How do you top a marriage proposal, an American rap icon and lots of pyrotechnics? That was the question on everyone’s lips after a stellar Saturday at Parklife 2022.
A packed list of acts awaited festival-goers who gradually made their way into Heaton Park this morning – many of whom were presumably still recovering from yesterday’s festivities.
Hopefully we’re ready for a dry day on Sunday morning, and although it got off to a flying start, it was only a matter of time before rain hit Heaton Park. Urge people to take shelter wherever they might find it – although some have decided to fully embrace it and play fair with them.
Early in the day, as crowds slowly began to build, Grammy-nominated producer Jayda G brought her boundless enthusiasm to the stage at The Valley. Mixing everything from Crown Heights Affair to Rhyze, his set helped set the tone for the afternoon.
From the top of the hill, two women – one dressed in shorts and a Hawaiian t-shirt, the other in a purple bikini top and skirt, jumped hand in hand on the beats by Jayda G – that’s when we knew the party had really begun. The masses soon arrived, and it soon became clear why, as Parklife favorite Annie Mac took to the stage – and she didn’t disappoint.
House music veterans Defected Records have been part of Parklife since year one, so it probably wouldn’t be quite the same without them. Reclaiming their own place behind The Valley stage, longtime member of the Defected family and New York icon Louie Vega – of Masters At Work – took to the decks mid-afternoon, rebuilding the crowd after a storm of rapid but decisive rain that saw festival-goers running for shelter.
It didn’t take long for the crowd to swell again, thanks to his deep American garage set, slipping into Daft Punk before bringing things to a thunderous climax with a remixed version of the Hacienda classic. Where Love Lives by Alison Limerick. A master indeed.
At the Hanger, the sun came out and as it did, “the guns” came out for Skream. Perhaps his solid brand of muscular tech house is best consumed without the top, judging by the largely stripped-to-the-waist crowd.
Meanwhile, on stage at Parklife, the glamorous Raye took to the stage, thanking the crowds for bringing the energy and giving her the confidence to be herself. From there, she launched into Secrets, letting her perfectly styled red hair down.
And then the sunflowers came out. Arlo Parks dressing for their main set showed the true nature of this dazzling and brilliant lyricist. “Everyone, myself included, got up at 3 a.m. to be here,” she told adoring fans, and stuck with “Caroline.” His sacrifice of a good night’s sleep was appreciated by those festival-goers. Cheers were also given for ‘Eugene’, ‘Black Dog’ and ‘Too Good’.
Throughout her time on stage, the 2021 Mercury Prize winner, surviving on just two hours of sleep, was accompanied by a digital sunset. That, coupled with the softness, slowness and twists and turns of his voice, led Heaton Park fans – and that’s noise, trash and wind – to a place, finally, where things were going. well and will be fine.
And once again in the breach, the main stage came back to life. After Arlo Parks an hour after they were liquidated, Lewis Capaldi took the mic.
The Scottish singer drew thousands, with crowds swelling outside the tech tent, encroaching on Hangar territory. He started with Grace and continued to land punches.
There was Over The Line just as a kickoff, which induced so many phone shoots that it became apparent that – to a lot of people, he means a lot. It was the Scotsman’s first UK show in three years, joking: “I don’t know what to say between songs, it’s been so long since I’ve done one”.
If there was a question about his remaining popularity – something he admitted he was nervous about – it was a resounding endorsement that Capaldi is here to stay. Long live Lewis.
Above the crest of the hill, the valley asked “do you remember the house?” Fortunately, the Blessed Virgin was there to remind us.
His set vibrated through waves of ravers. A steady groove abounded that had all the vitality of a TikTok dance craze – and soon it had swept away the hundreds of people who turned out to see the American DJ.
And then, without warning, she discharged a tribal horn which signified the Valley was truly onto something.
The end was in sight for Parklife 2022, and it was the start of the final chapter. Unfortunately there will be a Monday – but sit back, relax and the Blessed Virgin has guided us. She made this trip so much more painless.
Not for prudes (seriously) Houston’s Megan Thee Stallion filled the main stage at Parklife just after eight o’clock, joined onstage by a team of male and female dancers dressed in black. And let’s just say that some of the male dancers may have reason to complain at work.
That said, the set was electrifying, with bombs like Body and her, uh, a celebratory duet with Cardi B WAP, and the true X-rated Eat It among the bass-laden highlights causing a roadblock through the site. in all directions.
That’s where it all ended, at least in the Valley. Parklife 2022 will be remembered by anyone who has been there forever – for better or for worse. Bicep’s closing set, starting as the sun went down for the first time today, ensured there would always be fond memories.
The electronic duo were overrun with thousands of tracks from the never say die section, just one more song that so often pays homage to events like this every weekend. As more and more people arrived, more and more phones came out to capture the moment, the moment when there was one last dance. One last roll of the dice before the Monday monotony kicks in.
The lights mesmerized, the bass boomed, and the fans cheered. So to say this Bicep performance was a music set is true.
This year’s Parklife was special for many reasons. But his last night’s headliner will long be remembered. The best – the best – set of the weekend, Tyler, The Creator has created something amazing tonight. With a grassy, Sound of Music-esque mountain set built on stage, he emerged, a backpack on his back, with a mountain jacket, a furry hat and a pole to scale the heights other rappers fear. . And while wearing shiny black loafers.
It was expertly crazy from start to finish, encompassing choreography with on-screen dancers, bucolic sunsets and classics like She, starring Frank Ocean, Lumberjack, 911/Mr Lonely and the magnificent Yonkers. Showing off hip-hop acts around the world for daring to perform with nothing more than a DJ and a microphone, you have to try harder. Like Tyler.
Parklife 2022 has been, for lack of a better phrase, a lot. There were proposals, pyrotechnics and a long-awaited return to normality. But above all, it was a huge celebration of our city. And thank God for that.
Get the latest What’s On news – from food and drink to music and nightlife – straight to your inbox with our daily newsletter.