So, I’m still recovering from my first festival of the year…Parklife! Last weekend I donned my wellies and headed over to Manchester where I joined thousands of other festival revellers for a weekend of fun.
As soon as I arrived in Manchester I knew that everyone was getting excited for Parklife. Even on the coach from Leeds you could definitely tell which passengers were heading to the festival. Despite the dreary weather, people were walking around town in their short shorts, wellies and shades. Heading over to Fallowfield, where I was staying for the weekend, there were people sat outside their houses and enjoying a beer or two with music blaring out down the street.
Parklife used to be held in Platt Fields Park close to Fallowfields, but two years ago moved to Heaton Park which offers a bigger capacity. Although the new location does seem to cope better with the crowds, I did feel like it was a massive effort to get there and back each day. The festival runs buses and you can buy an advance ticket or buy when you get there, however from my experience, the queues were always a nightmare and we always ended up getting a taxi. This year, the journey home consisted of squashing onto a tram to take us back into the city centre…
But, despite my reservations about the commute, the festival itself is great and good value for money. As with most festivals, Parklife is equipped with fairground rides, food stalls, expensive drinks, and, of course, several stages.
Saturday saw Snoop Dogg headlining on the main stage (amazing) as well as Katy B, Rudimental, Duke Dumont, Nero and Foxes making an appearance, to name but a few. The weather was pretty bleak but in the afternoon the clouds lifted and the whole festival cheered as the sun emerged.
The next day, after a well-needed Wetherspoons breakfast, we headed over to Heaton Park to do it all again. The Sunday line up included the likes of Foals, Bastille, London Grammar, Clean Bandit, and my personal highlight of the weekend, Disclosure. As Disclosure started to perform When a Fire Starts to Burn, massive flames shot up from the top of the stage much to the delight of the sea of people who had gathered.
The mud and rain didn’t deter the thousands of people who were determined to make the most of the weekend. A lot of people had also bought tickets to ‘Afterlife’ parties in the city centre where the fun continued into the night.
In some ways, one of the things I like about Parklife is that there’s no camping involved. Rather than feeling muddy and disgusting all weekend you can go home, get changed and have a shower and be ready to do it all again the next day.
Although I feel like I need a holiday just to get over this weekend, it was certainly a good start to my festival calendar – can’t wait for the next one!