Sunday saw the launch of Reebok Radio. Secluded in the Terrace section of the festival, one could spy a variety of famous faces, from a fierce looking Annie Mac to the cooler than cool Delilah.
Reebok Radio, who are about to embark on a five month UK ‘pop-up’ tour, bringing new and emerging underground talent to our major cities, kept the terrace bouncing all afternoon with Goldierocks spinning perfect tracks to get everyone in the Parklife spirit. The course of the afternoon saw an exclusive appearance form Dot Rotten, and I managed to pin Ghostpoet down for five minutes.
Hey Ghostpoet, we’re at Parklife festival. Do you think it’s important for cities to hold festivals these days?
Yeah definitely, I think it’s great for local people who may not be able to travel far, or access festivals in the countryside or abroad. It’s great for things like Parklife to happen – I’m all for people power.
And we’re here with Reebok Radio, do you think it’s a good thing that sports brands are teaming up with music?
Yeah it’s cool, I can appreciate that’s becoming more of a common thing now and it’s good.
And continuing on that theme, more underground genres seems to be getting to wider audiences now. Do you think events like this help?
I wouldn’t be able to say, although I think UK bass music is reaching the world – especially with the power of the internet, word of mouth and so forth. It’s just a good time to be making music in the UK.
Lots of your music paints a contemporary image of Britain, and tells a story. Is that heavily based on personal experience or are you a bit of a people watcher?
Bit of both, really. I think it’s important for me to talk about life as I see it – be it my own life, be it strangers, be it friends or family, or stuff that I read, watch, smell, taste… I’m just trying to put out what’s in my head as music.
You’re not one to shy away from a good remix; do you have particular criteria for choosing artist you want to remix?
It’s often music that I like. Music is of course subjective, but I take the challenge of loving the original and creating my own version of it that I love – I suppose that’s the criteria really.
As the evening fell upon Platt Fields, a very strange thing occurred. Silence befell the main stage, the large tents, and the DJ booths. Lights were turned off. The crowd? Confused. And for why? Well, due to a ‘discrepancy’ in the license of Parklife the stages were closed for one hour, and a rather beautiful thing happened. Samba bands popped up seemingly out of nowhere and an impromptu carnival took over Platt Fields. Proving that sometimes electricity isn’t needed for a good time, lads, girls, ravers and dubsteppers united together in an hour-long Brazilian bonanza, with smiles all round.
The switches were flicked back on, and so began the mass migration towards the Now Wave Stage (quite possibly the best stage of the festival) for the appreciation of Gold Panda, the chill wave poster boy who took the crowd nicely into the night-time with his blissful bass.
Another stand out performance came from Mount Kimbie. Combatting sub-standard speaker systems, they still managed to take the crowd on a musical and emotional journey, with standout track ‘Carbonated’ powering through the masses.
As Parklife came to an end, Dizzy pleased the pop crowd at the Main Stage, Justice (sort of) pleased the dance connoisseurs over on the Metropolex stage (their recent album ‘Audio, Video, Disco’ just doesn’t compare to ‘†’). Maya Jane Coles held down an intense house set. And The Rapture closed the festival, bringing their disco-dance vibe to Parklife; I cornered Vito Roccoforte from the band before they went on stage for a quick chin wag.
Is this your first time at Parklife festival and are you enjoying it so far?
Yeah, we just flew down from Scotland a few minutes ago. Pretty good so far, though!
The music you make often inspires violently awesome dance moves; do you have any shapes you like to throw when performing?
Oh, I’m a really crap dancer. And I’m always sat down, so I’m all about the seat dancing.
So seeing as we’re at a festival, I thought I’d throw you the festival five – one word answers only…
Tent or Stage:
I’ll go tent, as we’re playing one today.
Wellies or hi-tops:
Acoustic or Electric:
And as we’re in Manchester, I’ve got to ask.. Red or Blue:
I better pass on that one!
And with that Parklife was over for another year. Festival goers spilled out on the streets of Fallowfield, the home of Manchester’s student population. Those still needing to rave hunted down the after parties (dubbed ‘afterlife’ by the promoters) and those of us more knowledgeable of the area begged friends to host house parties ‘til the early hours of the morning. And what for Parklife next year? More stages? The introduction of camping? Who knows. All I can say is that Parklife has become more than a mere city festival, rapidly earning its stripes as the go-to festival for the glitter-wearing, bass-loving generation.
Reebok Radio @Parklife podcast can be accessed here