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Parklife Festival

Lynda Moyo joins all the people, so many people...

Written by . Published on June 14th 2010.

Parklife Festival

Major music festivals in Manchester have an unpredictable life span. They either get cut abruptly or they do something like change their names in a bid to reinvent themselves, regardless of what people actually want.

Last year's Mad Ferret Festival on Platt Fields Park, despite a few teething problems and the last minute let down of headliner Finley Quaye, was a good attempt.

D:Percussion in Castlefield is still sorely missed (it's surely one of the best locations in the city for summer music events).

But where there's a will – and a wallet – there's a way. This year, several Manchester-based promoters clubbed together to put on a party in the park under the aptly named Parklife Festival. Warehouse Project, Mad Ferret, Now Wave, Metropolis, Ape and The Deaf Institute organised the music tents for the gloriously sunny event on Platt Fields Park, Fallowfield. Acts included Friendly Fires, Calvin Harris, Erol Alkan, Kele Okereke, Magnetic Man, Riot Jazz, Andy C, Ronnie Size and Goldie.

Priced at around £30 a ticket, the festival was predominately aimed at the local students along with those who have a penchant for dance-based music. That is of course if you managed to get in at all.

On the inside, local, national and international artists were spread across six stages. In between, festival-goers enjoyed food, drink, circus skill acts and let's not forget the England vs USA World Cup match, which was broadcast across the park on a giant screen.

Unfortunately the 1-1 result slightly dampened the mood with many people heading home straight after the match. You can understand why Parklife chose to show the match, but in hindsight, sticking to the musical entertainment would have sufficed and also would have saved a lot of money. The footy detracted from the acts, and in the hospitality area, people were unable to leave until the match was over, due to overcrowding.

Conclusion: World Cup or no World Cup, festivals don't need football. What a festival does need however, is maps and programmes. Unfortunately, these were not displayed around the park and instead people were expected to cough up £3 to buy one, so not entirely student-friendly then. This resulted in people not knowing what was on where or when. It's definitely a work in progress.

Nevertheless, Parklife was at least double the scale of the previous year's Mad Ferret and with little trouble on the day, they didn't do half bad for a first go. It's proof that so long as there are promoters willing to take the gamble, Manchester and music shall continue to reign supreme. I have no doubt that Parklife will be back next year, new and improved – let's hope. View the day's music and madness below...

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Banton BrownJune 15th 2010.

Parklife is not the kind of life I want to be involved in ever again. It was a money making scam. The acts on the main stage were poor, it was too packed and I queued 45mins for a burger. I have been to many festivals in the past and I have never queued that long for a burger. People queued over two hours to get into the festival and they didn´t ever get searched, so what the hell took so long? The football should never have been shown, we all knew that England would get off to a slow start, they always do, but yet a bunch of so called educated students decided to take out their frustration on my friends face. He queued up for two hours, went to the toilet for two minutes, came back with two black eyes. Worst festival ever.

Tim BlackwellJune 15th 2010.

Some more pictures on the Friends of Platt Fields website:

UnconvincedJune 15th 2010.

Same story on Firday night banton. Too many people, not enough toilets/bar staff, etc. Heavy handed security too. Good idea, perhaps not executed the right way. And the sound of Ian Brown would have had the squirrels packing their bags for pastures new.

Elizabeth FitzgeraldJune 15th 2010.

Agree with Banton Brown. Queued up for 2 hours and walked out after 2 drinks. I think the latest entry time was a problem as everyone got there at the same time and then the festival was full of weekend ravers and girls who were told how to do festivals by grazia! I am sure some of the acts were great but it was too crowded and just felt like a money-making machine.

SJJune 16th 2010.

It took two hours to get in. I was searched - apparently a muesli bar was a high risk item and it was promptly confiscated by the security. On getting in not enough toilets, bars, staff or foodstalls. Really badly organised - will not bother again!

DescartesJune 17th 2010.

Weird that, a whole bunch of my friends went along and all had a brilliant time. I was gutted I missed it.

JennifurryJune 18th 2010.

There may have been teething problems, as with any first foray into a festival, but on the whole it was well organised and my mates and I had a great time. I've been going to Lovebox in London since 2005 and am more than happy that we now have a similar event in Manchester. I expect they will be back next year having ironed out a few issues but as with all festivals you're going to get crowded areas, queues and the odd idiot.

DancedanceJune 21st 2010.

The best day of my life in Manchester by far. I got there on time and was in within 10-15 mins, loved watching the football (despite a poor performance) and will definitely be back for more next year. A bit busy at times but at least more people got to enjoy it!! All my friends had their best day ever. Parklife is one of the best things to happen to Manchester in ages.

AnonymousJune 15th 2012.

i was refused entry coz my pupils were too big im a 43 yr old father of two.got in next day i was basically stuck there on a friends stag do proper dick turpin tackle.NEVER AGAIN

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