Manchester's Parklife Weekender, despite only being around for a relatively short period time, has quickly gained notoriety and established itself as one of the most popular festivals in the country. Run by the team behind the Warehouse Project, who put on what many see as the craziest nights in the North of England, this festival is getting bigger and bigger, with music fans traveling from across the country to the fields of North Manchester's Heaton Park. With an insane main stage lineup, exhibiting some fantastic acts outside the world of Dance Music, along with seven other stages, hosting some of the most established names in House and Techno, fans really were spoilt for choice this year!
Daily Beat hit Parklife on the Saturday, donning wellies and raincoats as the classic British festival rain came crashing down, heading straight for the main stage. Whilst news was circulating that Parklife was becoming a complete mud bath, I was pleasantly surprised at the efforts the organisers had taken to ensure that as much water was sucked from the ground as possible, with boards being put down along pathways to make life a bit easier for all of the fans. I arrived just in time to catch Kiesza performing a stripped down version of her hit single 'Hideaway', with the crowd around me really getting into the festival spirit.
Next I hit the Kaluki tent to catch the House legend Lee Foss, who showcased his usual array of Hot Creations material, with influences spanning classic house to Detroit techno, alongside some more recent club favourites from his Hot Natured collective. Always a real treat to catch live! Next I moved down the hill to what could only be described as the 'main' dance stage, with a fantastic temple design, and by far the best sound system of the whole festival! Watching Eats Everything, Maya Jane Coles and Maceo Plex one after the other was an absolute delight with a huge crowd forming on the hill. I concluded the night with the two legends Seth Troxler and Jamie Jones playing a sensational back to back set with incredible lighting and sound. The great layout meant that it was easy to get to the front of the stage to soak up the crowd atmosphere, but there was also the option to sit further back on top of the hill, and still get a great view of the crowd, with the fantastic sound system carrying. A truly great first day!
For the Sunday, slightly more exhausted after the previous nights parties, I arrived a little later to the festival, just in time to catch Sam Smith's breath taking performance. With one of the smoothest vocals in pop at the moment, he smashed through hits such as Money on my Mind, Latch and Stay With Me. Next I checked out Heidi's 'Jackathon' tent, where Ame & Dixon ripped through some great stripped down Jackin' House, in a tent filled with a truly knowledgeable crowd, clinging on to every track to the pair dropped. Moving onto the Bugged Out tent, I finally got a chance to see Skream, who I had been dying to see ever since his move to a House and Disco a couple of years back. I really was not disappointed, exhibiting an array of soulful deep house, mixed in with some groovy disco cuts!
I concluded my evening at the Disclosure Presents: Wildlife stage, once again situated at the huge Temple, catching Julio Bashmore, who got the crowd moving with some fantastic House music, reaching a peak as Au Seve came blaring out. Next up was DJ EZ my personal highlight of the entire festival. His unparalleled mixing skills meant he smashed between House, Bass, Garage and Grime with every single song an absolute classic! Some great technical work on the decks made his performance incredibly exciting to watch.
I had been deliberating between seeing the legendary Carl Cox, who I had seen once before, or catching Disclosure who I had always longed to see. Due to the fantastic stage they were on I chose the latter, and I was not disappointed. Some great visuals, coupled with a fantastic live performance left me dancing all night long. The amount of stellar tracks in their catalogue left the crowd singing right the way through their performance.
Overall a fantastic weekend was had by all at Parklife this year, with fantastic organisation skills from the Warehouse Project team as per usual! Make sure to check out this seasons Warehouse Project HERE, and eagerly await next years Parklife Weekender!