Parklife Festival Bids Farewell to Platts Field Park with Style Despite the Rain

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parklife flag young academic2012 was always going to be an odd summer for festivals. With the Olympics stealing much of the limelight (and the portaloos apparently) and a big void left by the absence of the world’s biggest and best festival in Glastonbury, we weren’t really sure what to expect this party season. Luckily for all involved, Parklife Festival has continued its trend of improving dramatically year on year since its inception and served up a real treat once again.

As seems to be the way this year, Parklife has decided (or were they pushed?) to move location, away from the Platts Field Park which is admittedly slap bang in the middle of a very residential area. We’re pretty gutted about this here at Young Academic HQ as the site is absolutely perfect for a British festival being flat as a pancake and well situated near a plethora of facilities. We can see the concerns of the locals however, festival goers are hardly the quietest bunch are they? We are still awaiting news on where Parklife will be next summer, but one feels that we may have a great surprise in store as the event organisers certainly seem to know what they are doing. Fingers crossed.

So, to the music. This year’s sumptuous line-up whetted the appetite of many and duly delivered as promised. Heavyweights such as Flaming Lips and Labrinth hugely impressed their respective fan bases as the usual myriad of top DJs had their tents bopping through all sorts off weather – it was a festival that featured weather from all four seasons but nothing seemed to stop the rave. As Young Academic navigated the Parklife site, we were truly amazed at the never say die attitude of British festival goers (and we are Glastonbury regulars).

Last year’s fan’s favourite James Zabiela provided another pounding set that dominated the Chibuku tent and Alt-J did the progress of their new album no harm whatoseover with a performance that had even stalwart dance fans bouncing around the festival coining lines from the infectious Matilda.

The patience and resolve of the welly wearing party heads was even rewarded on the Sunday, as the weather improved vastly and were able to enjoy some sunshine as they drank and danced like it was the eighties.

The second day of the Parlife weekender was all about the classic acts for Young Academic as typically enthralling performances from the likes of Justice, Annie Mac and The Rapture ensured that the event ended superbly. The mud had even dried out allowing the more fatigues to chill out in the warmer weather whilst the hardened ravers out there filled their boots.

All in all, Parklife was once again a true treat. Security were on hand but not obtrusive, the beer could have well been dearer and the music was an absolute joy. A well organised festival with a pretty unique atmosphere now has us all wondering just one thing – where to next for the UK’s fastest growing festival. Answers on a postcard please…

Report by Charles Whitworth (Editor)parklife mud dance young academic
Described as a rainy town for sunny people by none other than Niall Rodgers, Manchester’s Platts Field Park hosted this year’s Parklife Weekender.  If last year was anything to go by, this local festival promised sun, rain, mud and a chunky line up that even bigger festivals would be proud of and it definitely delivered.

In the run-up to the festival, it rained and it poured but anyone from Manchester is used to that.  Us Northerners are made of stronger things so off we went, clad with raincoats and wellies, ready for what was sure to be a mud bath much like the year before.

Of course, not everyone was prepared.  Boys dressed in their tiger onesies and girls dressed in skimpy numbers trudged through the mud.  For one girl, it’s certain that Parklife was her first festival.  It’s a silly idea to turn up to any festival in heels but given the sheer amount of mud that we saw and endured, she will have been covered by the end of the day.  Mud-covered or not, Parklife 2012 will not be her last if the atmosphere and tunes are anything to go by.

Celebrating its third year, Parklife attracted a 35,000 strong gang of festival-goers ready to soak up waves of music in various tents, dotted around the park.  Of course, not everyone was happy and since the festival closed its gates, there’s been a backlash from residents around Fallowfield and the surrounding areas.

For those that don’t know, this year was the last year that Parklife Weekender would grace Platts Field Park.  The organisers cite plans to move are due to plans to expand and develop as a festival.  It’ll be music to the ears of those that feel their park has been ruined.

“Call me an old sod, but is it fair for all those who will be left in Rusholme, Fallowfield and Moss Side next week when the kids have gone home to find their park looking like a tank training area?” – said one unhappy resident.

“You’re killing my area, you and the students” said another.

parklife dance young academicDespite the organisers’ best efforts to keep Platts Lane clear of litter and noise, it seems the problem lies with the mud.  Surely, that’s not down to the festival goers though? Down with rainy summers, that’s what I say.

Sure, the grassy turf turned to muddy streams but Manchester should be proud to hold an event that attracts thousands of people to the area, keeping Manchester in the press for all the right reasons.

Next year the rumour goes that Parklife Weekender will be held at Wythenshawe Park but for now, we will just have to wait and see…

Report by Rachel Deer

Comments 4

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  4. Thank you for acknowledging the issues this causes for the park. 

    The noise and disruption on the one weekend is no problem to me personally – I like music and festivals – but it’s not just a bit of mud afterwards.  Now, weeks later large sections of the park look like ploughed fields, and the stink of urine is still everywhere.  The pathways are cracked and broken. A bench lies twisted where it’s clearly been run into by a large site vehicle.  Most people around here don’t have gardens but the park is in no state for picnics any more.

    The mega-mela, a large free annual community festival is due on the 14th July in the same area, but even if they do let it go ahead it will not be pleasant and will run the risk of making the damage worse.

    Local groups work hard to try and encourage park-users to dispose of rubbish responsibly, and to keep disposable bbqs off the ground and so on, but the mess and damage caused by parklife makes all that effort seem like a bad joke.

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