Heaton Park, Manchester
“Where are you?”, if you attended Parklife 2018 or in fact any years previous, you will understand why your phone flashes up constantly with this message IF you happen to be lucky enough to stumble into an area of signal.
Parklife is currently in its 9th year and continues to evolve as one of the UK’s leading music festivals. As the name would suggest, you wander into the gates of Heaton Park early in the day and lose all sense of time. Glitter, shirtless dudes, thigh crystals, lace trousers surround you, it’s almost like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Time no longer has meaning, 11am becomes 11pm and instead you focus on the sights and sounds in front of you – an impressive production that feels like Coachella has landed in Prestwich overnight.
The sheer scale of Parklife never fails to take your breathe away, endless stages of sounds surround you. From the London tower block shaped Valley, Bronx-themed Elrow, the palm tree paradise of the Palm Room, an oil rig and airplane hanger, whenever you go a beat will follow you.
With the Manchester sun beaming down, the party rages on, electro, techno, house, jazz, soul, you name it, it’s there. Parklife is all-inclusive. Headliners on the main stage include The XX, Liam Gallagher and Skepta.
It happened to be a pair of French DJ’s that stood out the most. An impressive production from the start, you are greeted by a mysterious white box set on the stage. Out of nowhere an electric beat hits you and the white box parts to reveal the incredible talent of The Blaze. Imagery combined with music, the performance leaves you captivated and wanting more, you feel and incredible sense of disappointment when they take a bow, you wish they could play on into the night.
Jamie XX knows how to put on a good show and the Palm Room is packed to the rafters with eager revellers. Everyone is moving to their own beat yet share the same resounding wave of appreciation for every song spun on the decks.
George Holt, Parklife festival-goer said: “Parklife has created a reputation for bringing together the biggest names in music and has firmly cemented itself as one of the best festivals in the UK. The 2018 edition exceeded all expectations; from The Black Madonna’s curated Palm House to Carl Cox closing The Valley stage, Parklife had it all.”
Basking in the sunshine, The Valley stage is electric, moves are being thrown all over the show and all inhibitions lost as deep house beats play on.
Rain won’t stop the fun, those lucky enough to have VIP round their wrists stumble into Sankey Soaps and indulge in the sounds of Kyrsko. Those stuck in standard cram in to see Justice. Where there is shelter, there is salvation.
You’d be forgiven if you assumed white shorts would be a good idea, they aren’t. But Parklife isn’t about what you wear. It’s about experiencing a collective emotion, an appreciation year on year of some of the biggest names in music rocking up in Manchester and playing to an incredibly diverse audience. It’s not comfortable, it’s gritty, it’s raw and it’s why people continue to flock in their thousands each year thriugh the gates. If you want a music event that treats day as night, is honest and unassuming, you’ve found it.
“All the people
So many people
And they all go hand-in-hand
Hand-in-hand through their parklife”