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Parklife 2014: Review & Gallery

L'Oréal Blackett and Niamh Spence brave the rain and the mud for the Heaton Park festival

Published on June 9th 2014.


Parklife 2014: Review & Gallery
 

“It’s going to rain all weekend," they said.

"You’re all going to be miserable at Parklife this year,” they said.

They being the weather-officials who predicted floods, storms and lightening for the weekend and the ticket holders who bungled off their tickets for fear of a wash out. Wusses.

Indeed, the weather was against Parklife partiers compared to 2013’s scorching temperatures. Yes, the rain came. Yes, we got drenched. Hair got soaked, shoes were lost, clothes were ruined with crude-oil thick sludge, yet 70,000 partiers returned to Heaton Park defiant and armed with ponchos to rave on.

Dsc_0578Rave On

Saturday 

Long laborious queues; as ubiquitous to the festival scene as women exposing under bum in revealing shorts and as unavoidable as the eye-watering stench of rancid porta-loos and ravers finger-pointing with massive pupils and wide eyes. Parklife was no different.

The first day of the festival was a bit of an organisational nightmare. 

With only two small box offices containing guestlist tickets, standard tickets, tickets for sale and press accreditation for the thousands of festival goers, mayhem was bound to ensue. And it did.

Crowds of people crushed the tiny box offices, screaming guests were pushed up against the windows and even the workers inside ended up in tears as security struggled to regain control and bring order back. Police were called and fights broke out. A shakey start, undeniably. 

Once tickets were sorted and wristbands were on, the festival could begin.

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For some the day had all got too much, and by 3pm there were numerous festival goers bailing into the mud after too much alcohol and, or, other substances. Many came, saw and fell flat on their face. 

Still, stepping over those you could go and see Foxes play a lively set that saw the singer (real name Louisa Rose Allen) sway and jump around the main stage with gusto.

Mainstage acts drew the majority of the crowd. Festival frequenter Katy B turned up with her UK Garage smash hits, from high charting album, Little Red.

There’s no Parklife festival without drum and bass four–piece, Rudimental. They’ve become beloved furniture for the Parklife weekend and they did not disappoint on the main stage. Uniting with talented upcoming vocalists they lifted the mood from bright to elated with their popular singles, Feel The Love and More Than Anything. “Did we bring the sun out for ya?” said the shirtless MC.

 By this time the weather was glorious. 

Dsc_0208Rudimental

On smaller stages such as the Now Wave tent, upcoming act MNEK played a soulful set to a packed out crowd. The 19-year-old singer performed popular single Ready For Your Love and his standout hit Every Little Word.

Compton OG rapper, Snoop Dogg, brought his DJ entourage to perform his old hip-hop classics and encourage a mass head-bobbing session for the closing set. Dressed in patriotic stars and stripes (plus scantily clad lady), D-O Double G brought his certified laid-back cool to end Saturday's proceedings. 

Dsc_0376Snoooooooooop 

Of course, for every highlight, there were a few issues to ruin the mainly positive atmosphere. The crushes, the mud and even at some points the violence (Police reported two men stabbed at the event on Saturday) soured the day for some. 

The teething problems from the first festival at Heaton Park in 2013 had been improved but not entirely fixed.

Most festival-goers spent both days with a low phone signal and sending and receiving messages was near impossible. As a result many partiers lost friends and were unlikely to be found until the end of the evening.  It’s a difficult issue to resolve - time for network provider EE to erect a telephone mast at the top of the tree house, maybe? 

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Also, transporting 70,000 muddied partiers back home was no easy feat.

After last year’s reported difficulty returning home, the efficiency test laid with the Metrolink service. Leaving Parklife just before the last song at 10.30pm after a long walk to the Bowker Vale tram stop (they close the Heaton Park station as it's too cramped) there was a quick tram ride back to city centre for 11.40pm. 

Homeward bound and ready for more. 

Sunday

The Sun Gods answered the prayers of the gun-fingered ravers and provided moments of glorious weather and no storm for the second day. 

Dsc_0069The sun came out

With much whizzier access to the park and much more use of the VIP section for ease of bar and toilet queues, the Sunday was a sunnier day on a whole.

The VIP section (separated bar areas, dedicated stage and food by the likes of Solita), did not stop the ‘very important’ females relieving themselves by the ‘K’ of the Parklife sign, however. The festival filth is not only reserved for the non-VIP wristband holders. 

Sunday’s DJ populated line-up provided a consistent pulse of ‘duff-duffs’ from SBTRKT, Jamie XX, Ryan Hemsworth and plenty more. 

An electronic highlight came from DJ EZ who warmed up the gigantic ‘Wildlife’ stage before DJ/Producer duo Disclosure took to the stage for an animated performance of their hits including You and Me and Fire Starts To Burn.

Dsc_0192Disclosure

Propelled from Disclosure’s shadow as a celebrated solo act, Sam Smith, provided opportunities for pause on the main stage. Performing a mellowed down version of Disclosure’s Latch, lighters were lit, arms waved and couples decided to declare their love with full on tongue kisses to ballad Stay With Me

Dsc_0129Lovers in the mud

London Grammar also showcased a vocally exquisite set on the main stage, although the tepid-tempo admittedly sobered the raucous crowd. Lead singer Hannah Reid’s ethereal voice succeeded in captivating the crowds, as the trio flowed through their ‘trip-hop’ meets soul album, Metal and Dust.

Other main stage highlights came from rock bands Bastille (lead by the prettiest of pretty boys, Dan Smith) and festival favourites, The Foals, who closed the weekend with blustering energy, leaving the crowd in high spirits.

While Parklife's return to Heaton Park came up against possibly the worst festival weather, the weekend was a triumph as much as it was marred by occasional torrential rain. 

See gallery below

Follow @LOreal_B on Twitter

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Dancers Parklife %282%29

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Dsc_0548Danny Brown 2

 

Rapper, Danny Brown 

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

AnonymousJune 9th 2014.

Went last year. Never again. Badly organised, horrible atmosphere and a total rip off.

AnonymousJune 9th 2014.

Good pictures.... compared to the MEN's pictures which were overwhelmingly of groups of young girls.

rinkydinkJune 9th 2014.

Why do festivals always get the bar and loo count wrong?Everyone knows queueing is the worst thing about them (and Warehouse Project nights in general) so why not get it right?

AnonymousJune 10th 2014.

Luckily you left early on the Saturday... getting out of the place was a nightmare of epic proportions! Thousands of people forcing their way through the exit which became an 'emergency exit' for some biazrre reason at the end of the night!! People were scaling the fences, knocking over the metal fences, and in droves all making their way through some dark footpaths and out into the coach park.. teamed with no mobile phone reception, and losing your friends - it made for a very bad ending.. so bad many of our group didn't bother with the Sunday. Very dissapointing!!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 10th 2014.

You're not the only ones, there were plenty I know didn't bother with the Sunday either, after the Saturday night nonsense. Like the initial poster on this thread - I didn't go this year, for exactly the same reasons.

AnonymousJune 11th 2014.

It was £85 for a ticket, if i paid that much I definitely wouldnt just skip a day!

AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

Perhaps that demonstrates the measure of the issues.

AnonymousJune 10th 2014.

Very very bad organisation and horrible security staff, just like Warehouse Project, an embarrassment to Manchester, we could do so much better.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 10th 2014.

You are right it is an embarrassment to Manchester. The organisation is a joke. Serious problems will arise with this festival if things don't improve massively. It took forever to get out of the park last year with security staff refusing to let people leave from various exits and sending them to other exits. Thousands of people were very tired and just wanted to get home. There was a lot of people pushing and shoving and getting extremely agitated and all they wanted to do was leave the park. Then to follow that up with the shambles that was the metrolink just topped it off. Being surrounded by people from all over the country badmouthing the event and the transport for it mad me feel embarrassed and angry. It doesn't need to be this way though the people who organise and run Festwich do a brilliant job. The people of Parklife should go down this year and check it out. 100 times better, and it's free!

AnonymousJune 11th 2014.

People coming from all over the country for a big scale event in Manchester and 90% of them loved it. Yeah really a disgrace isn't it... Half of you didn't even go so why the fuck are you moaning on here? Another top Parklife weekend and if any of you have ever been too any gigs at Heaton Park, you'd know its hard too disperse 70,000 people from once place.

AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

Because the issues that have been raised are genuine safety concerns - see how well it'd have reflected on the festival and the city if there had been a serious incident. Just because someone didn't attend doesn't mean they;re not entitled to an opinion - I didn't go this year but I did last year, and it sounds like little has improved from speaking to friends who did go this year. As a poster below said - there needs to be serious consideration given to a reduction in capacity for next year.

AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

If it's hard to disperse 70,000 people from Heaton Park then the capacity should be reduced or the event moved, or maybe someone else needs to take over the running of it? I've been to much bigger festivals that don't have half the problems Parklife does. I've been to gigs at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and they had no problem getting people in and out. Games at Old Trafford have 76,000 pouring out but there isn't much of a problem there. Parklife is badly run, badly organised, rubbish options at the bar when you eventually get served (Coors Light/Kopparberg/Rose Wine), a nightmare to get out of the park and a nightmare to get home from. And now we have stabbings and idiots running round punching and kicking people over nothing. I've been once and that was enough for me. There's better festivals to go to that take it more seriously and listen to feedback from people who attend.

AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

If it's hard to disperse 70,000 people from Heaton Park then the capacity should be reduced or the event moved, or maybe someone else needs to take over the running of it? I've been to much bigger festivals that don't have half the problems Parklife does. I've been to gigs at Old Trafford Cricket Ground and they had no problem getting people in and out. Games at Old Trafford have 76,000 pouring out but there isn't much of a problem there. Parklife is badly run, badly organised, rubbish options at the bar when you eventually get served (Coors Light/Kopparberg/Rose Wine), a nightmare to get out of the park and a nightmare to get home from. And now we have stabbings and idiots running round punching and kicking people over nothing. I've been once and that was enough for me. There's better festivals to go to that take it more seriously and listen to feedback from people who attend.

Simon TurnerJune 10th 2014.

Security were confiscating umbrellas on Saturday morning, why?? Especially as it appears they managed to allow a group to take knives onto the site (near fatal stabbing incident). There as certainly no duty of care shown by the organisers at the end of Saturday night, the exit and transport situation was dire/dangerous.

AnonymousJune 11th 2014.

Apparently the queuing issues on saturday were with the VIP entrance, where we queued there were plenty of staff getting people into the event and it only took us half an hour. Admittedly getting home on the night was a nightmare, we get the tram on the Sunday which was much more efficient. There were loads of people complaining but with 70,000 people trying to get home at once they need to chill and realize it's going to take a while. A double tram every 6 minutes is about the maximum capacity the metrolink can do.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 11th 2014.

They need the capacity reducing by a good 10,000 imo. Once they have mastered how to look after those people, how to get them in and out of the park without antagonising them. How to have some sort of queuing system at the bar where people get served in order, not in order who has the most powerful elbows for shoving people out of the way then maybe the capacity should be increased? For 2 years on the trot this festival has had a number of problems and it's getting a bad reputation. Speaking to people i know who went last year and people who went this year for the first time, I'm yet to here anyone who will be going back next year. There will be serious problems in the years to come if the organisers don't listen to all the festival goers who are all saying the same thing. I've been to festivals all over and in various sizes from Glastonbury to Greenman to Festwich. This is the worst festival I've had the misfortune to attend and the fact it's in my home town disappoints me massively.

AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

Don't buy a ticket, unless you enjoy being trampled, squashed, stabbed and assaulted, while the security show absolutely no concern for thousands of people stupidly made to squeeze through a bottle neck in a mad rush. If you're nervous or prone to panicking there's a high chance you will die attending this festival, not to mention - if some guy is assaulting your girlfriend, trying to help her will lead to you being killed as it did this year. Not a nice crowd, not a nice festival. Close it down - this place was absolutely criminal and whoever was in charge of the well being of attendants should be locked up and fined massively so they can give the majority of people that suffered their money back.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 12th 2014.

Completely agree with this, the security are shocking, mostly scum themselves.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Spare a thought for poor sods living in M25 (Prestwich)..They park infront of our house,piss in our gardens and throw their litter wherever want..Utter animals..Have been to similar in Australia and next to no litter there..British are filthy...

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

I thought the Jewish people were much more neighbourly than that.

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