along the front row of the audience to the lucky fans delight. Set closer, and number one single, ‘Love Me Again’, sees him fall to his knees at the end. John’s energy and showmanship far exceeded my expectations and I’d definitely recommend anyone to go and see him.
Ending the weekend was Ellie Goulding, who barraged through tracks from both albums ‘Lights’ and ‘Halycon’. Songs like ‘Figure 8’ and recent single ‘Goodness Gracious’ showcase Ellie’s unique breathy vocals. ‘Starry Eyed’ is dedicated to all of Ellie’s fans who have been with her from the beginning. Madeon-produced track ‘Stay Awake’ pushes Ellie’s vocal range to its highest and most impressive point. After a quick costume change, Ellie performs a chilled electronic cover of Alt J’s ‘Tesselate’ before switching to James Blake’s ‘Life Round Here’ – two breathtaking, somewhat haunting renditions. Picking up the guitar for an acoustic version of ‘Guns and Horses’, Ellie shows off her unmistakable vocal capabilities. Laughing she says, “It’s about the time where I like to do some voluntary movements which some people may call dancing” before pop hit ‘Anything Can Happen’. Teasing the crowd she jumps down to run across the front like John Newman did during ‘I Need Your Love’. Then comes the sad news, “This is my last show for quite a while and I’m not sure when I’m going to be back on tour”, Ellie genuinely seems upset but powers on through ‘Lights’ which sees everyone light up their camera phones, creating a special memory for everyone there. Finishing with ‘Burn’, Ellie signs off hinting at a return for the following year.
Ellie certainly won’t be the only one coming back to Sundown festival if this year’s brilliant event is anything to go by!
Summer Festival Guide parties alongside Salt-N-Pepa, Outkast, Sean Paul, Clean Bandit, Bruno Mars and over 50,000 people at Wireless Festival last Sunday. It is probably one of the biggest festivals in London and the UK in July 2014. Each year the line-up never disappoints. Summer Festival Guide headed to Finsbury Park to check out over 30 acts across three stages including Ellie Goulding, Naughty Boy, Rixton, Clean Bandit, Outkast or the headline for Sunday Bruno Mars.
Created in 2005, set across three days in two different locations (Birmingham and Finsbury Park), the Wireless festival organized and managed by Livenation attracts HUGE names, different genres and all sorts of audience. One stage you’re jumping along with Raileigh Christie, and the next you’re skaking and waving with Salt-n-pepa. The choice is great and yours.
I start my journey from the Pepsimax Stage looking forward to Raleigh Ritchie. DJ Westwood is doing an amazing job with the warm up. Raleigh Ritchie arrives like a storm directing at the audience “Today, we’re gonna do a lot of jumping” and we do. I left after the crowd pleaser track “Stronger than ever”. Raleigh Ritchie has lots of energy and great interaction with the audience, mainly due to his acting career (Acting name: Jacob Anderson). I meet him later for a chat in the Wireless VIP office. Leaving the Pepsimax Stage, I noticed one of the grossest things|: the urinals are next to the stage as if guys need to hear live music to pee. This is very unpractical, gross and quite disgusting as long as the day progresses. I can’t understand why Livenation agreed to have two major spots of urinals near stages as families walk around and young girls walk around to navigate from stage to stage. Stopping by the Main Stage, Alexa Goddard is singing “Marilyn” The singer signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation record later earlier this year.
Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Andrew Whitton
In the VIP area, Rixton, John Newman, Neon Jungle and Dominique Young Unique were interviewed and photographed in the dedicated Wireless area. The place is quite buzzing with new and fresh acts.
Heading back to the Main Stage, Salt-N-Pepa is now performing and what a performance. If the Americanhip hoptrio from New York is in the UK every 10 years, please let me sign right now. The sun is shining in Finsbury but they definitely bring the heat! They are engaging, sexy, funny and very happy to be there. They start thanking their 70s babies, 90s babies and the ladies singing a cover Arrested Development “Everyday People”. Everyone is bouncing, waving and singing. Next, it is a tribute to old school hip hop mixing new tunes like Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”, “Shoop” and “Shake your thang”. They continue with the Ultimate classic “Let’s talk about”. Cheryl James a.k.a Salt is wearing a clear skater skirt and a Salt-n-Pepa T-shirt with a gold belt whereas Sandra Denton a.k.a Pepa is wearing sexy black trousers withSalt-n-Pepa t-shirt with a tight ponytail. Deidra Roper or DJ Spinderella is in the back all in black.
Photo courtesy of Wireless Fesitval – Jenna Foxton
DJ Spinderella is in da house and is working the next dance session tracks starting with Montell Jordan “This is how we do it”. The two dancers on stage with Salt-N-Pepa are amazing: wearing red caps, Adidas tracksuits and Salt-n-Pepa t-shirts, they really interact the audience and show us some great moves. Asking all the ladies to “Shake their booties” on Sugarhill Gang Apache’s “Jump On It”. The next track starts with old school hard rock songs like: “Smells like a teen spirit” by Nirvana, “Sweet Child of Mine” of Guns N’ Roses with everyone going crazy on air guitar! “What a Man” is next for all the good men in the world. The last song had Beyonce’s “Run the World” as an intro but as soon as Salt-N-Pepa put their American Football jacket on, the crowd knew it was time for “Push It”.
After a really great time dancing and bouncing with Salt, Pepa and DJ Spinderella, I am heading back to the food section for a late lunch. Once again there is a great choice, from Lebanese Street food to Hot Chocolate station: Everything is set for to please all pallets and wallets. The Fresh Lemonade stand is having amazing success. My advice is to follow the queue! Water points are also available and in abundance. There is 2 tobacco shops with rainbow benches and a Medicine man truck where you can find sun cream, Anadin, paracetamol, cough medicine, sunglasses and even condoms.
By the time I am the VIP section to meet with Clean Bandit, John Newman is singing, “Love me again”. The Cirque du Soir entertainment is in full swing and the fire pizza stall has great success. It also smells Churros and Ben and Jerries’ van is popular as well. Heading to the Boombox Stage for Rixton: They are performing “Make out” and the crowd is very excited with lots of girl fans screaming. After Jake Roche wished a Happy Birthday to a fan they finished the show with their star main song “Me and my Broken Heart” – the ultimate crowd pleaser. The four-member Mancunian band is charming, cheeky and full of energy on stage.
On the way to Pepsi Max Stage, J. Cole is rapping “Crooked Smile” on the Main Stage. Dj Westwood is entertaining the crowd and asks to “scream for Clean Bandit”. Everyone is waiting for Clean Bandit now: Grace Chatto, all dressed in white is coming first playing cello. Followed by Milan Neil Amin-Smith playing the Violin and Luke and Jack Patterson on the drums and keyboard. Jess Glyne arrives first for “A+E” joined soon by guest Elisabeth Troy for “Heart on fire”. Another guest, Florence Rawlings comes on stage for “Extraordinary”. I had to leave before they performed by favourite track “Rather Be” but I really don’t want to miss Ellie Goulding concert. I arrive just in time for the last song of her show “Burn”. She is playing the guitar, wearing a flowery short and a crop top. Her performance is sincere, emotional and strong.
Going back to the VIP section, Le Cirque du Soir is still there entertaining the crowd and the food stalls are busy. John Newman and Harley "Sylvester" Alexander-Sule from Rizzle Kicks are chatting. I am now getting ready for Sean Paul back in the Pepsimax Stage. In front row, a group of ladies are waving Jamaican flags and DJ Westwoodis getting everyone hysterical. The show starts with two dancers wearing ethnic print latex jumpsuits. Followed by Diplo and Major Lazers, the tone is set. Sean Paul, proud with his Mohawk hairstyle,starts the show with “Temperature” and “Get Busy”. Bouncing, Jumping and dancing with a towel flying in the air, he gets the crowd crazy. After 30mns: direction the Boombox Stage to catch the end ofIndiana’s performance. The twenty five year old singer-songwriter Indiana has a very fragile and emotional voice, with interesting arrangements and lyrics. Unfortunately, It is quite quiet and the venue is nearly empty because people are gathering around the Main Stage for Outkast. They are reuniting to celebrate their 20th anniversary and they have not performed in the UK since 2002 and fans have been waiting for the gig! Andre 3000 is wearing a white wig beany, a black t-shirt with “I’ve never been to Africa” and Big Boi is wearing a cap, a gold chain and a black tracksuit. They performed their biggest hits like “Roses”, Mrs Jackson” and “Hey Ya”. One of the main disappointments is the lack or organization and aggression from Livenation security team. They seem to be more obsessed about the badge color to get to VIP areas rather than the actual safety of people. A group of young people notices a gap in the barriers and manages to get in the premises without passes. Security paid attention to the issue after 30 minutes. In the “In Da Zone” section, some celebrities like Tristan Wilds get the access denied and watch the show with the rest of us. Jade Thirwall and Leigh-Anne Pinnock from Little Mix snubbed fans to get their own seats in the pitch area as they only have “in da zone” passes.
Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Rachael Wright
On my way to Pepsimax stage, I stopped by the main Wireless Bar, the entire staff is singing and dancing on “Hey Ya” and really enjoying the show.The gig is disturbed by the heavy rain so everyone tries to find shelter and umbrellas. Before Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke is playing the piano for bluesy version of “Too Little, too late” inPepsiMax Stage. After each song, he is claiming his love to his wife Paula Patton, which is quite boring and intense. The next song is “Lock the door” showing his powerful and amazing vocal range.Robin Thicke is a great surprise as most of the crowd appreciates his talents as a songwriter, musician and singer. The blues and soul band behind him and the two back up singers really bring his songs to live giving a new dimension to the lyrics. The last song “Get her back” is dedicated, with no surprise, to his wife.
Passing by the tobacco shop near Boombox Stage, Naughty Boy is playing their last track “La La La”. By that time the rain just stops for Bruno Mars amazing performance. What a performer! He just does not disappoint. He even gets better with time! Arriving on stage wearing a white hat with a red flower, ethnic shirt and tight black trousers, he is followed by the Hooligans.
Phillip Lawrence from the Hooligans is next. Wearing round glasses, a black hat and red animal print shirt and black trousers.The Hooligans, they just mean business and start with the “Lazy song” with a ska twist. We are here for a great show. Bruno Mars starts talking to the impatient audience “London how you feel? London can we see your dance?” They sing, “Treasure” encouraging people to clap and bounce while displaying some serious foot action and choreography. We are on our feet!! Bruno definitely brings back the sun in London. Playing now the guitar for a “Money Medley”, he is singing “Money, that’s what I want” which brings us back to the cool 50s rock years for a few moments before switching to “I want to be a billionaire” with a reggae edge mixed up with “I need a dollar” of Aloe Blacc. At the end of the song, he finishes acapella twisting the lyrics with an English accent “I want to be a billionaire, so bloody bad” which the crowd absolutely loved.
Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival – Danny North
Asking the audience to move our bodies side to side slowly on “Out first time”. His vocal range reminds us of Michael Jackson. A beautiful rainbow is surrounding the Main Stage, which adds to the performance and mood. It is the calm before the storm as the crowd scream on the first notes of “Marry you” followed a cover of “Walk with you” of Michael Jackson before an emotional and genuine interpretation of “When I was your man”. After a long and amazing piano intro from Phredley Brown, Bruno Mars sings a rock version of “Grenade” followed by “Just the way you are”. Bruno Mars is now playing drums before “ Locked out of Heaven” which put an end with fireworks to the show. Bruno Mars is always praised for his retro showman and generosity on stage. With the help of the Hooligans and choreographed dancing arrangements, mellow and soft interludes, fantastic, fancy and slick footwork inspired by James Brown, we had a fantastic time. What an end of this three-day festival. See you next year Wireless!
First up on the elite list of larger festivals this summer was the Isle of Wight Festival. It was a rousing success all around, promising a vast array of acts to be seen, with what happened to be bright & consistent weather to make it that bit better. It was an event where as the adverts promoting the festival said, you simply had to ‘be there’. 50,000 festival-goers agreed & took the advice, making their way across the Solent on whatever method of boat travel they could find, camping gear at the ready. The festival is one of the few in the UK that has the most varied mix of musicians performing, from Red Hot Chilli Peppers & Kings of Leon to Cher Lloyd & Dappy, with Boy George in between. You get the picture.
On Day 1, it was the Thursday performance of the ever-exuberant & flamboyant Boy George whose soulful-sing-alongs propelled the early festival-goers into a flashback to the 80’s with hits such as his old band Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’ & ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’. The crowd most definitely didn’t want to cause any harm to the hit-maker, they loved his cheerful disposition & playful interaction with the clearly pleased audience.
On the Friday, it was up to the Scottish folk of Biffy Clyro & Calvin Harris to step up to the act of being headliners, & each did it spectacularly. Over the years we have gradually seen Biffy Clyro head further up the festival posters with their name getting bigger & bolder each time. In an explosive 90 minute set that clearly included a very talented technical team, the stage at times became a pyrotechnical dream- ablaze with fireworks & glitter, raging riffs and hard-hitting sentimental lyrics- something of a rarity some might say in rock music. Coming on stage at 9pm, it would have been better to see the visual impact of the display had they not performed in the daylight.
London based quartet Rudimental have had phenomenal success in the UK for a band with just the one album under their belts, but so it seems, they prove one album is all it takes. 2012’s album release ‘Home’ certainly brought home the goods for the audience who were treated to a mix of drum’n’bass, soul, & funk with added backing vocalists, rousing drums & a trumpet thrown in for good measure to add to the party. Hits like ‘Feel The Love’ really brought the crowd together, & with excellent crowd interaction from the band it was a magical moment for the audience, who made their hands into a heart sign throughout the feel-good song, drunk festival-goers included, some attempts looking more blob shaped than heart shaped.
Hit-maker Calvin Harris closed Friday night in the coveted final slot of the main stage. Mr Harris has ploughed up to immeasurable amounts of success with the record-breaking album ’18 months’, & his large spectrum of collaborations has been the real ingredient to his popularity with dance fans around the world. During his DJ set, robust vocals from Rihanna to Florence Welch could be heard to name a few, with smoke machines & laser lights beaming out onto the euphoric crowd. A remix of last year’s headliners The Killers- ‘When You Were Young’ was played to add an element of surprise to the set, otherwise it may have been abit too predictable, he has been very busy performing over the past few years & a lot of his sets have been televised after all. All in all, a spectacular set from the Scottish DJ.
Away from the main stage there was talent to be seen in the Big Top stage, in the form of uber-cool Katy B. Belting out hits into the humid Isle of Wight air from acclaimed album ‘Little Red’ with striking synths throughout, Katy reminded us why she’s a sell-out in both gigs & album sales with a brilliant mix of stage presence, crowd interaction & electronic-infused songs that made a brilliant set list.
Saturday’s at festivals are always the big ones. Halfway through so you sort of feel disappointed it’s half over already, & then you remember the great bill ahead of you on Saturday morning & don’t feel so bad after all. The weather was a lot cooler, which some might say is a good thing, but those clear blue skies had diminished. Non-the-less, the vibe of the festival was still upbeat, with festival-goers saying they were enjoying themselves. The Waterboys made an appearance to fill in the unusually seen genre of Irish folk at the festival, & merrily played uplifting songs such as ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ & ‘Whole Of The Moon’, using less commonly seen instruments such as fiddles, violins & harmonicas, it was a refreshing change. I’d liked to have seen more interaction, but it may have been they were not used to main stage slots at large festivals & felt slightly overwhelmed.
Next up was the fabulous John Newman, a man with motown, retro RnB & soul in his (very) dancing feet. A brilliant blend of upbeat tap-your-toes songs combined with melancholy-filled ballads about heartbreak, he packed a lot in to the 40 minute slot that brought the audience almost on an emotional journey, some feeling the obvious meanings of the songs to Newman. When he left the stage you couldn’t help but want an encore, but like the band that made him famous, Rudimental, he too has one album to his name, but in a few years’ time I can see him doing longer & more varied sets with big-name collaborator’s perhaps joining him on stage. The crowd pleasing summer anthem from last year ‘Love Me Again’ was the right song to choose to end an excellent & energy-filled set.
Later on was the band thousands had travelled high, low & far away for. After a seven year hiatus from performing at a festival in the UK, Californian based Red Hot Chili Peppers made a triumphant return. Eccentrically bounding around the stage playing universally-known hits such as ‘Can’t Stop’ & ‘By The Way’, their energised performance made the crowd go wild at times, exactly what a classic rock band who headlines should do. From lead singer Kiedis’s rap-singing in parts to the funk-infused riffs, it was a you had to be there set, & those who were torn between the headliners & the world cup England match made the right choice if they avoided the later. (A match they lost anyway!). Perhaps what made this set so enjoyable clearly by both the band & crowd was the fact that it was something of a rarity & they aren’t regulars. That’s what made it so anticipated, & overall, the Chili’s certainly didn’t disappoint. Although arriving 15 minutes late & not playing ‘Under The Bridge’ may have put a downer on some, perhaps some will wonder if that lateness contributed to them not playing the iconic song, but speculate or not, it was a superb set, & one can hope they can start planning a UK tour soon.
On the final day of the festival, we were all treated to a performance from the red arrows. Causing a load of colourful synchronized smoke to grace the skies, it was a few moments where you saw more necks than faces from people looking up in wonderment, only to then get back to the hustle & bustle of the festival deciding on where & what to see next. The final headline performance was from festival regulars Kings of Leon, clearly an expert in this field, quite literally, from their vast experience of festival performances. Playing hits from their six studio albums to date, from up-tempo songs like ‘Supersoaker’ & ‘Fans’ to the obvious major hits like ‘Sex on fire’ & ‘Use Somebody.’ Caleb Followill’s yowl gave raw intensity to the set, with an added genius moment of guitarist Matthew Followill playing the opening riff of more mid-paced track ‘Closer’ with his teeth. As the final song of the festival came to an end, arms were put around each other, & appreciation was obvious for Kings of Leon with cheering & clapping echoing around the stage & beyond. Now it was time to get back to tents, & our ones.
After a long weekend of music, rides, balloons, bubbles being blown, alcohol, a surprisingly good selection of food, & seeing people dressed up in odd unusual costumes, it was time to pack up & go. The Isle of Wight Festival is so worth the travel from afar if you live miles away like I do, it’s one of the very few festivals where you really feel like it’s worth every penny with the high amount of quality bandssingers your seeing. After this year’s success, Isle of Wight Festival 2015 will have a lot of living up to do, organisers best get planning!
This unique festival now in it’s 14th year is an established event on the Wakeboarding circuit with contenders travelling from around the world to compete in the pretty tourist village of Abersoc, a haven for the sailing and surfing community on the North Wales coastline. Growing in popularity over the years and attracting a youthful and increasingly diverse crowd of stylish music lovers, the festival now encompasses some of the best new music talent from the UK and beyond with an exciting mix of stars from the indie, folk and electronic club scenes.
This year WAKESTOCK GŴYL Y MOR (Festival of the sea) 2014 will hit the shores of Cardigan Bay from the 11th – 13th July, with a thrilling line up of festival headliners; TOM ODELL, FRANK TURNER & THE SLEEPING SOULS and JOHN NEWMAN.
The partying crowds will also enjoy not only the best of British music, but a bounty of great comedy, poetry, arts and hospitality with a range of food and drink from across Wales. This year guests can also look forward to a daytime programme filled with entertainment and activities for the whole family including workshops, amazing art installations, a fantastic fairground and a celebration of Welsh music, art and culture.
The festival takes place over three different sites in close proximity. The music festival site is set in a stunning location with camping, glamping and Tipees available, whilst the pretty Pwllheli Marina and heavenly Abersoch Beach play host to the Wakeboarding and Watersports activities.
Festival Organiser Stuart Galbraith says;
‘’Wakestock is 14 years old this year and we’re super proud of its history and the various line-ups we have brought to North Wales. We’ve been busy thinking of ways to evolve the festival this year and so alongside our usual star names from the world of music and fantastic sporting action we have also decided we want to widen our reach and encourage the whole of the Llyn Peninsula to take ownership of the event and get involved. Our first step is the addition of Gŵyl y Mor to the top line festival name as a celebration of our unique geography on one of Wales’s most beautiful coastlines. We’ve got fresh new artwork and we have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline so keep checking our website and social media for news and more. On a wider note Wakestock Gŵyl y Mor is not just the Llyn Peninsula’s festival but a festival for the whole of North Wales to enjoy. We can’t wait for the summer already’’
FRIDAY NIGHT HEADLINER: TOM ODELL Last year Tom’s critically acclaimed debut number 1 album, Long Way Down went gold, he won the BRITs Critics' Choice Award in early 2013, with two Brit award nominations for the Best British Breakthrough Act and Best British Male Solo Artist.
SATURDAY NIGHT HEADLINER: FRANK TURNER, the former punk rock front man, who started out in the dirtiest, smallest clubs, relentlessly touring, is now filling arenas following the success of ‘Tape Deck Heart’, his album release late last year… which captured not just the mood of a generation, but the moods of at least three generations with his emotive, heart on sleeve lyrics and devil may care approach to love, loss and waking up still at the party from the night before.
SUNDAY NIGHT HEADLINER: JOHN NEWMAN is high on a wave of euphoria himself right with two No 1 singles, a number 1 album, collaborations with fellow chart toppers Rudimental and two Brit awards nominations. His sound blends the raw feel of Sixties soul with the thick pulse of modern pop and the energy of piano-driven house music.
Clean Bandit, Duke Dumont, Razorlight, Gorgon City and Frightened Rabbit will also be performing on the main stages across the three, day event with more great acts and some very special guests still to be announced.
Having already confirmed Haim and The 1975 for Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks, some of the world's biggest artists have been confirmed to join them on the summer islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.
Ed Sheeran, Bastille, Tinie Tempah, Skrillex and Bombay Bicycle Club (Ibiza Closing Party) plus critically acclaimed champions of the live scene Rudimental, John Newman and Clean Bandit have been added to the 16 week-long line up, kicking off on 03/06. Support slots come courtesy of exciting new talents Wolf Alice, Breton and Chloe Howl, with more to be announced.
The summer long season will open in style with a headline performance from HAIM, supported by hotly tipped band for 2014, Breton. The 1975 take on week 2 with support from NME’s Best New Band nominee Wolf Alice.
Newly confirmed to keep the party vibes in full flow in June is Yorkshire lad John Newman. The 3 x BRITs nominee shot into the spotlight after writing and singing on two of the biggest dance tracks to smash into the UK charts in years: Rudimental’s Feel The Love and Not Giving In. Debut #1 solo single Love Me Again is a taste of the huge, melodic hits fans can expect from John Newman’s highly anticipated debut set, supported by BBC Sound of 2014 nominee Chloe Howl.
July will see the welcome return of Tinie Tempah, back by popular demand. With his high-octane, high energy, explosive live sets packed with huge hits Tinie Tempah knows exactly how to work the crowd. Embarking on a UK tour in March including a show at London’s O2, Tinie Tempah will have one seriously slick set to showcase back in the Balearics. Speaking of the shows, he said: “I am happy to be back doing Rocks for the 4th time! This is always a great show, can't wait!”
From releasing quintuple platinum debut album + in 2012, Ed Sheeran has been recognised as one of the most genuinely talented and successful singer/songwriters of recent times. Grammy Awards, Q Awards, Brits and Ivor Novellos, Ed Sheeran has clocked up them all with his all-encompassing appeal. Huge hits fill emotionally charged sets fused with unexpected risks and surprises. From being championed by Jamie Foxx to opening Rocks in 2012, to selling out Madison Square Gardens and being hugely in demand on a global scale, Ed Sheeran knows what he loves, everyone loves what he does and he’s coming back to Mallorca and Ibiza Rocks in July to do just that.
Ed Sheeran said:"I played at the Mallorca and Ibiza Rocks opening parties 2 years ago and had a lot of fun. Looking forward to getting back out there in the sun and playing some of the new songs this summer!"
Brits British Single winners Rudimental and British Breakthrough winners Bastille pulled off an epic mash up of their huge hits Waiting All Night and Pompeii at this year’s Brit Awards and both acts are Balearic bound. Rocks championed Rudimental long before they hit the big time and booked their debut Ibiza show in 2012 at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel where they stayed, partied and played, big time! It will be a proud moment to have these boys back, bigger than ever, for what will undoubtedly be one of the seminal moments of the summer, from one of the best live acts on the planet right now.
Rudimental said:“We can’t wait to head back to Ibiza Rocks this summer. It’s one of our favourite venues in the world and our show in 2012 was too much fun. Don’t miss this one people, Ibiza here we come!!”
Since debuting at Rocks last year, Bastille went on to be the biggest selling new British act of 2013, with platinum-selling debut album Bad Blood topping the charts and infectious single Pompeii becoming the second most streamed song of the year (just behind Daft Punk’s Get Lucky). After smashing it stateside then being nominated for 4 x Brit Awards back on home turf, Bastille have officially been crowned British Breakthrough of the year.
Bastille’s Dan Smith said: “We can't wait to play Ibiza and Mallorca Rocks again. The gigs were both loads of fun last summer so we're really happy to have been asked back this year."
It will be from stateside to poolside when 6 x Grammy award winner Skrillex takes to the open-air stage at the Mallorca Rocks Hotel for an exclusive headline set in August. This electronic imagineer comes with way more than an killer set – there’s shimmering LED walls, 3D lights shows, pyrotechnics and a relentless thirst to create a live experience of ever-increasing drama and spectacle. This show takes the music landscape in Mallorca to a whole new level – a first for Mallorca, a ‘must see’ ONLY at Mallorca Rocks and a massive statement to what Rocks brings to the resort.
Clean Bandit made their Rocks debut supporting Ellie Goulding last year and then kicked off the very first Ibiza Rocks the Snow event in Meribel In December. They’ve since scored a UK #1 single with Rather Be, selling over half a million copies in the UK alone and staying at the #1 spot for 4 weeks running. Now one of the UK’s finest new bands move from the piste to the poolside to make their headline debut at the Rocks Hotels in August.
The Ibiza Rocks closing party will be headlined by a classic Rocks band, Bombay Bicycle Club. The London four piece supported Biffy Clyro at Ibiza Rocks in 2010 and returned as worthy headliners in their own right the following year. Back with UK #1 album So Long See You Tomorrow, Bombay Bicycle Club will create the climax to what will be a phenomenal summer of live gigs under the Balearic stars.