summer in review: the parklife weekender





Well there aint no time like the present, even if it means writing a blog post whilst in recovery mode. If my some way of miracle you managed to avoid hearing at least one person talking about Parklife this weekend then pat yourself on the back you're in the minority. This weekend saw Manchester hit by a party to rival all parties, a weekend with a line up to impress all.

The Parklife Weekender takes place in Heaton Park which is serviced really well by public transport making my weekend easy and straight forward. We took the tram to Heaton Park each day and returned home on it too, the Metrolink were offering £3 return tickets which were being sold by staff on the platform. The tram stop for Heaton Park was right opposite the entrance which meant only a short walk through the park was to be taken before you were in and ready to party. Fortunately I don't experience any queuing all weekend and managed to walk straight in and get home quickly and safely, although heavy congestion and queuing was experienced by those using the  bus service (The Parklife Express) arranged by Parklife themselves. 

In my opinion the arena was a little small and I would have liked to have seen a larger area used but I'm not clued up on the size of Heaton Park so this may not be possible. As the arena was small and saw 65,000 people pass through it over the weekend there was very busy periods between acts which meant it was sometimes extremely difficult to just stroll around without being part of a jostling crowd and toilet queues could get very long. The music quality could have been better in some of the dance tents where the close proximity of other tents meant other stages could sometimes be heard. Aside from all of those very small niggles I had such a great weekend with friends.

Highlights of the weekend included Rudimental - who know how to put on a show and get the crowd going, they are one talented band with the dance moves to match. Also Snoop Dogg provided some nostalgic beats which drew in a huge crowd full of people grooving to his mash up style set. Sunday saw the likes of Ella Eyre, Clean Bandit, Sam Smith and London Grammar take the main stage by storm (during the storm!). My personal Sunday favourites were Warpaint who put on an amazingly rounded and perfect performance and Foals who closed the festival with an out of this world set which saw Yannis crowd surfing and even some blood shed by the band members who were killing it on the guitar. 

Overall an amazing weekend with two different experiences to be had, with Warehouse Project organising the weekend there were some world class house, drum and bass and garage DJ's including the likes of Disclosure, Gorgon City, Duke Dumount and Julio Bashmore it was difficult to decide who to see with all of the clashes which occured. 

There were times when I got the feeling that the music was sometimes lost on attendees and not appreciated as much as I would have liked. When you hear festival go-ers complaining about having to stand through someone's else's set just so they could be at the front for Bastille. Watching SBTRKT on the Sounds of the Near Future stage was an experience with most there unaware of when acts were even on the stage due to the amount of chemicals which they'd managed to get into their system despite the number of bag searches and dogs at the entrance. 

All in all I'd go back again if their line up was unmissable which it usually is however I feel like unless you're a huge house music fan your money could be better spent on another festival! I did enjoy myself and the amazing acts I got to see with friends made running around in the rain in a non waterproof Primark parka so worth it.

TOP TIPS: Book your accommodation early, the hotels can get super pricey as they approach the weekend. We stayed at the Piccadilly Travelodge which cost us £65 each for three nights with the tram stop right outside. If you can handle it try leaving the festival 20 minutes earlier than the finish to avoid the crowds bottlenecked at the exit once everything had shut down, those twenty minutes could save you hours. Use the tram as your primary method of transport if possible, taxi and bus queues were hours long. Eat before you go to save on your money, burritos could cost up to £8 on site. Consider passing on the alcohol (and the drugs ahem) and enjoy the event sober, you won't regret it when you've remembered everything from the weekend and saved £7.50 a drink. Check the weather forecast, wellies may be needed an a waterproof jacket will be a lifesaver, one too many a pair of white converse saw their funeral this weekend. Give the red lipstick a miss, yeah it look good for all of 20 minutes and then I looked like the Joker.

I'm going to be reviewing a number of other festivals, events and holiday destinations right through summer along with some summer fashion and beauty posts as part of my summer in review series to help you guys plan for your festivals, holidays and next years travel plans! 

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Jayde / 22 / North West England
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All items marked with an asterix (*) have been gifted or sent to me for review purposes.

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