Henley Festival 2018 brings Grace Jones, Rita Ora, Nile Rodgers & Chic plus more

As the UK’s only black-tie boutique festival, Henley Festival is glamour personified, offering Michelin starred food, award winning comedians, Turner Prize nominated artists and the biggest names in popular, world, jazz and classical music. Many festival goers arrive by boat, and the green lawns of the festival are transformed into a Great Gatsby vision, as black tie clad revellers spill across the festival site, champagne in hand, while fireworks explode overhead.

2018 Lineup















Established 36 years ago as a classical music charity event, Henley Festival continues to be run on a not for profit basis supporting charitable projects at both a national and local level. This year proceeds from the festival will go to two charities. Dedicated to supporting young people with depression, and encouraging discussions around mental health, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust was set up in memory of a young man who took his own life whilst suffering from depression. The Teenage Wilderness Trust supports students who find it difficult to engage with mainstream education by offering reengagement courses using bush craft, wilderness learning techniques and practical life skills to encourage students to get back into learning. 
Following the release of her long awaited album in Spring 2018, Rita Ora will open Henley Festival 2018 on the Wednesday night. The global pop star, with four No.1 hit songs to her name, including Radioactive and I Will Never Let You Down, will get the UK’s most glamourous festival off to an explosive start with her 2017 hit singles Kiss Me, Your Song and Anywhere.  


A lifelong provocateur Grace Jones will light up Henley Festival with her energetic headline set that is guaranteed to include a string of costume changes and dance-club hits including her acclaimed reinvention of Piaf’s classic “La Vie En Rose”. One of the world’s most iconic women, singers, songwriters, supermodels, actresses and infamous Bond Girl, Grace Jones’ daring and original headline set will be one of the highlights of the festival.  
Among music legends, Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. He amplifies his legacy as a multi-Grammy-winning composer, producer, arranger and guitarist by constantly traversing new musical terrain and successfully expanding the boundaries of popular music. As the co-founder of CHIC, Rodgers pioneered a musical language that generated chart-topping pop hits like "Le Freak," sparked the advent of hip-hop with "Good Times,” and won CHIC eleven Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominations. More recently he has worked with Daft Punk, Avicii, Disclosure, and Sam Smith.

Saturday night at Henley Festival will see Curtis Stigers and The Ronnie Scott’s Big Band present ‘Sinatra At The Sands.’ Internationally acclaimed American jazz vocalist Curtis Stigers will channel the hip, swinging chemistry of Frank Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra for a brilliant night which will fly the Henley audience to the moon.
Henley Festival will close in true style on the Sunday night with one of the UK’s foremost opera companies the English National Opera performing with soloists, full orchestra and chorus and under the baton of ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins. Their repertoire is taken from many of the greatest operas including Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro, Madam Butterfly, Turandot and La Traviata as well as a little Gilbert & Sullivan to top the night off.  
The 2018 comedy line-up is set to be bigger and better than ever, with the likes of Paul Merton, Lee Nelson, Lucy Porter, Mark Watson and Dominic Holland among the biggest names of the 25 comedians performing at this year’s Festival. The comedy line up will also include a very special evening of unscripted, unrehearsed and spontaneous comedy from Dead Ringers’ impressionists Jon Culshaw and legendary comedy producer Bill Dare in their sell-out show The Great British Take Off. In addition, up and coming comics including Suzi Ruffell, Pierre Novellie, Rhys James, Flo & Joan, Alfie Brown and Adam Rowe will also be keeping audiences entertained as well as jaw-achingly funny cabaret from Tina C and Vellma Celli.
Henley Festival’s very own Jazz Club in the stunning Spiegel Tent offers dining and live jazz music before and after the main headline act. Credited for helping kick off the Swing revival in the early '80s Ray Gelato and the Giants will open Henley’s Jazz Club on Wednesday night. On the Thursday Pop Noir songstress Purdy will be performing, local to Henley, Purdy has supported Lana Del Ray and Jools Holland. Friday Night will see the high-energy Soul/R'n'B band The Staks Band comprised of virtuoso players working with some of the music world’s biggest artists, the band have a lineage that defies easy description. Saturday night will see performances from King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys whose dazzling musicianship and riveting stage performances will get the crowd jiving stomping and swinging, finally on Sunday Miss Kiddy and the Cads, will provide sensational live jazz, swinging beats, toe-tapping finesse and a lot of laughter to transport you straight to 1945s swing town, bringing Henley Festival’s Jazz Club to a high octane close.
BBC Music Introducing was created in 2007 to support unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar musicians. Henley Festival is hugely excited to be working with BBC Music Introducing discovering breaking acts from the region, all of whom have featured across the BBC network before. 
Pearl, TN is a British country band with bittersweet songs of love and regret featuring Harriet James on vocals that are pure as a mountain stream. Inspired by American country artists including Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings this is one country band you don’t want to miss. Lorne is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Berkshire who released his debut EP Maze on 24th November 2017. With a sound that is a cross between Bon Iver, Brandon Flowers and Damien Rice, his gentle melodic pop and soft rock is a beauty to behold. Alex Green is a songwriter from Reading, previously the front man of the band Attention Thieves. He takes inspiration from artists within such genres as folk, country, blues and rock. Cecil is an alternate indie pop artist from Berkshire. Her debut E.P was released in April 2017 and received support from BBC Introducing, BBC Radio 2 and several other radio stations. Her debut album is due out this summer and with her music being compared to somewhere between Lana Del Rey and Kate Bush she is definitely a one to watch in 2018! WolfNote is a new acoustic folk and roots quartet from Berkshire comprising multi-instrumentalist Mike with his gammy leg, violinist and vocalist Ceri with her dodgy back, guitarist and vocalist Gill, also falling to bits and cellist and vocalist Bex, a crazy cat lady.
Enter The Bedouin Tent for a taste of global world music as well as home spun British folk at its best. World Music comes from Senegalese band The Coute Diomboulou Band led by Cissokh use traditional instruments including the kora, tamma and djembe  expect an extraordinary mix of mbalax and afrobeat grounded in African traditions. Son Yambu play authentic Cuban son, the intoxicating fusion of Spanish and African rhythms that gave rise to salsa. They give this irresistible music a contemporary edge, bringing their audiences a truly, sensational, authentic Latin music experience. The Bikini Beach Band begins with one man – Jesus C. Escovedo – guitarist, revolutionary, ladies' man and 1956 All-Mexico Surfing Champion (for real). Expect rockin surf sound and chilled 1950s Mexican beach vibes. Trovador is a flamenco fusion trio with influences from Brazilian and classical music based in UK, providing a performance full of rhythm, passion and grace. Powerful and uplifting music from the virtuoso duo of guitarist Matt Sullivan and percussionist Jo May; Against the Grain will dazzle you with their stunning musical skills and exciting performances. Stirring the styles of West Africa, South America and Spain, Jo and Matt create an original blend of musical flavours.
Henley will be presenting up and coming folk music names in the Bedouin Tent including “alt-bluegrass” act The Coal Porters who demonstrate the foot stomping power of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and doghouse bass when matched with four-part harmonies. Winner of the 2009 BBC Young Folk Awards, Megan Henwood began writing songs in her early teens including her poignant song about relationship/abuse “White Lies”, from her debut album “Making Waves”. Firmly established in the roots scene, Maz O'Connor is a folk force to be reckoned with, the simplicity of her music recalls the starkly beautiful Cumbrian landscape of her childhood.  Solasta are an outstanding folk ensemble known for their inventive arrangements, unique sound and exhilarating live performances. Comprised of award winning fiddler Elisabeth Flett, cellist Hannah Thomas, and guitarist Jamie Leeming, their dynamic interpretations of Celtic based material are rooted firmly in tradition. Art Deco Band Le Bistrotet was formed as the result of recordings made for the soundtrack of the Oscar winning movie, The Theory of Everything, expect classic Vaudeville and European café-bar music.
For the 2018 festival, Michelin starred chef Angela Hartnett MBE will be taking the reins of Europe’s biggest field restaurant, creating a bespoke menu exclusively for Henley, at the Riverside Restaurant. Angela Hartnett’s astonishingly creative, flawlessly executed dishes focus on purity of flavour and reverence for ingredients. Angela Hartnett commented: “I am absolutely delighted to be working closely with the Henley Festival for the first time and to serve the food that I love at such a great and iconic event.” A festival for food lovers, Henley caters for all tastes offering a huge number of restaurants and pop ups from street food to fine dining. Restaurant’s popping up at the festival will include Crooked Billet, The Spice Merchant, and Brasserie @ Jazz Club in the Speigltent, alongside street food from BBQ club, Snob Lobster, Jessecco Prosecco, Pizza Express and Audacious Crispy Squid, and champagne and cocktails from Moët Champagne Bar, Black Cab Coffee & Cocktails, Hotel du Vin and many more.
Henley Festival is one of the very few festivals to showcase art work from some of Britain’s most talented artists photographers and galleries. Henley is hugely excited to announce that this year, the festival will be showcasing work from the Turner Prize nominated artist and Royal Acamadician David Mach, Britain’s father of landscape photographer and founder of the Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards, Charlie Waite, award winning sculptures Rosamond Lloyd and will also be collaborating with the contemporary art curator and aboriginal art collector Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi. More artists, galleries and curators will be announced later in the year. 
And while the festival is an adult only event, Sunday daytime sees the festival turned into a huge playground for families and kids of all ages, with activities and entertainers, who captivate and enchant. 2018’s Family Sunday offers balloon making, glitter tattoos, music lessons, comedy for kids, toddler disco, choir performances as well as fantastic entertainment from TV favourites Mr Bloom,  Mr Danger and Fun & Gamz.
Henley Festival is topped off each night by a jaw dropping overhead firework display. In 2018 the fireworks display will be designed by Titanium Fireworks, the team who have put on some of the UK’s biggest firework shows in the last decade including the 2012 London Olympics, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the London New Year’s Eve Fireworks display and Hogmany in Edinburgh, as well as pyrotechnics for some of the biggest names in music including Adele, Will Smith, Coldplay and Take That. Henley Festival is currently the only music Festival which Titanium work with.

Drake closes Wireless Festival’s 10th anniversary with a bang

Canadian rapper Drake finally made it back to London's Wireless Festival after a cancellation last year and it was well worth the wait!  With the sun shining down on London's Finsbury Park and the crowd at full capacity, Drake wastes no time in getting into his new single Legend off his latest album 'If You're Reading This It's Too Late' and instantly reminded the crowd what they were missing.  With vocals in full swing and the crowd bopping up and down, Drake trawls through his massive catalogue of tunes including, Trophies, We Made It, Crew Love, Tuesday, The Motto, Hold On Were Going Home, Started From the Bottom, Take Care, Energy and more!

In full swag mode and working the crowd into the palm of his hand, Drake connects with the fans by constantly reminding them of his love for London, his second home he pronounces.  Covering the stage floor and giving the entire crowd love, Drake's showmanship is like no other!  There is no ego, and its plain to see that he is as happy to be here as is the adorning crowd.  With a set full of pyrotechnics and the stage transforming to a Jungle midway through, Drake is clearly in his element commanding the stage solo for the majority of his 80 minute performance.

All in all, it was quite a fitting end to what was brilliant day at the 10th anniversary of Wireless Festival, with Rita Ora, Katy B, Chance the Rapper & Public Enemy all playing amazing performances. 

Photo by Andrew Whitton courtesy of Wireless Festival

Drakes full set list is here:

  1. Intro
  2. Legend
  3. Trophies
  4. We Made It
  5. Headlines
  6. Over
  7. Crew Love
  8. Star 67
  9. 6 man
  10. No Telling
  11. Blessings
  12. Tuesday
  13. My Way RMX
  14. Motto
  15. Truffle Butter
  16. 6 God
  17. Worst Behaviour
  18. Jungle
  19. How About Now
  20. Find Your Love
  21. Take Care
  22. Hold On
  23. 0 to 100
  24. All Me
  25. HYFR
  26. Started from the bottom
  27. 10 bands
  28. Know Yourself
  29. Energy
  30. Legend



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.



New Look Wireless 10th birthday party feat Drake, Rita Ora and more

This year New Look Wireless Festival brings together a host of massive names for a warmup party to mark the decade long Wireless Festival in London.  Coming to London for Wireless 10 on Sunday 28th June will be headliner Drake who will pull a double and headline New Look Wireless Festival as well the following weekend.

Joining Drake will be Rita Ora, Katy B, Chance the Rapper, Public Enemy, Kid Ink, Big Sean, Black Star, Raekwon & Ghostface Killah, De La Soul, Jhene Aiko, G-Easy & ILoveMakonnen!

Following this massive party will be New Look Wireless which takes place from the 3rd July to 5th July.


A$AP Rocky
Major Lazer
Duke Dumont
Joey Bada$$
Maverick Sabre
Fuse ODG
Krept & Konan
Lethal Bizzle
Collie Buddz
Travi$ Scott
Ms. Dynamite
Little Simz
OCD: Moosh & Twist
Jermain Jackman


Kendrick Lamar

Mary J Blige
Knife Party
Childish Gambino
Gorgon City
Jess Glynne
DJ Mustard
Robin Schulz
Raleigh Ritchie
Bad Rabbits
Sinead Harnett
Ady Suleiman
Nick Brewer
Etta Bond


David Guetta
Nicki Minaj

Jessie J
Clean Bandit
August Alsina
Charli XCX
Wretch 32
Rae Sremmurd
George The Poet
Grandmaster Flash
Arrested Development
Pusha T
Jacob Plant
Tove Styrke
Tori Kelly
Special Performance by Jaden & Willow Smith

Full Radio One Big Weekend Norwich lineup announced

On this morning's BBC Radio 1 Breakfast ShowScott Mills announced the line-up for Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015, taking place at Earlham Park, Norwich on 23 and 24 May – including Foo Fighters and Muse who will headline the event.

Some of the hottest UK and international acts will join them to perform at Europe’s biggest free ticketed festival which brings the whole nation together for one weekend of amazing live music.

Joining headliners Muse to perform on the Main Stage on Saturday 23 May alongside the already announced Florence + The Machine are 5 Seconds of SummerDavid GuettaBen HowardThe VaccinesFall Out Boy and Charli XCX.

Alongside Foo Fighters, who will headline the Main Stage on Sunday 24 May and Taylor Swift who has already been announced, Sam Smith,Rita OraGeorge EzraClean BanditOlly Murs and Imagine Dragons will also perform.

Snoop DoggRudimentalJess GlynneHozierYears & YearsElla EyreSlavesMallory Knox and Circa Waves will all perform onSaturday 23 May on the event’s In New Music We Trust Stage.

On Sunday 24 May, the In New Music We Trust Stage will host performances from Jamie TAlt-JSigmaCatfish & The Bottlemen,JungleJames BaySOAKRaury and Lower Than Atlantis.

Matt Bellamy from Muse said: “I’m very excited to play. The last time we played Big Weekend, for us it was a disaster, so I can’t wait to make up for it on this performance. I’m really looking forward to coming back and doing a great show. I’m pretty sure that we may unveil another new song that we will play for the first time which is pretty exciting.”

Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters said: “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to come out. I don’t really think we’ve ever played there before so I’m looking forward to it.”

Jess Glynne said: “My first Big Weekend in my own right and what a line up to be a part of. I can’t wait to play Norwich with my band and let you hear some of the songs from my new album. It’s going to be big.”

Ben Cooper, Controller, Radio 1 and 1Xtra said: “Radio 1’s Big Weekend will be fantastic – great music, great fun and a great location.”

The line-up for the BBC Introducing Stage will be announced in Huw Stephens’ show.


V Festival Preview 2013

With festival season in full swing, V festival returns this weekend with its fun loving atmosphere and a line up to suit a wide range of music tastes. Headlining the festival this weekend will be superstar diva Beyonce and Grammy winning American rockers Kings Of Leon.

Kings of Leon

As well as this the festival, which takes place between August 17 -18 at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, Essex and Weston Park in Staffordshire, will include a huge number of other amazing artists including world famous DJ’s Steve Angello and Calvin Harris, who will headline the 4Music Stage across the weekend.

Other acts to look out for over the weekend include: Jessie J, Emeli Sande, The Script, Stereophonics, Rita Ora, Labrinth, Basement Jaxx, Ellie Goulding, Fun and Tom Odell.

And if you fancy a break from the music why not check out the Glee Comedy Tent where Eddie Izzard is confirmed as the headline act with other acts including Josh Widdicombe, Jon Richardson and Paul Chowdhry also performing.

The sold out festival looks set to be a massive success once again, providing spectators the opportunity to dance to some of the best DJ’s around, rock out to some quality bands and also have a good old sing song with arguably the biggest female star in the music industry.

So it is definitely a festival you will not want to miss!!  

‘Selfies’ to find Next Models’ for the face of Sundown Festival


The official model agency of Sundown Festival, Next Model Management – one of the world’s biggest agencies – have opened the search for one lucky guy and girl to become the new face of the UK’s most exciting new music festival, and ‘selfies’ are the way to enter

The ‘Next Face of Sundown’ model competition runs from 11 July – 22 August 2013. One boy and one girl will be chosen from the entrants on Instagram and given a VIP package to attend Sundown Festival on 31 August – 2 September in Norwich with a friend

Jessie J

To enter, hopefuls should Instagram ‘selfie’ shots @nextmodelmgmt using #NEXTFACEOFSUNDOWNUK where all entries will be carefully reviewed by Next Models’ top international scouts. One boy and one girl will then be invited to Sundown 2013 to meet Next Models in person and attend the festival in VIP style

The prize package includes an introduction to Next Model Management, with the chance to sign globally, two tickets to Sundown Festival 2013, a camping pitch (which are now sold out) and a VIP Pass which gives weekend access to the ‘Bank Fashion’ hospitality area

Example and Jessie J will headline the festival, with the likes of Rita Ora, JLS, Wiley, DJ Fresh, James Arthur, Union J, Naughty Boy, Jaguar Skills and many more also set to perform the main stage. Rinse FM and Hospitality will host Stage 2 with sets from superstar DJs including Skepta, Redlight, High Contrast, Zinc, Netsky, Danny Byrd, Nu:Logic and Huxley, while Circus, Color and Hed Kandi will host the campers-only after-show Warehouse parties. For the full line-up, visit sundownfestival.co.uk

“This competition is a great way for guys and girls all over the UK to be able to get in front of our model scouts, it’s so easy to just snap a photo of yourself and upload it to instagram. If you have always wanted to find out if you could be a model, this is the perfect chance for you” says Ross Young, head of New Faces at Next Models London

Sundown Festival spokesperson, Dion Clements comments: Fashion and music go hand-in-hand so, following Sundown’s hugely successful partnership with Next Model Management in 2012, we’re delighted to renew and develop the relationship further

Global Gathering 2013 Review

Global Gathering set at Long Marston airfield in Stratford Upon Avon, Home to biggest UK Electronic music festival. Global Gathering is currently in its 13th year and holds some of the biggest names in both the UK Charts as well as world wide legends; such as the great Paul Oakenfold, Steve Aoki, John Digweed, Sasha, Chase and Status the list is endless, it also perfectly sets up new comers to the electronic world looking to get their big break with such a diverse range of sounds and people it is definitely not one to miss. Global Gathering was ranked best Dance Festival 2012 this year was another chance to let loose and set your energy levels to full power! This years main stage headliners include.. Example, Plan B, Rudimental, Disclosure, Katy B, Afro Jack, NERO, Delilah, NetSky. 

This wholesomely delicious festival starts on Friday and ends Sunday morning so unlike most typical festivals doesn’t run through the whole weekend. The sheer amount of incredible names packed into this event means you hardly stop! going from tent to tent seeing all your favorite artists provides you with an all you can eat buffet of the best the electronic scene has to offer. 

Global Gathering 2013

This years event provided the 35,000 people with some great stages along with some great home made stages like the Global Freight Deport which is made into a corridor of freight containers with a cutout for the DJ in the far end. The Bunker which is just as it sounds is a concrete shelter providing you with acts such as Kidnap Kid from Sheffield and many more. This stage is designed for those up and coming artists looking to project themselves to a perfect target audience with a fruitful mix of House, DnB and Dance.

With such a big crowd turn out, organization of this event is of the upmost importance. This year went very smoothly there were however a few bug bears around marshal presence when arriving and leaving the festival which would have made a lot of peoples journeys much quicker and stress free along with large queues at the water points which lacked signage. Other than that the facilities were very good, lots of toilets and food wagons with vast ranges of different delicacies. Girls with chairs offering massages near the main arena was wonderful idea if your sleeping without an airbed and wake up feeling a little stiff. For those who bought VIP Camping tickets had the option to use showers and had a closer water point. This also meant you are closer to the festival itself so if your not a fan of walking long distances from campsite to arena this is a must for 2014. 

Along with the Global Freight Deport and the Bunker one very important stage I haven’t yet mentioned is the anticipated GodsKitchen Fusion Cube which was one of this years most anticipated of all the 9 Main tents. Covered in LED panels and equipped with all the best party weapons, Multiple CO2 Jets, confetti canons, multi coloured Laser systems it was one of the best places to be! Especially watching the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Markus Schulz, Ferry Corsten and more the atmosphere at stages of every performance was so intense it makes your hair stand on end, and shivers run down your spine. With the beat running hard and fast it will burn the sensation of what it is to take part at Global Gathering into your mind forever. 

Playing peak daytime on Friday only suited to a main stage were Disclosure in full glory of the rare British summer, the young but infinitely talented Brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence smashed an incredible set with a very energetic and endless crowd. Playing their electro-sweet sounds of ‘White Noise’ in current charts this year hitting number 2 UK Singles chart but then in Uk Dance hit number 1.

Friday nights performance from Plan B set the main stage and festival atmosphere to 

an ever electric finale, making the best of the beautiful remains of the sun setting slowly over the hill at Long Marston Airfield illuminating the heads of the thousands gathered to watch the last main stage performance, before making their way to one of the other tents for the after party. Plan B played their Number 1 in 2011 for the R&B Charts UK ‘She Said’ 

Rita Ora performing on the 1Xtra stage Friday night, with some interesting props that included men dressed in what looked like gas masks with make shift ghost buster outfits firing CO2 from their pulse guns showered the crowds with a cool wind. While the beautiful Rita Ora dressed in a Pink leather body suit with a triangle hood singing her chart smashing collision with DJ Fresh who produced ‘Hot Right Now’ which reached number 1 in 2012.

Rita Ora @ Global Gathering 2013

Example hit the stage in poring rain bringing with them an ever impressive light show playing some of the new and some of the original work. Ending beautifully on ‘Changed the way you kiss me’ bringing with the final line a burst of pyrotechnics from the main stage illuminating the pooling field of die hard soaked fans. 

I cannot wait for 2014 Global Gathering rain or shine will always put a smile on your face and give you some amazing memories. There are always such a great number of amazing artists its one of the biggest and best highlights of the year. There are alot of festivals out there that could learn a great deal from Global Gathering! 

Photos by James Bridle from Global Gathering 2013 here

Wireless Festival 2013 Review – Saturday

This year’s Wireless Festival had announced a lineup so spectacular that expectations were riding high when Jay Z and Justin Timberlake were set to close out all 3 days of Wireless, Justin on Friday, Jay Z on Saturday and the both of them performing their “The Legends of Summer” tour on Sunday.
Brooklyn born hip hop megastar Jay Z attracted a sold out 60,000 people to the main stage arena to close out Saturday night and he did not disappoint.  Looking slick in a plain white shirt and customary gold chain, he kicks off with ‘Public Service Announcement‘.  With the crowd in unison chanting HOV, this is just the beginning of his 70 minute set.  Announcing that his new album Magna Carta has gone number one in the UK, he dives straight into ‘Tom Ford’, one of the latest singles from his new album.  With one million giveaways of his album to Samsung customers, you can tell enough of the crowd have had a good listen to Magna Carta as they all sing along with him.
We immerse ourselves in the crowd to listen to ‘Empire State of Mind’, another new track ‘Picasso Baby’, and ‘Run this town’.  Jay Z‘s smooth lyrical delivery and ability to control the crowd reminds us why he is still one of the hottest rappers in the world.  Jay Z’s set is flawless and as the night comes to a close we are treated with an appearance by Jay’s Wireless headliner partner Justin Timberlake to perform the opening track on Magna Carta ‘Holy Grail‘.  The crowd goes absolutely mental as Justin’s silky voice hits the right notes on the first chorus to ‘Holy Grail‘.
Wireless Festival
Photo courtesy of Wireless Festival
Earlier in the day, there was a special guest set to perform in the Pepsi Max Arena and we got there just in time to see that it was UK rapper Tinie Tempah.  By this stage the tent was so packed that we made use of the outside screens to get a glimpse of the man that was a huge drawcard for the festival two years ago.  ‘Drinking from the Bottle‘ and ‘Pass Out‘ blast through the sound system as the crowd bounce up and down inside and around the tent.
Scottish songstress Emile Sande impressed with notable songs “Heaven” and “When I sleep” being my highlights of the set.  With the crowd singing alongside her as the sun begins to set over London, Emile is the perfect act to warm the crowd up before hiphop superstar and headliner Jay Z.
I have been a huge fan of Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar and was pleasantly surprised to see just how popular he was as a massive crowd packed into the main arena to see the West Coast lad bust out his hits from his album including album titled ‘M.A.D.D City‘, ‘Fu*kin Problems‘, ‘Money Trees’, ‘B*tch dont kill my vibe‘ and ‘Swimming Pools‘.  His chilled style and his seamless delivery of his tunes make him quite a different rapper to watch live than many others I have seen before.  If you haven’t yet heard his album or seen him live then I highly recommend it!
Rita Ora was on hand to make sure the crowd was ‘Hot Right Now‘ as the sun basked down in London on what would be one of the hottest days of the year.  Her rendition of The Neptunes ‘She wants to move‘ and Notorious Big’s ‘Big Poppa‘ & ‘Juicy‘ was a surprise but the crowd lapped it up and mashed to her music.
Wu Tang influenced Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed earlier in the day bringing their fast paced rapping and high energy performance to the Wireless crowd.  Number one hit’s ‘Thrift Shop‘ & ‘Can’t Hold Us‘ had the entire arena singing as the crowd thoroughly enjoyed the newcomers set.
Even though Wireless Festival had moved from the more central location of Hyde Park to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, there was no denying that this years festival was up there with one of the best Wireless Festival’s yet.  With no rain in sight and the sun beaming down over the entire weekend, the iconic Olympic Park site proved to be the perfect setting for a weekend of amazing music and festival entertainment.

Wireless Festival 2013 – Saturday Live Update!

We are on-site at the Yahoo Wireless Festival today in London reporting live for the Summer Festival Guide.  Keep an eye out here on who we are seeing backstage, the latest performances from today's lineup including headliner Jay-Z and much more!

13:00: We are en-route to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, its slightly overcast but the overall forecast is for a burning 30 deg so make sure you bring your sunscreen and your best summer atire!  Remember to keep hydrated!

14:20: Just arrived on-site at Wireless, the main stage area is already packed to the sounds of DJ Fresh who has the crowd jumping with "The Power" and a remix of White Stripes "Seven Nation Army". 

15:45: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis come out to the Wireless sunshine and run through their hits "Thrift Shop" and their current massive hit "Can't Hold Us".  Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is basking in this sunshine and the crowd are completely up for everything coming at them today.

So far we have sat down and talked to Taboo from Black Eyed Peas who performed in the Pepsi Max arena early and saw olympic gold medalist James Degale enjoying the music!

16:30: Up on stage is Miguel who is back for his second Wireless performance after a smashing performance last night.  Playing a similar style set as last night, the crowd was treated to his reindition of "Stir it Up" and more!

17:00: The crowd is building up for the enterance of compton rapper Kendrick Lamar.

17:30: Sat in the blazing sun we catch the begining of Kendrick Lamer's set.  With his DJ commanding the crowd to through their "W's" in the air, Kendrick comes out swinging with the title track of his Album "M.A.D.D city", and going through hits A$AP collaboration "Fu*kin Problems" and into "Money Trees" and "B*tch dont kill my vibe".  Kendrick's coolness and chilled out style on stage flows into the crowd.  Standing in the middle of the audience I see heads bopping up and down and W's being thrown up in the air.

Wireless Festival 2013

18:30: Rita Ora is blowing up the main arena with her massive hit "Radioactive" and has now just got the crowd literally jumping out of their clothes for "Hot Right Now" with a special apperance by DJ Fresh who was on the stage earlier on.  

18:40: We just got word that the special guest on stage in the Pepsi Max arena is no other than Tinie Tempah!!!!

19:00: Rita Ora is belting out covers of The Neptunes "She wants to move" and surprises the crowd with some Biggie Smalls "Big Poppa" & "Juicy".

19:10: With word that Tinie Tempah is at the Pepsi Max arena spreading through the crowd, I make my way through the main stage over the bridge to the tent.  As I proceed closer, I can hear the sounds of "Drinking from the bottle" blasting from the speaker stacks.  The arena is so crowded that people spill out about 10 meters deep from the tent!  I manage to get a glimpse of Tinie on the video screen in an outside tent.

19:45: Scotish songstress Emile Sande immediately commands the stage with her massive hit "Heaven" and then into "When I sleep".  With the crowd singing alongside her as the sun begins to set over London, Emile is the perfect act to warm the crowd up before hiphop superstar and tonights headliner Jay-Z takes to the stage.

21:00: The crowd has flocked to the Main Arena to watch headliner Jay-Z take to the stage.

21:20: 60,000 are on hand to see Jay-Z hit the main stage.  Looking slick in a white shirt with a huge gold chain, he kicks off with the crowd singing anthem "Public Service Announcement".  With the crowd chanting H.O.V. this is just the begining of what is set to be a memorable performance.  Announcing that his new album Magna Carta has gone number one in the UK, he kicks off with "Tom Ford", one of the latest singles from his new album.  We emerse ourself in the crowd to listen to "Empire State of Mind", another new track "Picaso Baby", and "Run this town".  Jay-Z's smooth lyrical delivery and ability to control the crowd reminds us why he is still one of the hottest rappers in the world.  

22:30: The majority of the crowd still remain to see out Jay-Z's performance when he introduces suprise guest Justin Timberlake to perform the first track of his new album Holy Grail.  The surprise is one that gets the crowd going crazy and singing along to the track.  The night is signed off with Jay and Justin both walking off the stage and the crowd making a swift exit to get home.