Since when did a little bit of rain hurt anybody? Parklife 2019 had a lot to live up to. Rolling into the tenth year, the Manchester right of passage has accumulated hype, mass, stages, money, thrills, spills and lunacy over the last 10 years. Starting back in 2010 in Rusholme, with Clavin Harris as a headliner (can you imagine the absolute wedge that Calvin would charge to headline nowadays, jesus) Parklife festival is known the country over, and attracts customers from all four corners of the isle.
So it's no surprise that Parklife is one of the actual, genuine, no shitty pretend marketing, festivals, to sell out tickets before the gates open. Suffering two big blows in the week prior to opening (Cardi B pulling out for an absolute laughable reason & the heavens set to pour across Heaton Park), Parklife 2019 was fighting an uphill battle before the weekend had even begun. But my god, did it come out swinging.
It appears that in the true Birtish style, the rain caused absolutely no problems for the 80,000 attendees across both days, with ASOS & Boohoo outfits galore from both genders. Whether rain or shine, there was still enough PVC & tit tape to give a mediocre BDSM party a run for it's money, as tens of thousands of local Manchester ravers and a few thousands from out of town, descended, ready to give the festival a run for its money.
First and foremost, let's chat about the highlight. Mike. Bloody. Skinner. Appearing for the first time at a festival in 7 years, The Streets, curated a set that will go down in the history books of the festival. By some fantastic stroke of luck, Mike took to the stage just as the sun began to shine down on Heaton Park and whipped the crowd into a frenzy with banger after banger, spanning his envious 18 year career to date. In the words of the main man himself "so we'll put on our classics and we'll have a little dance, shall we?" A fantastic insight into the mind and flavours of the infamously offbeat Brummy artist, Mike Skinner was undoubedtly the top performance of the entire weekend.
So, Parklife. It’s really rare nowadays to come across a mainstream festival this encompassing and still somehow, raw. A festival so well-organised that it’ll make any proper music fanatics month. Considering the absolute diversity of the lineup, and the sheer audacity of bringing dozens of dozens of 'headline' status acts into one weekend, is truly something special.
In a city so rich and spoilt in heritage, from raves to rock and roll, Oasis to Joy Divison, A Guy Called Gerlad to Kaluki, Parklife manages to pluck the very essence of what brings together a community, and share it to the masses up and down the UK. Big boots to fill next year Parklie, what are you bringing?
With a decade under its belt, Parklife shows no signs of slowing day and proves its well and truly a jewel in Manchester’s musical crown. The 2020 edition is confirmed to return to Heaton Park on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th, with a limited run of earlybird tickets on sale now via the festival’s website priced at just £119 for weekend general admission, and £145 for weekend VIP.