Festival season is upon us and being that I have created a new page for exactly that, I want to share with you all my experience and knowledge about the ones I have been to and what you guys can expect if you decide you want to go.
As it has just passed, I will be starting with a festival very close to home. WILDLIFE FESTIVAL.
I would like to consider myself a seasoned festival-goer. I have been to a at least 2 dozen festivals of places in the UK and also abroad.
Music is a great passion of mine and if you have been following me for a while, you will already know quite a lot about my musical background and all the adventures I have come upon in that time. – Perhaps one day I will blog about it, for those of you who don’t know my past. But I’m sure you guys eventually will find out for yourselves! –
To give you a brief history I have been singing/songwriting and performing since the age of 16 and have explored many sides of the industry doing so. I had never been to a festival until I was 20, and ever since my first experience at V-Festival it had me hooked.
I am addicted to the experience of listening to all the music I love, and discovering new artists and bands. The festival culture, meeting new and like-minded people. The food…Oh the food! There are so many places to explore, new friends to make and things to do. They are a perfect escape from reality.
Eventually I would like to take you all with me on my festival journeys and give you my insight, experience and my personal rating on each place. So stay tuned for the rest of my ‘Festival‘ posts.
Now back to WILDLIFE FESTIVAL 2016…
Only in it’s second year running and it’s already making a big name for itself here in an already flooded and competitive UK festival scene. – But there’s never too many festivals for us ravers to go to is there? –
It was put together and co-organised by two well known artists: Disclosure and Rudimental. (If you are unfamiliar with them then check them out by clicking their names and enjoy!) The festival, is a two-day event without camping and is the largest of its kind ever to be held in Sussex. – Not to say that ‘Boundary’, a new festival emerging this year in Brighton will be bigger, but we have yet to find this out! –
Last year, they managed to build a strong foundation for themselves with excellent line-ups of all genres ranging from techno, house, mainstream pop to hip-hop and my all time favourite drum’n’bass! – We actually missed out on the Sunday line-up regrettably missing The Wu-Tang Clan and Andy C! So this year we made sure we bought weekend tickets. –
There were a few downsides to last years organisation like the very poor transportation system and the heavy toilet queues but the music and the atmosphere was on point which made it all somewhat forgiving. Unfortunately this year the toilets were still pretty shambolic during the day, but as the evening rolled on the toilet queues dwindled. The transportation system was definitely better organised this year but the taxis were still overwhelmed by the volume of people so a lot of us just ended up walking home from our drop off point in Preston Park. – Not what you wanna be doing after relentlessly dancing for hours on end! –
There was an array of food stalls, all local Brighton restaurants/pop ups. I tucked into as much as I could savour, enjoying the risotto stand and a delicious meat grill that served steak and pulled pork buns. – I must remember to take more pictures in the future, please forgive my inexperience! –
The first day of the festival had great vibes, only raining just as the gates opened – which luckily we weren’t there for. We were given a heads up that the queue was large and at a stand still, so we chose to stay and drink at one of the pubs in Shoreham before heading in. – The rest of the day then had glorious sunshine.
If I’m honest the first hour of our first day was spent either queuing for drinks, looking for friends, or queuing for the toilet – which I have to admit really gets right to the core of me… – The lack of toilets needs to be sorted, although a lot more urinals where placed for the men but it didn’t seem to solve the problem annoyingly.
After all necessities where met, we finally went into our first tent, the Wildlife Big Top and discovered an artist called SG Lewis. (click to be redirected to soundcloud)
I was completely mesmerised by this set. It was nothing but pure musicianship and I, along with the crowd was moved by his voice and the mellow, tender beats that resonated from the stage.
In most of SG Lewis’ tracks he uses a lot effects on his voice, but seeing him live was honestly such a delight for my ears. There was a huge air of intimacy between the act and the crowd, it was a pleasure to have him welcome us to WILDLIFE.
– You can listen to one of his most popular tunes below, this was the closing song to his set. –
As soon as SG Lewis finished with his set, without delay we all moved to the Main Stage in anticipation of our first big act of the weekend. Busta Rhymes!
He drew a massive crowd, and everyone could feel the electricity emanating from the audience as we all all waited in suspense. – I must give it to the organisers of Wildlife for managing to get these American hiphop veterans over to the UK to perform for us. – Busta’s DJ and right hand man hyped the crowd for his big entry and the crowd roared with excitement when he finally made his appearance on stage. I think we as a crowd were all just pleased to have such a legend in our company but there were a few things I noticed about this set that I just could not ignore.
It was unfortunate to see Mr Rhymes in his unfit state, he was almost unrecognisable to me. – But I suppose I should cut the man some slack it has been almost 10 years since the release of his last album and the man himself is closing in on the big 5 0! – I also found his lack of projection disappointing, he really struggled to amplify his voice and rarely finished a whole song. But like I said before, it was still pleasure to have an icon in our presence.
After seeing Busta we migrated to the Super Charged tent and pretty much spent the rest of the evening there. The line-up in that tent got my heart racing! We just about caught the end of Redlight, then for the next few hours we had in store My Nu Leng, Wilkinson and the drum’n’bass legend Andy C!
My Nu Leng are an emerging Bristol based duo that have made their stamp on the dance/festival scene over the past couple of years. Resident Advisor describe their sounds as
a hard-to-categorise sound, drawing on many varied influences without kowtowing to one in particular. Whilst traversing the whole spectrum between pitch shifted vocals and bass heavy rumbles, their sound is always deep and on point with the vibe.
We saw them live for the first time last year at Outlook – one of my all time favourite places to be – and were impressed with the variety in their sets and the way they ruled the crowd through their tunes. Seeing them at Wildlife was no different, but I have to admit I was definitely won over by this set compared to when we saw them in Outlook. – But it could be that they were catering for a different audience, guess I’ll have to wait and see at their next one. –
Wilkinson was the penultimate act at the Supercharged tent. Signed to RAM Records it’s no wonder they chose him to go on before the mighty Andy C, founder of RAM and veteran of the drum’n’bass world. Over the last 5 years I’ve seen Wilkinson live many times and he always delivers, driving the crowd to sing along in ecstasy to all of his tunes, which we never seem to tire of hearing.
– If you are unfamiliar with some of his most popular hits I’ve placed some videos below for you to enjoy. –
The headline act of the Supercharged tent was non-other than Andy C himself. I am a huge fan of his and have avidly followed him at any festival he plays at that I have tickets for. His sets never fail to keep me entertained from start to finish – I have a habit of getting bored of most places and walking straight out. – He had an entourage of people on stage with him that night, and many gathered, like me, in pure excitement to see one of the D’n’B legends let rip for the last couple of hours for the night.
Unfortunately there was a massive fuck up with the sound system about half way into Andy’s set and it basically sabotaged the rest of the evening. Forcing people to leave due to feed back and the sound team having to lower the bass in order to fix it. The MC was not a happy chappy and pretty much cussed the sound techs for not having the right equipment suited for the headline act and for not being able to quickly solve the issue. It was a a pain in the arse, and it left the tent an empty shell by the end of it.
I did in fact manage to find the set that Andy C played that evening, recorded in Alexandra Palace though, but at least you can listen to it without all the problems we had. Listen below:
We decided to leave 15 minutes before the end and head back home. I had work in the morning too so I wasn’t all too fussed about staying much longer to wait for the huge build up of people and traffic jams etc…
S U N D A Y 12th June – D A Y 2
– or half a day –
On Sunday I worked from 11. I was supposed to finish at 7pm but being that it was pretty dead I was allowed to go at 4:30pm and we made it just in time for Bastille on the Main Stage. My friend Jade was totally in her element and I have to say I really enjoyed the performance that they gave. They played all their well known songs and teased the crowd with some new ones. I have to admit, I was never a hug fan of them, but they won me over with this performance and had me singing along like a true punter.
After Bastille, the legendary Ice Cube took to the stage bringing one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. Ice Cube made a huge come back after the release of the movie Straight Out Of Compton (AMAZING film, must watch!) and this really added to the excitement and atmosphere. It was electric. He commanded the stage and the crowd showing true showmanship, bringing on stage with him his son to help hype us all up even more.
He dropped all the huge classics, the crowd couldn’t get enough. For me, this was certainly the highlight of my weekend.
After Ice Cube we jumped on a fair ground ride or two, then split our time between seeing Kano and the end of Rudimental to close the weekend.
Ultimately, the weekend was a success, with good food, a great atmosphere and an array of well known acts.
Well done WILDLIFE, you will be a name that many people will be talking about.
It’s quite obvious that WILDLIFE have made their mark and set themselves in the calendar as a ‘must go to’ festival for years to come.