This year's Parklife has quite possibly one of the most appealing line-ups for a UK festival - especially such a small one - that has been seen for some time. Never mind the main stages - you can pretty much ignore the main headliners (Example and Plan B) altogether - just look at that DJ line-up; it's like a house fan's wet dream. But there's so much more than pop stars and house and dance acts lighting up the line-up as rock, hip hop and more are on offer at the Manchester festival.
High up on the list (and deservedly so) we have the Queen of alternative electro Jessie Ware, proving just how much can change in a year in the music business. The London-based singer/songwriter was practically unknown when she released her seminal debut Devotion last year and now she's rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rita Ora and Johnny Marr. Also towards the top of the list are The Horrors who may even have some new offerings for the crowd when they play the Now Wave stage on Sunday night. The Maccabees, King Krule and Liars should appease those looking for some more forward-thinking indie too. It's a shame to see Toro Y Moi so far down the list, but what better way to get you into the mood for the rest of Sunday than the disco-infused indie pop of Chaz Bundick? If Sunday is going to be a party, Chaz is the man to get everyone in that all-day party mood.
The festival organisers have especially outdone themselves with the selection of hip-hop on offer too, with the newly reformed Jurassic 5 standing out as one of the potential highlights of the weekend. There's a quality selection of new school heroes as well, with New Yorkers Action Bronson and wunderkind Joey Bada$$ looking like tantalising prospects, and don't be surprised if Joey brings some of his Pro Era cohorts with him. Also, one of rap's most electrifying and entertaining stars Danny Brown will have hip-hop heads writhing in anticipation when he brings his brand of alternative hip-hop to the Hudson Mohawke curated stage on Sunday. His first proper album Old comes out soon, and what a better place to show it off than here?
Which brings us nicely to the piece-de-resistance that is the mouth wateringly good selection of electronic artists. Electro heroes Four Tet and Goldie will be performing live sets, whilst UK dance's brightest young stars Disclosure will have a lot to prove when they follow Kieran Hebden's set on the Sounds of the Near Future stage on Saturday. It doesn't end there though, as current house heavyweights Julio Bashmore, Scuba, Jamie Jones, Bicep, Ben UFO, Huxley, Pearson Sound, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Krystal Klear and DJ EZ to name but a few will be playing live sets too. There's also a host of double acts up on offer with Eats Everything going back to back with Justin Martin and one of the biggest electronic acts on the planet, TNGHT, showing up to give their hard-hitting brand of dance to the Lancashire audience. In case you miss Hudson Mohawke (who is curating the TNGHT-headlined stage) when he's playing with Lunice, he's got his own solo DJ slot too so there's really no excuse to miss this Glaswegian. You wouldn't want to miss the DJ set from his fellow Glasgow Jackmaster either, who will be performing a DJ set just prior to Mohawke. For those after something a little dirtier, dubstep starts Benga and Joker might help, whilst dubstep/D&B/grime producer Breakage might be worth checking out if your ears are still intact by Sunday evening. If that doesn't tickle your fancy, then maybe a trip to the smaller stages like the Red Bull Academy or The Tree House will be worthwhile, with T Williams, Compa Daniel Avery and so many more on offer for the massive two-day event.
Parklife Festival 2013 runs from June 8 - 9 at Manchester's Heaton Park just outside Manchester city centre, the same Heaton Park that has seen memorable (if you have no soul) performances from The Stone Roses and Oasis over the years and once hosted the Cities In The Park festival at the height of the Madchester scene.
Top 5 Acts To See:
Toro Y Moi
Top 5 Producers/DJs To See:
Eats Everything b2b/w Justin Martin
Jackmaster (DJ Set)
Official Site - http://www.parklife.uk.com