For anyone familiar with Festival you'll know that it's known for people wrestling in the rain pools outside the stage tents or people sliding down the mud slide in order to get to the temple stage at the bottom of the hill. Thankfully this year the rain mostly stayed away and the sun shined down on festival go- as their jaws took them from stage to stage to see which of over 100 acts tickled their fancy for the time being. The festival is now in its fifth year of being hosted at Heaton Park and being in June it's no wonder its full of students celebrating the end of their academic year.
The Saturday line up was jam packed with some of the biggest acts around at the moment including Jamie Jones, Slim, Boy Better Know and London Grammar. After arriving at the festival and being sent to several different entrances, we finally got into the park and decided to head straight to the main stage. We managed to catch the last song from Cabbage before Essex based RATBOY took to the stage. The band seemed somewhat small on the massive main stage but managed to give an energetic set to the reasonable sized crowd that had formed.
After RATBOYs set had finished we decided to go and explore the rest of the stages. Unlike most festivals, each of the stages were unique and stood out in the park so it wasn't hard to find which stage you were looking for. The sounds of the near future stage was a standard blue tent while the warehouse project stage had been described by many of the festival go- as "the spider one" as it looked like it had huge black legs coming out of the stage. The temple stage which hosted mostly grime, hip-hop and reggae acts over the weekend was set up to look like a collection of rusty shipping boxes and situated down a small hill in its own area of the park.
After venturing round the park between the different stages and various street food stalls we found ourselves in The Hanger stage where Dutch DJ Oliver was halfway through his set. The stage was a huge, tall, shed-like building which complimented the dance and electronic that were playing. The light show looked incredible as it beamed over the heads of the audience of thousands and danced along with the music. Oliver played an amazing set which included some of his most famous songs but also mixed in some crowd pleasers.
After making our way round the park and spending time in each of the stages watching various artists, we headed to the main stage to watch Two Door Cinema Club and headliners The 1975.
Two Door Cinema Club filled their spot with all their most famous hits and an array of songs from their latest album.
After Two Door Cinema Club had finished their set, the screens on either side of the stage showed a selection of celebrities including Carl Cox and Bernard Sumner talking about how they "stand with Manchester". The of the festival then walked onto the stage followed by Andy Burnham the Mayor of Manchester, the 1975s lead singer Healy and the Emergency Services people who had helped out during the terrorist attack on Manchester Arena last month. Both Andy Burnham and Healy gave speeches on the attack highlighting how hard the emergency services had worked on that night and how we cannot let beat us. This was followed by a minute of noise from the crowd, cheering and clapping for the emergency services team.
Quickly after, the stage lights went down and the rest of The 1975 came on opening their set with one of their most popular songs 'Love Me'. The band had their usual stage set up with rectangle LEDs framing the stage. They continued to play all their hits and while the sun set behind the stage they created the perfect atmosphere to end the first day of the festival.
Sunday arrived and after we had dragged ourselves out of bed, still tired after the excitement of Saturday, we headed into the park. The Sunday line-up was filled with a lot more DJs and hip-hop acts. We headed to the Sounds of the Near Future stage to catch , a British hip-hop musician. During his set he bought on singer-songwriter Tom to play a song with him before thanking the crowd for coming to see him and saying this was one of the biggest audiences he had ever played to.
We then moved between the different stages watching a few different acts including and Mura Masa before heading down to the temple stage. The temple stage was like another main stage in itself and as we arrived it was packed with people drinking, smoking and dancing along to the reggae act that was currently on stage. Soon after, the stages headline act Andy C made his way on stage with MC Piper to close the stage. Andy C had been described as the king of drum and bass and during his set he made it clear why. He played some of the best known drum and bass songs along with his own songs and as he finished his set he left the crowd on a high as the festival came to an end.