WIRELESS FESTIVAL 2014 Birmingham reviewBy Editor
We at the Student Guide had been waiting for this one since it was announced at the start of the year, that Birmingham was to be hosting the first Wireless Festival outside of London. Our reporting team Luke Martin, Sam Cliff and newbie Joe Tinkler took the short journey over to Perry Park, here is our musings from Wireless festival 2014 in Birmingham.
There was a dark cloud over Friday’s day of Wireless Festival before doors had even opened. Drake fans were still venting about his cancellation and forecasters were threatening a day of showers. But with £20 of Wireless credit that was offered to every attendee upon entry, 14,000 persevered and made the journey up to Perry Park. After all, the bill was still peppered with a bounty of revered artists.
The late afternoon belonged to the back-to-back performances of Odd Future member, Earl Sweatshirt and upcoming Chicago talent, Chance the Rapper in the BrumBrum tent. Immediately urging the crowd to “turn up”, it was clear Sweatshirt was in party mode, which got the tent suitably warmed up for the next slot.
With a tight live band and impeccable dance moves, Chance displayed the showmanship of a much bigger artist, performing a polished rendition of tracks from his Acid Rap mixtape. And he was well-rewarded by a raucous, packed tent who were animated from start to finish.
And then came the rain. But it that didn’t seem to stifle Wiz Khalifa act as he pushed through, delivering on his own ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ ethos.
Ultimately, the burning question of Wireless’ first day was: would Rudimental would be able to ascend to headline heights? And the question can be answered in one word: yes.
The award-winning act exploded onto the main stage just after nine. Many other artists would have fallen short when attempting to raise the mood of a Drake-less day, but Rudimental achieved this by their high-energy dance sound. The addition of high-profile guests John Newman and Ella Eyre also aided in creating the feel of an elite act.
The precipitation and the pain (of not seeing October’s Very Own) may have weighed heavily on the minds of revelers before they walked through the gates in the early afternoon, but as people started to head home it was clear from the mass feeling of content that Friday’s offerings had set the precedent for the weekend to come.
After drying off from Friday’s downpour we are back at Wireless Birmingham!
The weather may have been varied but the atmosphere was consistently electric, as we eagerly awaited the second instalment that had Birmingham gripped.
Alexa Goddard took to the (then) sunny stage as a lively opening to the day. She was followed by hip-hop legends Salt n Pepa who Push’ed It real good and got the crowd hyped!
John Newmans soulful sound was spaced out by pleas for the audience to seize the day, telling festival goers: ‘We work so hard to afford tickets to these festivals and look forward to them for so long and now it’s happening right here, now.” – Yes John, we did and now we’re LOVIN’ life!
J.Cole only added to the hype by insisting his set was turned up to the max! The crowd responded brilliantly and although the skies had taken a turn for the worst.
Adding to the hype, Ellie Goulding bought the kind of energy that only she could. Referring to the gig as a “homecoming” (she has family around here!); you could feel the love as she sang and danced in an outfit fitting to the athletic venue.
Returning kings of the US, Andre 3000 and Big Boi wowed, peaking at Hey Ya! Fans of Outkast weren’t even phased by the temporary break in the sky.
Then it came to the moment EVERY female in a 5 mile radius was waiting for… Bruno Mars! Along with his lovely little face came the sun, bringing Saturday to a beautiful close.
Unsurprisingly, Foxes and Iggy Azalea smashed their performances. The crowd could be heard for miles as the acts belted out tunes we all know and love. Getting ready to Let Go for Tonight, we were too Fancy.
Now, onto our star of the weekend – Mr Pharrell Williams. Greeting the people of Birming”HAM” (seriously America, please pronounce it right) with the love and warmth he would give his family, his set was flawless. From his new music to vintage songs from previous project N.E.R.D, Pharell was pitch perfect in the sunshine.
The thing that set him aside from everyone else was the level of audience interaction incorporated in his set. Dragging at least 20 fans on stage to dance during on song and serenading one lucky lady all on her own is just the tip of the iceberg. Getting the 21,000 people attending that day calling her name made an epic performance monumental.
To close proceedings Kanye took to the stage.
There was a lot of speculation as to the direction of his rant, and surprize, surprize the media got it with both barrels… again. The only saving grace was that this time it only lasted for 5 minutes. To be honest, we didn’t think Brum would put up with much more than that.
But let’s not forget about the other TWO tents the city central venue was hosting! Basement Jaxx took us all back to a 90’s rave. Their mix of pumping bass lines and beautiful guest vocals bought the dirty dancing out in everyone within earshot.
The sun went down on the proceedings and left fans with amazing memories of a weekend where Birmingham projected its self onto the festival calendar.