80,000 music fans descended on Heaton Park, Manchester this weekend for Parklife Festival’s ninth and biggest edition. This year we at The Music Site were delighted to be asked along to watch as many performances as possible from some of the best artists, bands and DJs in the world.
Parklife 2018 brought its A game. Day one saw a whole host of incredible acts take to the stage, Jessie Ware‘s Parklife Stage performance was phenomenal as always, her voice and personality on staged really cannot be matched. She truly is one of the standouts of the whole weekend for us. Sampha followed her with an at times subdued performance which really set the scene for one of the biggest artists of the weekend- Lorde. Lorde’s electrifying set spanned her whole career, covered many fan favourites from ‘Sober’ to ‘Team’ and her collaboration with Disclosure, ‘Magnets’. What Lorde says about Manchester crowds is right, the party comes first, Manchester dances and has a good time no matter the scenario and makes every performer welcome. One thing I really pick up on is how friendly the Parklife Stage audience is, there’s a real sense of camaraderie in the crowd and as cheesy as it sounds, it really is quite beautiful. Not as beautiful as a girl shouting ‘GO ‘ED LASS’ as Lorde begins every song, but still beautiful.
Performances on other stages throughout the day are all noteworthy, A$AP Rocky brought out Skepta ahead of his own main stage on Sunday. His performance at newly revamped, Blade Runner-esque Valley Stage was definitely not one to miss. The xx closed off the day at the Parklife Stage with a euphoric set as the sun fell, they’re one of those special bands that fans connect to at the first beat of any track.
This year’s Parklife also featured an amazing touching tribute from Prose ft. Manchester Survivor’s Choir on the Main Stage, introduced by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. This was in remembrance of the 22 killed in the tragedy that occured at Ariana Grande‘s concert at Manchester Arena last May. The city continues to mourn but continues its embrace of live music in defiance.
Sunday brought on even more massive acts, though with some slightly worse weather. Not3s dominated the Parklife Stage and brought Mabel along to perform their amazing collaboration ‘My Lover’, the pair were followed by BBC’s Sound of 2018 winner, Sigrid. This has to be one of Sigrid’s biggest performances to date and she packed her set full of fan favourites like ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Strangers’, as well as with a bunch of new songs yet to be released. We’re definitely in for a treat when her next EP drops, she was truly amazing.
Manchester born Everything Everything pleased the crowd with an energetic performances of all of their biggest hits and Chvrches followed with hits new and old and a big dose of appreciation for Liam Gallagher‘s tweets and his renaming of the festival to ‘Parkalife’.
LG’s set was one of the most highly anticipated, the former Oasis-frontman opened with the band’s hit track ‘Rock N Roll Star’ and dedicated ‘Live Forever’ in an emotional tribute to last year’s attack. ‘Wonderwall’ was obviously a crowd favourite, a man near us played the flute for the entire song, now that’s some dedication. The main stage was closed by grime superstar Skepta and a few Boy Better Know crew members. The crowd went off to ‘Shutdown’- as it should be. Meanwhile Jamie xx had the Palm House filled to capacity with his DJ set, fans crowded outside to just hear his massive set go off.
The Manchester two day-er is now the largest Metropolitan festival in the country, and has sold out year on year – stay tuned for details of the tenth anniversary.
Thank you to Park(a)life for having us, we can’t wait to see what 2019 holds!