Parklife Review

by Chris Balding

What does Frank Gallagher from Shameless and Parklife have in common?  – They’re both from Manchester and love to Party. 

It was finally business as usual as Parklife came to Heaton park once more after going on hiatus due to the pandemic. The return of Parklife was much needed relief for the city as over the last year or so it has been subjected to tighter restrictions than London reiterating the North/South divide. Frustration grew and even Manchester’s mayor Andy Burhnam had enough escalating the issue to Parliament arguing the hypocrisy of the rules and demanded funds to keep the city going. 

The excitement for this year’s Parklife was higher than ever before and with good reason too as the lineup was a perfect blend of high energy acts all with the common goal to get Manchester partying. Normally the festival takes place in mid-June but this year it took place in September instead. Even with the change dates some things remained the same – Rain. There was no hiding place from the elements this year as there were no tents or indoor stages but that didn’t stop anything as 80,000 revellers came each day to join the wet and wild party. 

The festival started as it meant to go when Carl Cox took over the Valley stage for a 3 hour set, getting the crowd pumped for the rest of the weekend. Burna Boy brought the heat to the Parklife stage with his afrobeats, and a special guest fresh from his 4-1 win over Newcastle, Paul Pogba who was watched on the side of the stage from fellow red devils Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.

With her second ever performance in the UK, Megan Thee Stallion drew in the biggest crowd of the weekend when she performed her NSFW songs including her chart topping anthem ‘WAP’ which was received well by the twerking crowd. 

Dave stated that Parklife is the only festival he is going to perform at this year and he performance did not disappoint even bringing out grime superstar Stormzy to accompany his set.

Other standout  Saturday sets came from Peggy Gou, who is somewhat of a Parklife stable, and one of the UK’s dance icons, Annie Mac. 

Even though the weather turned for the worse on Sunday it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits (maybe just diluted). 

One of the moments of the weekend came during Becky Hill’s set when a festival-goer held a sign to get the singer to sign her chest which she happily did. 

Image: Manchester Evening News

Disclosure came back to Parklife to close down Valley stage where they raised the crowd’s heartbeat with some of the best loved tracks and a stunning visual display of lasers, lights and fireworks. 

Elsewhere in the festival Skepta shutdown the main stage with a signature performance that brought energy to the party. The highlight of his performance was when he brought out his brother and fellow BBK member JME to perform their most known song ‘That’s not me”. 

Image: Manchester Evening News

Even though the weather was shit Parklife itself was a huge success and after lockdown it was definitely missed and we already can’t wait for next year.

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