Preview: Parklife Festival 2016

Returning to the glorious 600 acre spread of Heaton Park, Parklife Festival 2016 boasts arguably its biggest lineup to date, combining the best names in dance and house music with rising grime stars and a sprinkling of wild indie bands to boot. With over 130 acts spread across eight stages, vibrant roaming performers and a rich variety of food and drink stalls, the two-day festival promises to be nonstop sensory brilliance. Parklife also provides tickets for its much sought after Afterlife events, for those who can’t stop, won’t stop, and want to carry on the party until the early hours. The Afterlife in itself has an impressively listed line-up including both already acclaimed and promising names from the drum & bass, techno and house music scenes such as Preditah, Friction, Dimension, Seth Troxler and Eats Everything. As the Mancunian green prepares to bounce to heavy basslines and big drops, Impact takes a look at some of the most exciting names on this year’s lineup.

Saturday’s main stage headliner are The Chemical Brothers who released their eight album Born In The Echoes last year. A band that brought electronic big beat sounds to the pop music prominence are perfectly at home playing the final slot at Parklife. Known for their unrivaled live displays, which at previous festivals have involved huge psychedelic screens and lasers, The Chemical Brothers are one act that cannot be missed. From lasers to Major Lazer, the chart topping, diverse electronic music group whose single ‘Lean On’ became the sound of everyone’s summer will be taking over Parklife’s main stage on Sunday with what promises to be a massive set, combining dance and electropop rhythms with infectious reggae beats.

“Known for their unrivalled live displays, which at previous festivals have involved huge psychedelic screens and lasers, The Chemical Brothers are one act that cannot be missed”

Another big name on this year’s bill is Skepta. Having sharply risen as one of the biggest voices of UK grime in 2015 with massive tracks such as ‘Shutdown’ and ‘That’s Not Me’ that have got everyone spitting bars as though they’re from East London, Skepta has pointed eyes and ears sharply towards grime music and its surrounding culture. His much anticipated album Konnichiwa has been released a month before Parklife, giving avid fans plenty of time to become acquainted with his lyrics in advance of the festival. Skepta isn’t the only act offered for grime listeners; Stormzy, similarly propelled towards the mainstream in the past twelve months and having charted in the Christmas top ten with the freestyle lyricism of ‘Shut Up’, is also set to perform on the main stage. Further grime acts such as Kano, Lethal Bizzle and Section Boyz have been aptly placed on Saturday’s BBC Radio 1 Xtra stage where they’ll be sure to have a massive audience.

Now in its seventh year, Parklife is recognised as a prominent dance and electro festival and with two of the hottest and most exciting red-headed women in this genre, Jess Glynne and Katy B, both headed onto the main stage, the festival is maintaining its position when it comes to valuing British music. Catering to a variety of music tastes means that there are several indie and alternative rock bands also on the bill. Propelled by their Grammy nominated single ‘Moaning Lisa Smile’, Wolf Alice rose to stardom and NME award success with their raw rock sound which will undoubtedly have festival-goers jumping wildly in the big top on Saturday. Further representing British indie rock on the same stage are Bastille, a four-piece whose more poppy sound combines powerful, senseless feeling with delicate piano strings and huge drum beats. The percussive energy continues in the MTA arena with Craig David’s TS5 set. Following his comeback after the release of ‘When the Bassline Drops’ and ‘Nothing Like This’, festival-goers will certainly be ready to drop with the bass at Craig David’s TS5 set which promises to be full of percussive beats and rhythm, surely mixing both his golden classic tracks with newer releases on the set list.

“Two of the hottest and most exciting red-headed women in this genre”

Over the course of the two days, festival-goers will also be entertained by an outstanding spectrum of dance acts, producers and DJ sets including names who are well-known and already acclaimed, such as Annie Mac, Gorgon City, Flume and DJ EZ, as well as fresh new faces such as Shy FX and Jackmaster. Fresh from live performances at recognised clubs such as Stealth and Fabric respectively, Maribou State and My Nu Leng are two different sets of duos with very similar passions for rich bassy sound and energetic live sets.

Parklife 2016 takes place in Manchester on the 11th and 12th of June and tickets are still available here for what will be a fantastic weekend with a mixture of tastes, colours and sounds.

Nikou Asgari

Image Courtesy of Listen Up

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