Parklife Weekender 2014, 7 & 8 June, Heaton Park, Manchester
Monday 9th June 2014 07:00 Entertainment Posted by Max Wieland
PARKLIFE 2014: Sam Smith

PARKLIFE 2014: Main Stage

 

“I don’t care if it’s raining,” “I’ve been awake all morning with excitement “and “today is going to be off the scale” were just a few of statements coming from the thousands of revellers braving the rain at Manchester’s biggest music event of the year last weekend.

 

Raining to be fair puts it mildly, with Glastonbury sized downpours battering the Parklife Weekender site for the most of Saturday and parts of Sunday.

 

Thousands of wellies poured into Parklife, makeshift shoes made out of plastic bags and those who really wanted to party in the puddles just simply wearing plimsolls and unfortunately not that white-for-long trainers, it’s safe to say the weather didn’t dampen many peoples spirits.

 

For a festival in a city that does things differently, Parklife certainly lived up to expectation, with any gripes mainly coming from matters out of their control.

 

Benefiting from spacious surroundings in Heaton Park, Parklife affords those in attendance an array of choices to make both days a rather different experience. From the festivals three large tents, to two main stages to the scores of mini-sized DJ sets throughout the grounds, the choices afforded to you are vast. A Nando’s food stall with a DJ thrashing out tunes whilst a chicken cooks below him is what you can expect from the most of the food stalls on offer, many of which wouldn’t look out of place at a food festival such is the excellent variety across the site.

 

Headlined by Snoop Dogg and Foals with support coming in from Bastille, Rudimental and Disclosure, the highlight of Parklife 2014 was undoubtedly Snoop Dogg, as expected.

 

The name on everyone’s lips battling the elements as they arrived at Heaton Park on Saturday was the American rapper, famed for hits such as ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ and ‘Young, Wild and Free’, which perfectly closed his rather quick one-hour set.

 

His interaction with the crowd was enough to keep everyone above board but despite a set which impressed upon the 60,000 or so people there, it was hard not to think that Snoop, formerly known as snoop Lion, was just going through the motions in order to pick up a pay check, albeit a very polished combination of going through the motions, constantly dropping medley after medley.

 

His hit packed set showed just why the rapper has such a global appeal, winning over any sceptics with 30-second remixes of famous collaborations such as Katy Perry’s ‘California Gurls’ and classics such as ‘I love Rock and Roll’, which Snoop Dogg conducted enthusiastically as the crowd screamed “put another dime in the jukebox baby” back to him.

 

Overall, a day which also saw Rudimental tear into the Parklife crowd with a largely hiccup-free set, whose tremendous trumpeter Mark Crown won over many fans, Saturday was a blinder thanks to a day which also saw Annie Mac spin the crowd into frenzy before finishing with a terrific headline set from LA rapper “Snoooooooooop.”

 

Sunday

 

Surprisingly the topic of conversation for the 70,000 people heading back to the outskirts of Manchester was Snoop Doggy Dogg himself, such was the impact he left on the crowd from the night before.

 

The masses arrived slightly later than the previous day, still humming to Dr Dre’s and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Next Episode’ on horrifically busy trams, no doubt feeling the effects from overindulging the night before.

 

A slightly dryer and warmer day ensued for the festival, which was at Heaton Park for the second year after moving from the smaller Platt Fields Park.

 

Despite a heavy day of music for the festival goers, most of the excitement directed was towards Bastille, still riding the crest of a very fruitful wave over the past year.

 

Hit songs such as ‘Of the Night’ and final song ‘Pompeii’ brought with it very chorus approval, hands swaying, fans screaming and very much bringing Parklife to a near halt.

 

More of an ‘indie’ offering was on offer as a whole compared to Saturday but more mainstream artists such as Sam Smith still brought in huge crowds, bringing the traffic passing the main stage to a standstill for large periods of his set.

 

Headliners for the final night differed greatly, with Foals on the main stage thrashing out a 75-minute set which saw the band treat fans to songs such as ‘Inhaler’ and ‘My Number’.

 

Hip-Hop legends Public Enemy appeared on The Collonade stage whilst over on the sites second biggest area, the Wildlife Stage, Disclosure played a near 90-minute set to a humongous crowd.

Such was Disclosures pull that fans eager to get a better glimpse of the electronic brothers climbed atop of the many portaloos to the side of the stage, to the point where there was a constant crowd dancing the night away a good few feet in the air.

 

Their set teemed perfectly as the sun set on arguably the coolest area of the Parklife festival, keeping a large crowd at bay despite the thousands of people exiting the festival early in the distance.

 

Generally the Parklife Weekender is an exciting festival and certainly leads the way in certain aspects with festivals of a similar size, but with two years under its belt at Heaton Park, you would hope for better transport links and more knowledgeable staff going into the future.

 

The majority of staff seem misinformed which only confuses matters more due to a puzzling layout that would be helped by a sign or too.

 

But then again, the festival is run by the Warehouse Project, who often have maze like buildings for their DJ-led nights across Manchester, so perhaps not knowing exactly what tent or stage you are in is part of the fun.

 

The Parklife Weekender is perhaps the only festival in the UK that has such a DJ let atmosphere alongside quirky art and some of Manchester’s finest independent food stalls. Any issues surrounding the layout or transport are only minor issues and are to perhaps be expected at a festival of this magnitude on the outskirts of one of the countries busiest cities.

 

And after another successful and mainly problem-free festival, it is safe to say the statements coming into the festival this year from the eager festival-goers will definitely be equally as positive once again come this time next year.

 

Parklife in one sentence: The one man brand Snoop Dogg is this year’s gem in an ever growing Parklife jewel.

 

Best Acts: Snoop Dogg, Rudimental and Disclosure.