REVIEW Parklife 2015, Heaton Park, Manchester, 06 & 07 June 2015
Monday 8th June 2015 21:39 Entertainment Posted by Max Wieland

Walking around Heaton Park towards the close of Parklife 2015, it was quite hard to believe just how young the festival actually is.

Wu Tang Clan on the Main Stage at Parklife 2015 on Saturday. Credit: Parklife.

MAIN STAGE: Wu Tang Clan on the Main Stage at Parklife 2015 on Saturday. Credit: Parklife.

For over the course of two days, some 150,000 people flocked to Heaton Park to see a mix of artists and bands from a whole host of genres, across a site which saw over eight stages some three years after starting their now annual gathering in arguably Europe’s largest park.

From Fatboy Slim to Wu Tang Clan to Grace Jones, Parklife 2015 certainly aimed to tick all of the boxes a festival can tick.

The rain might have battered Parklife last year but thankfully the weather just about held up this year, with revellers from across the region basking in some unexpected sun throughout the majority of Sunday.

Benefiting from spacious surroundings, 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.

PARKLIFE 2015: The Festivals second biggest stage and arguably coolest stage of the lot. Credit: Parklife.

PARKLIFE 2015: The Festivals second biggest stage and arguably coolest stage of the lot. Credit: Parklife.

There is generally music for every taste, from pop and indie to grime and techno, which is undoubtedly what brings Parklife much success comercially and critically year on year.

Indie acts appeared slightly more than previous years on Saturday as Ben Howard, James Bay and Everything Everything dominated the Parklife Big Top tent, the latter of which smashed their way through an energetic and hit-packed set.

Kicking off with Cough Cough and airing new songs from their forthcoming third album Get To Heaven, the Manchester band certainly had a good rapport with their local fanbase.

Other Saturday highlights undoubtedly came in the Chibuku tent with both Mark Ronson and Fatboy Slim DJing themselves and the crowd into oblivion.

IN THE BIG TOP: Fatboy Slim headlined the big top to a huge crowd. Credit: Parklife.

IN THE BIG TOP: Fatboy Slim headlined the big top to a huge crowd. Credit: Parklife.

Headlined by Disclosure and Rudimental after their defining performances at last year’s festival, the latter’s Mark Crown used his trumpet to maximum effect to bring to the festival to a close on what was a generally high-spirited day.

Earlier in the day DJ David Rodigan began his set early to hold a moment of remembrance for Robert Hart who died after being attacked during last year’s event.

In front of a packed Ram Jam stage, the 63-year-old radio DJ said: “Robert Hart’s family and friends will spend the rest of their lives trying to figure out why a mindless aggressor did what he did.

“Mindless aggression achieves nothing, ever.

“It could have been any one of us standing on the main stage last year and taking that fatal blow.

“I didn’t know Robert personally but he knew people and his immediate family knew him and loved him.

“So please join me, the thousands of people at this festival, and the organisers, in taking a moment to remember Robert Hart.”

Rodigan’s touching speech came as the police launched a fresh appeal for information prior to the festival to help them identify the man responsible for Robert’s death.

But back at the main stage on the final day Grace Jones added the surreal element to this year’s Parklife, walking a slightly weary crowd through six costume changes, one hula hoop, a male pole dancer and masks that resembled something like those worn by the Death Eaters in Harry Potter.

MAIN STAGE: After bossing the festivals second stage last year, Disclosure returned to headline the Main Stage on Saturday night. Credit: Parklife.

MAIN STAGE: After bossing the festivals second stage last year, Disclosure returned to headline the Main Stage on Saturday night. Credit: Parklife.

Another surprising twist came as Craig Charles surprisingly stole the show with a 60-minute dj set on the main stage.

The Corrie star said: “Some of you may know me as Lloyd from Coronation Street, Dave Lister from Red Dwarf, from Robot Wars or from Takeshi’s Castle, but today, I’m here because I love playing funk and soul music.”

The 50-year-old took a lively crowd through tracks such as Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk and White Stripes Seven Nation Army.

Much later on after a sun-soaked day across the festival was birthday boy George Ezra, another artist to have upgraded from an earlier slot at last year’s festival.

The 22-year-old opened up his set with the incredibly catchy Cassy-O before later playing his hit single Budapest.

PARKLIFE 2015: Expanding their attractions and arts section of the festival, organisers booked lots of other acts that floated in between stages at the festival. Credit: Parklife.

PARKLIFE 2015: Expanding their attractions and arts section of the festival, organisers booked lots of other acts that floated in between stages at the festival. Credit: Parklife.

As always Rudimental showed why they are tipped to be Britain’s next big thing as they brought Parklife 2015 to a close with a rip-roaring set, packed with energy and verve to give the festival the send-off it deserved.

For their third year at Heaton Park, organisers behind this year’s festival certainly added to their musical line up by bringing in spontaneous acts throughout the site, from samba bands to American Football dotted in between the festival’s many stages.

Generally Parklife is an exciting festival and certainly leads the way in certain aspects with festivals of a similar size, and with another year under their belt at Heaton Park, the future looks exciting for both the festival and for music lovers across the region.

Because Parklife seems to be getting bigger and more popular every single year, and after this year’s event, its fourth year in total, its popularity certainly shows no signs of slowing down, and for that, the people of Manchester should be very pleased indeed.