Young Academic were there last year for the first Parklife Festival at Platts Field, Manchester and boy was there no way we were going to miss this one! Even torrential rain, wind and bogs of Glastonbury-like proportions could not keep the ravers away as Parklife’s new weekender found remarkable success. This, the first of the Young Academic Ultimate Festival Guide Reviews, will outline the highlights of what is shaping up to be one of the United Kingdom’s premier dance festivals.
Beardyman, Annie Mac, James Zabiela and Erol Alkan just a few of the names to drop spellbinding performances…
Young Academic could unfortunately not make the Saturday at Parklife so this review will inevitably overlook some great performances; all we can ask is that for of you that have some tales to tell to send in your articles. As always, send your pieces to [email protected]
Sunday however started with aplomb and got, well, better! We arrived to a downpour that could well have dampened the spirits of many. Up step Annie Mac. The Radio One’s mash up expert and saviour of many a Friday night provided a set that had the crows bouncing in the mud and creating incredible scenes. As the rain got heavier the crowd got larger and larger…and it was only 5pm!
Next was undoubtedly Young Academic’s favourite performance of the day, if not the year so far. Southampton’s favourite break-beat son and relative stalwart of the tech-house scene was not in the mood to mess around a rarely has a set gone off so quickly. Zabiela is famously a fan of his CDJ2000’s and technology in general so it was no surprise to see him jumping around with various peripherals at regular intervals. This performance was a joy to behold but as we though and indeed said at the time, there are no words. It was a be-there situation and anybody who saw this incredible display will know exactly what we mean. Thanks James.
Within two minutes of James Zabiela finishing his performance, the stage was turned around in incredible fashion to allow the The Score to provide something rather different. It was exactly what it said on the tin. Violins, cellos, tubas and trumpets were just the tip of the iceberg as over one hundred musicians played everything from Star Wars to Beethoven. Surreal to say the least.
Anyway, back to the dance music. It is rarely that you go to see Erol Alkan thinking that he has a lot to live up to – and that is exactly what he had to do following James Zabiela’s set. Different of course, Alkan put in a typically unpredictable electro set and certainly done his homework on his audience. Mixing electro, rock and indie classics culminating in the whole tent going absolutely berserk to Kasbah by The Clash, Manchester loved the thought. Again, we could harp on about all the delights that Erol provided but we won’t. It was immense
We love Parklife, if for no other reason that after five hours of bouncing around to some of the very best dance music available, there was an array of great bands to watch. Our legs were getting a little tired by this point but we still finished our day at the best festival of the year so far by watching mesmerising performances by Metronomy and Mystery Jets. Two fantastic bands that were clearly loving playing on front of a wet but hugely appreciative audience.
With many of the acts and bands that played at Parklife simply girding their loins for Glastonbury, we are pretty excited. In just two years, this festival has become a classic already. Well done to all involved!
This is just the first review of the summer from the Young Academic Ultimate Festival Guide, we will be at every festival worth its salt this summer. Keep your eyes for some great student news and career guides as well, just because you guys are off for the summer Young Academic will still be scouring the world for all the academic news you need!