Festival Review: Wildlife Festival 2015

2015 marked the first outing for Disclosure and Rudimental’s Wild Life Festival, which was held at Brighton City Airport. Over 60 acts performed at this year’s festival which was held last weekend (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June). I was originally supposed to go on both days but was let down by a friend so only ended up going on the Sunday. This turned out not to be such a bad thing as there was a problem with the bus allocation on Saturday which meant some people waited for up to hours to get on a bus to and from the festival.  I and my friends were expecting the worst when we arrived on Saturday but, we were pleasantly surprised to find a number of buses waiting for passengers at our pickup point in Hove. Minutes after joining the que we were on the bus and on our way to Brighton City Airport. Speaking to The Argus (a local paper) Rob Ballantine, director of SJM Concerts, organisers of the Wild Life Festival admitted the bus troubles saying, “We learnt a lot about the bus operation on Saturday. We had a load lined up at the Amex waiting for the students to come down en-masse and they didn’t materialise. We had much more demand in Hove than we ever thought, so we switched it around and it paid off.”
Another thing which I had heard about was the small number of toilets and while walking to the entrance I saw a woman squatting behind her friend who was doing a bad job at covering her behind an ice cream van. There were toilets outside the entrance but for some reason this young lady didn’t want to que or couldn’t. Inside though the ques for the loos were pretty bad, there were urinals which offered next to no privacy right next to the stage and this is probably had an effect on the number of blokes queuing of the portable toilets.  One of the first acts that we saw was Låpsley and although she performed a good set, most of the audience were sat down while she performed. Her music was probably too chilled for the main stage and perhaps not as well known as some of the acts that followed her – what a shame.
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@YearsandYears Worship – Live at #wildlifefestival #communion Posted by Years & Years on Sunday, 7 June 2015
Years and Years followed and it seems their brand of House was a bit more of what the crowd wanted. The band’s set included “Desire”, “King” as well as new single “Shine” and had people on their feet and even dancing at points.
A video posted by Dj Maximum (@maximumbbk) on Jun 7, 2015 at 2:42pm PDT
Skepta and JME followed with a Grime set littered with underground hits such as “Shutdown” (which drew one of the biggest crowd responses of the day), “96 Fuckries” and “Too Many Man” for which they were joined by fellow Boy Better Know members Wiley, Frisco and Shorty.
Wu Tang Clan followed and alot of the crowd used this opportunity to get another drink or some food before Annie Mac and Disclosure hit the stage. Many people reverted back to their conversations and not paying much attention to the rappers, who were missing Method Man and Raekwon as they were performing at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert in New Jersey.
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Here’s how Summer 2015 is looking… Posted by Annie Mac on Tuesday, 9 June 2015
Having seen Annie Mac once before and being an admirer of her taste in music, I was looking forward to her set. Although there were gems such as David Zowie’s “House Every Weekend” within her set, I was left wanting more. So perhaps it was fitting that Disclosure, the night’s headline act followed to close the festival. As expected, their set was the most expansive of the day with a light show that made the set feel alot bigger and exciting. The brothers mixed previous releases such as “White Noise” with new tracks like current single “Holding On” for which they were joined by Gregory Porter. Disclosure also gave us a sneak peak of their new album with performances of “Hour Glass” and “Super-Ego” for which they were joined by special guests Lion Babe and Kwabs respectively.
In Summary
This was a festival centred on mainstream dance music and artists such as Wu-Tang Clan and Låpsley seemed to suffer from this. I didn’t spend too much time on the other stages but the tents were near empty when I visited them before heading to the main stage. As is to be expected when attempting something for the first time, there were lessons to be learnt from this first outing. But even in the short time between first day finishing and the second day starting, organisers seemed to have fixed issues such as the travel problems. Having read about someone that gave up queuing and returned home instead because she was waiting so long, this year’s festival clearly had its issues. It was good to see some of the issues had been addressed on the second day but hopefully by the time next year’s festival comes around, remaining issues such as the lack of toilets and the privacy issue for the urinals will be addressed.