Wilkestock Festival 2018

Wilkestock is one of the best annual events in the small festival scene. Returning for it’s 11th year, the festival provided possibly the best line up that it has ever had.  For those who aren’t aware, Wilkestock is situated at Frogmore Hill just on the outskirts of Stevenage in Hertfordshire.  The tiny  festival consists of a main arena scattered with recycled sofas, two bars, and also several other stages around the outline of the main arena, all constructed from straw bales. No bricks and mortar needed! Wilkestock even introduced a brand new addition for 2018, the “Home Grown” stage.

This years’ event basked in glorious British sunshine for the whole weekend which was perfect to lie back, relax and enjoy a cold brew to watch the huge array of bands on the multiple stages. On arrival to the site and after picking up my press passes for the weekend, security had ensured to do a full bag search to ensure everyone’s safety.  Wilkestock, unfortunately have had security problems in the past, although for this year’s fun filled weekend, they appeared to have stepped up their game.

Of course aside from the stage points, the festival also provided appropriate bathroom facitlies, a camping area- with a fancy shower block making it’s debut this year, a childrens area including crazy golf and inflatables to play on, also stalls including sales of traditional festival attire and accessories and also a glitter tent where everyone could treat themselves to a sparkly makeover (this small tent was run by some very jolly people and artists). Surprisingly this small sparkle filled tent often filled with men. It was great to see them walking around with crystals on their faces and glitter filled beards. One thing that stood out for the glitter stall was that all the glitter that was used was biodegradable and is made from plant sources.  Very eco friendly. And I can’t leave out the food court! Oh my goodness, there were some simple, yet amazing food on offer at this festival.  I sampled many, many seasoned sweet potato fries, a pizza (which in my opinion was a little over priced at £8 for a simple cheese and tomato stone baked pizza so there isn’t much to them, although still tasty), and also noodles. The Chinese/oriental cuisine vender served some delicious meals and even though I opted for the simplest most plain option on the menu – I think it was even called plain and simple noodles (which was also a vegan option), but it was big in flavour! So Wilkestock provides ticket holders with three days of great live music variety.  The whole weekend just kept giving, with brilliant performances from all.  Although I have chosen to highlight my top acts for each day of the event.

Friday 31st August 

Day one of Wilkestock 2018 was opened by grunge/rock band Tigress.  The five piece from Chelmsford took to the Main Stage to perform their edgy tracks including, “Paranoid”, “Hangman” and more. Unfortunately during their set, they were faced with a few techicnal difficulties so there were occasionally left in silent pauses while not much happened on stage to fill the silence.  Although the band did make light of the teething problems and were able to continue with their set fully, with no further hiccups.

Continuing with a heavier style of rock music, Defences put on an unusual performance. I can kind of liken their music to a combination of Evanescence meets Linkin Park perhaps.  Roaring male vocals and softer female vocals to assist.  The band released their debut album last year and appear to be doing well in the music scene.

Later in the afternoon the Bella stage opened and also had a great variety of artists. One I particularly enjoyed was Bedfordshire based all male pop/punk band Behind The Lines. Not only did they perform some awesome tracks, they also packed out the tent for the duration of their entire set!  If you like music from acts such as Bowling For Soup, Sum 41 or maybe even Blink 182, then this band will probably be one for you to check out.

Later in the day, I also got to see a great set performed by Radio 1 favourite, Fizzy Blood. A rock/alternative band who are currently making their way up into the music world. They also actually sound far better live than recorded in my opinion.  So if you get the chance to see them live, then I reccomend you buy a ticket.

The most stand out act for me on friday was Glasgow based rockers The Lafontaines.  Taking to the Main Stage, their set included mostly upbeat feel good catchy music, which got many people up off of their rather comfortable sofas.  At one point the band’s front man even leapt down from the stage to take a walk around the main arena.  He also decided to literally couch surf before leaping off of one of the recycled furniture pieces. Thanks to our photographer, there is an epic jump shot of this exact moment.  We managed to catch up with band after their set backstage and their singer was rather impressed with this photo that we had managed to capture.

Friday evening also saw another big techincal problem. Unfortunately the festival was left in darkness and almost silent as the main generator had failed (rumour had it).  This had affected almost the entire site, including the food vendors appliances. In total this issue lasted for around half an hour, although during this time the Bella Stage at the back of the site was still able to generate power. So even though the poor Main Stage was hung out to dry, the feel good party vibes continued in the Bella Stage.  Despite the rather large technical hitch, people really weren’t too bothered.  Everyone was still in high spirits and were happy to chug down their drinks from their refillable plastic cups.

Thankfully with the efforts of the organisers, volunteers and production teams, the generator was back up and running.  The site was once again lit up with light and a buzzing electric energy. Everyone was more than ready to welcome the evening’s headline act, Mallory Knox.

The Cambridge based alternative rock band were anticipated by many.  I for one, was very much looking forward to seeing them perform live.  They have had a lot of airplay over the years, particularly from the very popular BBC Radio 1.  As expected, they put on a brilliant show for us all to see, although there wasn’t too much movement on stage from the band, there was an array impressive laser light shows accompanied by smoke machines and performances of all of their well known hits including, “Black Holes”, “Ghost In The Mirror” and personal favourite of mine “Shout At The Moon”. 

Saturday 1st September

Although a little tired from Friday night’s frivolities, myself and our photographer headed back for day two of Wilkestock!  Saturday was opened by this year’s local Battle Of The Bands winners Slap.

Slap were shortly followed by the band Fiende Fatale.  Their set was just a tad eccentric and I won’t lie, the singer’s appearance was somewhat different to say the least.  With smeared bright red lipstick (putting The Joker to shame) and a vest covered in hot dogs, the vocalist dominated the space he had with his on stage antics and interesting lyrics in the band’s music including a song titled “Vegan Cocaine”. An unusual act, but it totally works, they seemed to be quite popular there that day.

Another act worth mentioning is Wilkestock veterans The Scruff.  The band have been very well recieved in previous years while performing at the festival.  The band’s lead singer Adam, opened their set with probably the most amusing statement of the weekend “I’ve had a stella for breakfast and a hash in the van on the way here, but who cares? The sun’s out!”. The Scruff have returned to the festival fresh from playing at this year’s Reading and Leeds Festival. During their set we heard songs including the band’s current single “White Flag” and the very emotional “Her”.  They ended their set with a brilliant instrumental piece before exiting the stage.

There is one act that cannot be forgotten wherever they go.  They always leave their mark. The act I’m talking about is the very bonkers Strange Bones.  There is no other place to be for this band except on the main stage.  The band, from Blackpool, brought in some impressive crowds to surround the main stage as they performed.  Before this band had even entered the arena to perform, our photographer had said to me “The singer is known for jumping into the crowds”.  Low and behold, he was spot on!  The singer leapt from the stage numerous times, not only to perform and just be part of the crowds of people but also to just lie back and crowd surf too.  As their segment went on they were still pulling in new onlookers to join the masses in the main arena.  There is only one way to describe a live music set from Strange Bones, and that is loud, lary, madness!

All female rock band PINS brought a different vibe to the day. It was a performance to showcase girl power. I heard many people infront of me using that phrase over and over again. With two band members looking like love children of Sia and Lady Gaga, they certainly brought something different with their style of music, including heavy guitar riffs. Halfway through their set the bands drummer gave us an impressive intrumental solo. The main vocalist had great onstage presence and was often seen standing up on the drumkit platform to perform.

After a fantastic performance just two short years ago, the festival welcome back Eliza And The Bear. They have just finished a tour to promote their newest album “Group Therapy” which is due for realease in October this year. As anticipated just as they did two years ago they proved to be a very popluar act within the Wilkestock community. As far as the eye could see people could be seen up on their feet dancing, even on platforms and props scattered around the grounds. We got to hear performances of their singles “Lions Heart”, “It Gets Cold”, the almighty anthem that is “Friends” and not forgetting an awesome cover of Earth Wind and Fire’s well known hit “September”.

Saturday evening was brought to a close after a performance from headline act The Fratellis.

Sunday 2nd September

Althought their was a variety of performances on the Sunday the atmostphere was far quieter and much more relaxed. Performances included sets from Minnie Birch, Didi, Zoe Phillips, Crystal Tides and more. The final act on main stage came from Oh My God! It,s the Church! What a way to end an awesome weekend!

Throughout the entire weekend inbetween each act there were also DJ sets from DJ Adam O and Matt Crawley which encouraged giant, not necessarily pitch perfect sing-a-longs.

Wilkestock Festival is an event that you will unlikely be dissapointed by, with affordable ticket prices and alot to offer as there is something there for everyone, no matter what your taste in music may be.

Don’t forget to check out the Wilkestock site for more information and next years tickets here!

For more photos by Kane Howie check out our flickr page here!

 

Wildfire Camp is back for its third instalment!

Wildfire Camp is back for its third instalment. Set in an “an ideal summer hideout” in a Kentish heritage forest, it’s an immersing blend of adventure and music, perfect for a weekend away from the pressures and banality of modern life.

The idea is to spend the daytime tackling (or at least giving it a decent crack) any of the 80, enriching activities put on for all. There’s something for all abilities, tastes and passions, from bushcraft to adventure sports, arts, crafts and engineering, all included in the price and which can be booked in advance.

After an energising day packed full of fun and satisfaction, the setting sun brings a different side out of the camp; then comes the wildfire. The festival is transformed into a “a hedonistic utopia of live music, crazy fun and unabashed revelry.” The diverse array of music has been curated by the award-winning team behind LeeFest, especially for such a setting.

Be warned, Wildfire Camp operates a “analogue-only” policy, which means no smartphones, no tablets, no laptops, which in turn leaves idle scrolling, trashy selfies and work emails back in the real world where it belongs.

“Wildfire Camp is a challenge Only the Curious can meet.”

NEW ACTIVITIES FOR 2017: 

Extreme Hill Rolling (Zorbing):

“Ever wondered what it's like to be trapped inside a ball and flung at 30 miles an hour downhill?” Not really, but let’s do it anyway because it sounds like a laugh. For those in the know, this is “old fashioned rolling on a hill.. taken to the extreme.” Hang on. Before you get straight to buying tickets, there’s more. There’s even a competitive element. It sounds wacky as. I’m not even sure I fully get it but basically you have to roll over/into different targets to accumulate points and apparently you can get “splattered.”

Bow Battles:

Billed as “paintball but with bows and arrows.” This is starting to get wackier by the second. This is an “intense and exciting combat sport” in a deathmatch-type situation. Expert instructors are on hand to load you with the tricks and skills needed to survive; ducking, dodging and even plucking whizzing arrows from the air on the way to your face. 

Hemp Ice Cream Making:

“It's all about making your own ice cream from hemp,” to paraphrase just a little. All the hemp is grown in the forest. This place is like The Beach. 

Wild Obstacle Course:

Wet and wild obstacle style. “Test your skill and strength or simply flail wildly through it in a fit of laughter,” depending on your personality, and get caked in shit in the process.

Hammer Horror Mud Run:

Another mud-mad bit of deathmatch shenanigans this time escaping famous monsters of Western culture, trying to grab your tags (three in total, representing your heart, lungs and brain, as many as two of which are wackily expendable). If you fail to keep hold of your tags, uh oh, better get a mask on and join the other side!

Wild Game Cooking:

“Grill wild venison on our open campfire under the guidance of our survival experts whilst listening to some seriously extreme adventurers tell their treacherous tales of travel.”

And there’s all these old chestnuts thrown in as well: High Wire Rope Course, Leap of Faith, Bee Keeping, Scavenger Hunt, Archery, Extreme Water Slide, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Sign Language, Wood Fired Hot Tubs, Survival Skills, Rifle & Pistol shooting, Swing Dancing, Jewellery Making, Meditation and Mindfulness, Pioneering,  Aerial Circus, Macramé and Nipple Tassel Making!  And much much more. 

For a full list of activities: www.campwildfire.co.uk/adventure

Tickets are available now at: www.campwildfire.co.uk/tickets  .

Wildfire Camp is a challenge Only the Curious can meet.

‘This is utopia’ – Noisey/Vice

Full Final Bill for FIB – Benicassim!

Not long now til we, you and a stellar line up of the biggest bands in the world head to the coast in Spain for the 22nd edition of FIB Benicàssim.

The amazing 2016 line up is now complete and includes exclusive shows from some of the biggest and best names in rock, pop, electronica, hip hop, indie and beyond.

Your  only chance in Spain this summer to see very special festival headline shows from Muse and The Chemical Brothers, to witness the biggest rap act in the world right now, Kendrick Lamar liveto dance to the massive hits of Disclosure and Major Lazer or to check out the legendary Massive Attack.

Beyond these, there’s the some of the greatest new acts around like The 1975 &  Catfish And The Bottlemen, indie tunesmiths like The Vaccines and the Maccabees, the best in electronica from Jamie XX, John Talabot (Dj Set) and more. Pop? Jess Glynne. Grime? Skepta

Something for everyone including some of our favourite Spanish acts, Hinds, Dorian, La Habitación Roja…

FIB Benicàssim 2016 – 100 acts and four days and nights you’ll never forget. The greatest bands in the world and YOU at the festival of the year!

 

For ticket info and the timetable of acts, check out their website. 

MINT festival adds Skepta & Zed Bias to 2015 line-up

Adding to an already stelar assemblage of electronic music heavy weights, MINT Festival are excited announce some further additions to their 2015 line-up. 

Sunday the 20th September will see the unstoppable grime MC Skepta come to the Wetherby Racecourse, playing the Detonate + Jungle Jam arena alongside the likes of Sub Focus, Shy FX and Cause & Affect

Also on the Sunday, MINT Festival welcomes the legendary Zed Bias, an artist who has been pushing the underground bass scene forward for the past two decades. Zed will present his 'Madd Again' LIVE showcase, featuring MC's Trigga and Killa Benz, expect a big, bashy, grimey affair.  

Skepta and Zed Bias will join a wide range of electronic artists over the two day event, including Sven Vath, Green Velvet, Ricardo Villalobos, Skream, Maya Jane Coles, Todd Terry, Seth Troxler and many more.

Tickets can be purchased online NOW at www.mintfestival.co.uk.

 

 

Fierce Panda Summer Showcase- Longfellow & Masakichi

Last night Fierce Panda hosted their Summer Showcase in The Oak Room at Covent Gardens 'The Hospital Club; comprising of two of their signings, 'LONGFELLOW' and new signing, ''MASAKICHI'.

 

Having heard their new single, 'Spring' on Soundcloud I was eager to see 'Masakichi' live, to see if they were able to recreate the dynamic range from their released tracks, and put simply- I was not disappointed. The five piece from London played a flawless set from start to finish, combining soft droning verses with shatteringly heavy choruses, laced with tonnes of groove and subtle uses of compound time signatures, the harmonies between Hannah Cartwright and Hattie Williams really polishing off what was a tight, and solid performance.

 

If you are like me, and you can't really listen to vast amounts of Post-Rock instrumental bands without yearning for vocal melodies and harmonies, I would recommend checking out Masakichi. Their instrumental arrangements have all the epicness and dynamism of atmospheric Post-Rock, while filling the void often left by other bands through their use of melodic vocal lines, and harmonies.

 

Their Album is out September 18th, and can be pre-ordered from Fierce Panda Here.

 

Check out MASAKICHI HERE.

 

LONGFELLOW, an established Fierce Panda act took to the stage shortly after, and cracked straight into a set full of incredibly well written, upbeat pop songs from their latest release. Having been blown away by Masakichi's set, I had high expectations for Longfellow. Although I wasn't disappointed by their performance, I felt that there was a lack of emotion and passion during the first half of their set, their cover of 'Elastic Heart' by Sia not managing to capture the raw emotion of the original and falling into the back of the room, Owen Lloyd's vocals unfortunately getting lost in the arrangement.

 

New single 'Choose' introduced a welcomed melancholy and emotional track into their set which really stood out and addressed my prior issues, the downbeat song really conveying the pain of emotional stalemate and cyclical relationship routines in a raw pop song. Ending their encore with 'Medic', Longfellow managed to prove themselves as a versatile act, thoroughly dismissing my prior reservations, and providing me with songs stuck in my head while on the train home.

 

Longfellow's New EP is available to pre-order from Fierce Panda Here.

 

Check out LONGFELLOW HERE.

 

 

2000Trees 2015 – Full Review

If I was going to tell you that I knew anything about the 2000Trees festival as I was stuck on a hellish drive down from London on Thursday, it would be an outright lie- the small festival on the outskirts of Chelt enham has managed to evade my personal radar for 8 years since it’s inception and having learnt about it last year, I can count myself lucky enough to have attended this year. Still, besides all of the hype from previous years’ attendants, I had not entirely decided on what I should expect.

The modest capacity festival is hidden deep in the Gloucestershire countryside, complete with rolling hills, bleating flocks of sheep, and and an idyllic river running around the edge of the site, and even though we were lucky with the weather (A welcome change from the usual rain of the UK festival scene) the scenery would have stood up and still looked beautiful regardless.

Unfortunately arriving later than anticipated, and due to the lack of advertising for Thursday’s acts, we missed some of the earlier performances. However, Thursday night saw the Indie rock and rollers, THE SUBWAYS draw close to the day’s music with their explosively energetic performance at ‘The Cave’ while ANDREW O’NEIL headed up ‘The Croft’ with his Schadenfreude style of comedy, somewhat appropriately referencing to the late Bill Hicks in his set, to warm reception.

FRIDAY

I kicked off Friday’s music with a punt on a completely new band to me – BITE THE BUFFALO, and how glad I was that I did. Comparing the 2 piece from Bath, England; to Royal Blood would be short sighted, as the Blues outfit brought filthy riffs, bluesy overdrive, and confident ballsy attitude and stagemanship, yet an honest humility that cemented them as my favourite act of the weekend.  ALLUSONDRUGS treated a modest crowd to their blend of Indie rock and acid infused prog, switching seamlessly from one to the other.  Heading up to ‘The Croft’ I had planned to catch some of SAM RUSSO’s set whilst escaping the peaking sun- the Singer-songwriter providing a nice contrast from Allusondrugs, allowing those who chose to get respite from the sweltering sun with a calm background of songs about love, friendship and moving on. Having only intended to catch a bit of his set, I ended up staying for the whole thing. Back on the main stage, TAX ON HEAT continued the stage’s bluesfest with sweaty and groovy 70’s era licks, with a stage presence that wouldn’t be out of place on a bigger stage, with a bigger crowd. Catching a bit of DEAD HARTS set over lunch at the Cave Stage, a welcomed heavy and tight performance was only dampened by the Sheffield rockers insistence on perpetually insulting the crowd, and trying to goad them into movement. NOTHING BUT THIEVES brought a massive crowd to ‘The Axiom’, the first act of the day to pack out the tent, fans sprawling around outside singing along to their set.

The main convenience of 2000trees scheduling is that most of the line up is staggered over the stages, meaning you only ever have to choose between 2 acts to see or easily catch half of both sets enabling whole days of tent hopping and the potential to (talking in extremes here) see every act (or if you realise that you are in the wrong place entirely, to avoid every act.) I spent a bit of time in the hidden ‘Room No.7’ to sit down and chill out on a sofa, with the sounds of ACOLLECTIVE bouncing across the site.

Back to the Main Stage, and YOUNG GUNS had already seized control of their crowd, with frontman Gustav Wood commanding their crowd with professional bravado that one would expect of a band of this caliber, while the band behind ran a tight ship, as the stadium filling hits kept coming. Headliners DEAF HAVANA, making a welcome return after a self realised absence kicked off their set with ‘The Past 6 Years’, before packing out their set with most of their more recent hits, with the whole crowd throwing back the lyrics right back at them. Humbled by the crowd’s staggering response, an emotional James Veck-Gilodi apologised for their recent absence and with the promise of a new album, a headline tour and new drive and enthusiasm for Deaf Havana, before closing off their night with nostalgic anthem, Hunstanton Pier.

The night didn’t end there for the people of 2000Trees, however. Silent discos then kicked off across the site at the Main Stage and The Cave, whilst The Axiom provided silent cinema until 3am, and acoustic sets around the site on the various busk stops and down at The Forest kept those who missed out on headphones for the silent activities entertained until around 1am, or until they staggered off into the night.

SATURDAY

Saturday’s music kicked off with an unusual act on the Main Stage, HUMAN PYRAMIDS. Described as Neo-Classical meets Post-Punk, Axe’s Paul Russell’s brainchild soothingly eased everyone into the day’s music, starting with a melodic introduction from their String quartet and horns section, before gradually coming to a crescendo with roaring guitars and heavy bass. Opening up ‘The Cave’ at 12:25 were Blackpool’s BOSTON MANOR (check out the interview HERE), who didn’t see fit to spare audiences hangovers, and bust straight into a flurry of fast paced punk hits from the go, not relenting until their time was up, having been a fan of BOSTON MANOR for a while, I am glad to have caught their set, before interviewing them later in the day.

Through other people’s suggestion, I headed over to check out MILK TEETH (on ‘The Axiom’), but was unable to get closer than the side of the tent, due to their massive pull for their time slot. The Stroud based group cranked out grungy punk, often showing their very heavy Nirvana influence, but unfortunately failed to capture my attention for all that long, as their (maybe purposefully, and fitting with the grunge genre) set sounded unpolished and loose. I caught a bit of BOY JUMPS SHIP’s set back on ‘The Axiom’, which keeping in the ‘Pop-Punk’ theme of the stage going, managed to play their faster, more intricate set than the preceding band with a lot more technical proficiency and enthusiasm, creating a more enjoyable experience for the casual music fans loitered in between stages for their lunch.

On the subject of lunch, 2000trees has a modest selection of food vendors dotted around the site, by each of the 3 main stages. Festival food for me seems like it has a bad rep, but the team at 2000trees only seem to have booked vendors who would offer a fair service for non-extortionate prices. Grilled Halloumi burgers and sweet potato fries kept me sustained throughout Friday, while a chunky bacon butty and fresh scotch eggs kept me alive Saturday. Monmouth Coffee being served as well was a really big surprise, and you’d get change from a tenner for a meal, which when coming from London is a rarity.

After lunch, songstress ALICE PHEOBE LOU dazzled the crowd with her beautiful voice, serenading the crowd with angelic highs with a bit of Sia-esque grit hidden behind. Forgetting lyrics aside, as she bonded with the crowd over the weather, and treated us all to a chilled, eerie set. As the day edged to an end, and after an outstanding genre spanning set from THE SKINTS, I found myself back up at ‘The Croft’ for THE BIG SIXES, only due to the fact they had spent the day attaching terrible posters to everything across the site advertising their set, and not knowing what to expect initially, my doubts were swept away by a tide of harmonies, expertly crafted songwriting, and top notch inter-song conversation, before their encore consisting of a couple of songs in the crowd, surrounded by a mass of singing fans. THE BIG SIXES managed to work up a predominantly neutral audience into a hyped crowd, a feat that would be natural for an established fast paced Pop-Punk band, but not for a slow and groovy act such as The Big Sixes.

Saturday’s headliners ALKALINE TRIO took to the stage at 21:45 just as the clouds began to burst, having held out -threatening rain- for the latter half of the day. The initial swell of excitement quickly died out, as those who were not diehard fans were let down by what was a lethargic performance, frontman Matt Skiba giving an uncomfortable appearance, whilst he murmured out lyrics to songs with little emotion. Bassist Dan Andriano however was giving a lot more to the crowd, interacting well with drummer Derek Grant and moving around the stage between swapping vocal priorities with Matt. Unfortunately for ALKALINE TRIO, and what may have be exacerbated by a disappointing lack of crowd compared to their stateside presence, or what Matt Skiba may now be used to playing for Blink 182, a more instant degree of stagemanship is necessary to win over a crowd that may not only be there to see you, as not to fade into the background.

So what would I say about my first experience at 2000Trees?

I’m going to be bold with this statement, the attitude at 2000Trees reminds me of that at Glastonbury, albeit on a tiny scale. You get the real feeling that the people around you haven’t just come to see their favourite band, and will spend the rest of their time getting into as much trouble as possible, but more that it’s an annual tradition for them. The nine year old festival caters for everyone, and whilst running about the site this weekend, the amount of friendly faces I would bump into at each act astounded me, only to bump into them 20 minutes later at a different tent.

The site itself is relatively tiny, but not cramped. Even those arriving half way through Friday were finding spots to camp up with ease, with enough room for stoves, barbecues or extra gazebos to sleep under when their tents got too hot.

I’m not sure what my favourite part of this weekend has been- whether it’s the terrific atmosphere from the punters in the know and relish the intimacy of this little festival, the picturesque surroundings that the festival is lucky enough to have, the fantastically located Forest stage or what has been a fantastic line up, bringing some names such as Deaf Havana, We Are The Ocean, MClusky* and Alkaline Trio, and providing emerging and underground UK music a proving ground on the UK festival scene. This weekend at 2000Trees has been one that shall be remembered, relished, and hopefully repeated in the coming years.

Tickets for 2000Trees 10th year are now on Sale, and can be picked up on their site.

Parklife tickets running low & VIP options revealed

After the unprecedented success of their 2015 edition – which is set to welcome Disclosure, Rudimental, Ben Howard, Nas, George Ezra, Fatboy Slim, Grace Jones, Wu-Tang Clan, Caribou, Metronomy, Mark Ronson and Jessie Ware – standard weekend tickets for Parklife Festival have now completely sold out with only limited Sunday tickets and VIP options now available.

Uniquely combining an incredible selection of chart-topping live acts, DJs and home grown talents, the festival also boasts an exclusive VIP village that offers revellers an array of luxury benefits including a dedicated fast entrance, viewing platforms, chill out and seating areas, exclusive merchandise and a complimentary programme for all VIP ticket holders – as well as a delectable street food village curated by highly revered Manchester promoters Friday Food Fight that also offers street cocktail bars, a craft ale bar from local brewers and a frozen margarita shack.

 

As one of the cities best-loved culinary events, the award-winning street food crew will bring their unique combination of street food, DJs and atmosphere to the Parklife VIP village for those looking for a truly indulgent festival experience.

 

Chris Legh, owner of Friday Food Fight explains:

"We've known the guys at Parklife for a couple of years and loved going to the festival, so you can imagine how excited we were when they asked us to get involved. We will be bringing some of the best of FRIDAY FOOD FIGHTS restaurant's and street food heroes to Heaton Park on the 6th & 7th June. Expect everything from Lobster Rolls, to the freshest Viet Street Food, can’t wait!"

 

With a variety of prized vendors such as Viet Shack – winners at the Manchester Food & Drink Awards – Almost Famous and London’s Burger & Lobster all contributing, the VIP village will also feature a series of special DJ sets from the artist playing across the festival in order to make it a truly unmissable festival experience.

 

As ticket levels continue to drop, be sure to act fast to secure your spot at Parklife Festival 2015.

Disclosure, Rudimental, Grace Jones and Fatboy Slim announced for Parklife Festival 2015!

Parklife Festival have announced the line-up for their hotly-anticipated 2015 edition on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June at Manchester’s Heaton Park. Showcasing an incredible selection of the best chart-topping live acts and world leading DJs, confirmed acts include Disclosure, Ben Howard, Rudimental, Nas, George Ezra, Fatboy Slim, Grace Jones, Wu-Tang Clan, Caribou, Metronomy, Mark Ronson and Jessie Ware – all of whom will cater to over 140,000 music fans across the two days.

Two of the UK's hottest dance acts, Disclosure and Rudimental, will head up the festival line-up, which will also feature one of the UK’s biggest dance music exports in Fatboy Slim. A rare performance from iconic singer and model Grace Jones is also confirmed –famed for her pioneering artistry that constantly blurs the line between performance and art.

Hip-hop royalty Nas will be performing tracks from his seminal album Illmatic at this year’s festival – as well as Wu-Tang Clan & The Roots, plus young claimant to the throne Earl Sweatshirt also featuring. James Bay – named Critics Choice 2015 by the Brit Awards panel – is also amongst the first live artists announced and will be joined by Ben Howard and George Ezra, alongside leftfield popstars Metronomy and Jungle.

Legendary electronic music pioneer Richie Hawtin will also be heading to Manchester alongside Hot Creations label head Jamie Jones, Radio 1 tastemaker Annie Mac and chart topper Duke Dumont (playing live) to spearhead a stellar DJ line-up across the two days. With appearances from the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Seth Troxler, Maya Jane Coles, Eats Everything and Hannah Wants – plus rising stars Lapsley, Novelist and Blonde – already confirmed, Parklife’s 2015 DJ program is shaping up to be it’s most varied and expansive to date.

The eclectic nature of this year’s line up is only bolstered by the number of artist-curated arenas across the weekend. Soulection affiliated superstar Kaytranada has added his own personal touch to Parklife this year by curating his own Kaytranada and Friends stage. The same honour has also been bestowed to drum & bass veteran Andy C as he presents his label RAM, as well as MK bringing his Area 10 brand to Heaton Park. Reggae, Dub and Dancehall royalty David Rodigan will also be further cementing his legendary status in the UK by bringing his world-renowned Ram Jam party to The Temple arena – the largest of the festival’s stages. This very special Super Ram Jam comes complete with an all-star line up, including Nas performing his seminal ‘Illmatic’ album in full.

Having launched back in 2010, Parklife is curated by the same set of promoters behind Manchester’s game-changing series The Warehouse Project, who have adapted the festival year on year to make it one of the UK’s most significant music events – all set in the iconic surroundings of Heaton Park.

Now five years since the festival’s launch, Parklife also remains one of the best value festivals in the UK – with weekend tickets at just £89.50 and day tickets at £54.50. Festival goers also have the opportunity to purchase VIP packages priced at £145 for a weekend ticket and £85 per day – which unlocks a range of luxury offerings such as fast access to the festival, a private viewing platform over the temple stage and exclusive areas from a host of national club brands.

With 10,000 pre-registration tickets selling out in minutes and the next wave of tickets set for release on Friday 13th February 2015, Parklife’s fifth anniversary is on course to deliver their best year yet.

The full line up is below:
LIVE
DISCLOSURE * RUDIMENTAL
BEN HOWARD * GEORGE EZRA * NAS performs ILLMATIC
MARK RONSON * FATBOY SLIM* GRACE JONES * WU TANG CLAN
CARIBOU * METRONOMY * JESSIE WARE * JAMES BLAKE
THE ROOTS * JAMES BAY * FKA TWIGS * JUNGLE * LABRINTH
DUKE DUMONT * JAMIE XX * NICOLAS JAAR * MODESELEKTOR
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING * HUDSON MOHAWKE * KAYTRANADA
TODD TERJE & THE OLSENS * MAC DEMARCO * CHET FAKER
TEN WALLS * TIGA* ACTION BRONSON * EARL SWEATSHIRT * BAAUER*
HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR * JESS GLYNNE * FUSE ODG * VIC MENSA * LAPSLEY * TALABOMAN * GHOSTPOET * TENSNAKE * ELLA EYRE * HENRIK SCHWARZ * MADLIB * RONI SIZE REPRAZENT * CRAZY P * BURAKA SOM SISTEMA* *TOURIST* JIMMY NAPES * BOB MOSES * J.E.T.S*
* SEVEN DAVIS JR * BLONDE * NOVELIST* BADBADNOTGOOD * DUB PHIZIX & STRATEGY * OUTFIT * TOM MISCH * KIKO BUN * BECKY HILL * KAREN HARDING * SANGO * TEI SHI * BERNARD & EDITH

DJ
RICHIE HAWTIN * ANNIE MAC * JAMIE JONES * MK * ANDY C
SETH TROXLER b2b EATS EVERYTHING * MAYA JANE COLES * TALE OF US * THE MARTINEZ BROTHERS * DIXON * SASHA b2b JORIS VOORN
HANNAH WANTS * DUSKY * ADAM BEYER * JULIO BASHMORE
JACKMASTER * HOT SINCE 82 * DAVID RODIGAN * OLIVER HELDENS
HEIDI * SKREAM * GEORGE FITZGERALD * JOY ORBISON * WILKINSON
BEN UFO & PEARSON SOUND * OLIVER DOLLAR & JESSE ROSE * BENJI B
DANIEL AVERY * RICHY AHMED * CATZ 'N’ DOGZ * PAUL WOOLFORD * DJ EZ * SHADOW CHILD * PATRICK TOPPING * WAZE & ODYSSEY * JOHN TALABOT & AXEL BOMAN * BICEP * BTRAITS * MADLIB dj * DJ EZ * JUSTIN MARTIN * JIMMY EDGAR & MACHINEDRUM * MIDLAND * CRAIG CHARLES
ROUTE 94 * BRODINSKI * BEN PEARCE * BONDAX * RANDALL vs DILLINJA
FRIEND WITHIN * CHRIS LORENZO * JONAS RATHSMAN * SPECIAL REQUEST * HORSE MEAT DISCO * JAGUAR SKILLS * JOSH BUTLER * WOOKIE & DJ Q * FCL * CALYX & TEEBEE * RENE LAVICE * SG LEWIS* VENUM SOUND *LOADSTAR * KRYSKO * GREG LORD * WORK IT * NOW WAVE DJs * RICH REASON * JUICY * WORK IT * ZUTEKH DJS * PIRATE COPY * NORTH BASE * JONNY DUB * SIAN BENNETT * NIC BAIRD * LEMMY ASHTON * NICOLA BEAR * HACKETT * PETE ZORBA * DANCE LADY DANCE * WILL ORCHARD * ED NORRIS
& many more still to be announced…

Wychwood, Beer, Cheer and Bubbles.

This is the 9th Wychwood festival to take place, which is a tragedy for me as it means I have missed 8 years of this fun filled, family friendly, yet modest event, that gently launches you into the summer festival period.  Set in the grounds of Cheltenham race course and overlooked by the Cotswold Hills, this venue is used to horseplay of a four-legged nature, but with neigh a nag in sight, Prestbury Park comes alive with a wide spectrum of characters.

The first days sound track set the pace for what would shape up to be quite the eclectic mix.  Early evening The Beat proved how they secured their rightful place high up the Ska tree. With Rankin Roger & Son getting the crowd stomping to the ever popular Ska beats. Toploader followed with their breezy, sing a long songs, that keep the crowd on a high.  Friday night headliners Soul II Soul with their blend of R&B, Soul and Electronica, surprised many who thought them a one song band (Back to life). With each song played you couldn’t help regret not paying more attention 25 years ago. But better late than never!! They exit the stage, leaving the crowd craving for more.

Saturday sees the music shift to a broader range. Unfortunately the delectable Kate Nash pulls out poorly. The Wedding Present are a crowd pleaser as they work through some of their phenomenal body of work. A French twist next from festival favourites The Caravan Palace, who’s zany Gypsy Jazz, Electro swing, is a sight and sound to behold, a big band wall of music fronted by the mesmerising stage presence that is Zoé Colotis a must see. The night’s headliners are 80’s Electro New Wave sensation The Human League and with a catalogue of hits, the crowd were on their feet from the opening “Mirror Man” to the ever popular “Don’t You Want Me” ending another great night with “Together in Electric Dreams”. The set and backdrop pay homage to the futuristic approach of the 80’s, that seem just as futuristic and relevant today, Little wonder so many artists since, have voiced this Flamboyant and eccentric group as an influence.

Sunday becomes a field of laughter with the humorous yet skilful take on classical and popular songs by the Ukele Orchestra of Great Britain.  Smiles a plenty but with admiration from this musically talented troop.  The laughter continues as Bill Bailey and his side splitting comedy take over.  Nobody being prepared for the music, jokes and insanity of this middle-aged madman. This massive force could have easily have been the finale for the main stage, but the organisers decided to bring the evening to a close by treating an appreciative crowd to the Dub Powerhouse that is Dreadzone.  This reggae tinged set was the perfect end to a fabulous weekend, having the crowd bounce and groove out the evening.

 A couple of standout performances on the smaller but no lesser stages included Becky Rose, with her one gal, synth based beats and Craig Charles funk and soul show, where the crowd were whipped up in to a frenzy to match that of the energetic, multi-talented showman.

When the main attractions have finished and the majority of the crowd have turned in for the night, one stage is determined to party on regardless. As I approach the big top tent with strobes escaping from the entrance I can’t help but think that there is something missing?   Upon entry I am handed a pair of wireless headphones and as I walk on through to a sea of crazy revellers it is apparent that I have entered a nut house.  This is the silent disco, a room full of clubbers and two DJ’s but no music through the loud speakers.  I put the headphones on and find myself instantly condemned to the madhouse as I flick between the two DJ’s and adjust my dancing style accordingly.

Music for all genres means that young or old you will at some point find your dancing shoes and at the very least discover new and exciting sounds.  There are over 100 workshops to choose from, complimented with cuisine from the four corners of the world.

A lasting memory of the festival will be that of a  man releasing  another wave of bubbles they glisten like the northern lights as they pass over the light filled stage.  Wychwood really captures the essence of what a festival is about with a great energy and atmosphere.