With no Glastonbury in 2012 and the average festival ticket almost certainly costing more than last year’s £184 (that’s before 5 crates of Carlsberg and 17 packs of Super Noodles remember), the opportunity is certainly there for a competitively-priced June festival to steal the limelight. Well organised, always with a friendly atmosphere and almost completely devoid of over-aged festival goers scoffing Gourmet Ostrich Burgers (apart from Bez), the Parklife Weekender is back with a vengeance and a gobsmacking line-up to boot.
If we start from the bottom then things look a little bit more familiar but nonetheless impressive. Saturday’s Thrasher and Chibuku stage line-ups include the likes of Fake Blood, Redlight, Pearson Sound, Tensnake and Simian Mobile Disco whilst the Crosstown Rebels arena will finish with sets from Damian Lazarus and Art Department. Almost all of the names will be familiar to the Manchester club scene through The Warehouse Project and can expect to produce big sets for the occasion.
However, Parklife has had a habit of impressing with a sheer volume of impressive DJs in the past and has fallen down on the day through a lack of big-name live acts. Appearances from Crystal Castles, Chic, Kelis (returning after her performance last year), Nero and Tom Vek should rectify this on the Saturday whilst dance fans need not worry as Sub Focus, Zane Lowe, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Pendulum will doubtlessly keep the tents hot, loud and intense. When the M.E.N. described Parklife as a balance between “populist indie and niche electronica”, then Noah & The Whale and The Flaming Lips appearing to close the Main Stage on Saturday is probably what they were on about. However, this at least shows a bit of a nod to eclecticism at this year’s event, a chance to mix up the pace of proceeding a bit and a bit of a teaser for those outside of Manchester’s student population.
If you thought that was impressive though, the Sunday line-up will blow you away. If you take a rough house / dub / drum and bass dividing stick and apply it to big names in dance music right now then you would probably come up with something roughly like this: Maya Jane Coles, Julio Bashmore and Joy O at the Wax:On Stage, Fresh (Live), Shy FX, David Rodigan, Artwork and Toddla T on the Ape Carnival Stage (supported by local hero Rich Reason) and Netsky, London Elektricity, High Contrast, Nu:Tone and Danny Byrd on the Hospitality Stage.
Here’s where it gets truly amazing as the fantastic Justice close proceedings at the Metroplex Arena with support from Annie Mac, Erol Alkan and rising star Madeon. Throw into that a Sunday Main Stage line-up of great new talent (Delilah, Azaelia Banks, Labrinth, Murkage) and you don’t even have to worry about the fact that Dizzee Rascal is headlining until it’s 10:54pm on June 10th and you’re dancing like a lunatic to ‘Bonkers’, half covered in mud and the girl next to you’s tub of Wagamama’s (I jest).
All the usual suspects are there, but this year the Parklife Weekender is set to back up all the excitement with some incredible performances with some genuinely amazing live acts. We’ll see you down there in June.
For more info, check out parklife.uk.com or have a peep at the preview video below.