Verge Reviews: Wireless Festival 2016

Over the weekend, Finsbury Park has played host to some of the most up and coming and the biggest names in music. With Chase and Status, Jess Glynne, Martin Garrix, The 1975, Fergie, Boy Better Know and Calvin Harris all lining up to take centre stage, it’s fair to say Wireless Festival has given Londoners their treat for the summer.

With the price starting at £59.50 for one day or a 3-day weekend pass for just £155.50, Wireless was always going to be fun and full of characters all turning up to support some of their favourite artists. With three stages to choose from, The Pepsi Max Arena, Stage 3 and the Main Stage, fans were given the choice of seeing the biggest names as well as some of the lesser known acts throughout the weekend. As well as the three main stages, there was also Lord Somersby’s Manor, which hosted an array of twerking Victorian men and women who succeeded in getting the crowd pumped and merry and also the Smirnoff dance area that included live DJ sets from Marvin Humes and Big Narstie.

If you were feeling in need of a style fix, a festival makeup or just a sit down then you could make your way over to both the E! and V05 pop up tents, which was a bit of a surprise to see at a festival like Wireless. But having spoken to the incredibly friendly and helpful staff at the V05 tent, it kinda makes sense. A lot of festival goers are passing time from artist to artist and so if you’re at a loose end, why not grab a beer and go and get your hair done? They even offered me some glitter and a man-bun, but I politely declined.

Going back to the music scene and when all is said and done, Wireless probably boasted the most current lineup throughout the weekend compared to some of the bigger festivals which, in my opinion, is exactly why Wireless is becoming a main player on the festival circuit. There was no sign of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers or Metallica. In their place were huge emerging artists like Young Thug, Bryson Tiller, J Cole and Kygo, a very smart move by the organisers who were clearly giving the fans what they wanted and not just handing out places to bands with big names with very little on offer in terms of current music.

So what were the highlights? There were many to choose from. Jess Glynne, Martin Garrix and Kygo were absolutely top class. Miguel was both excellent and poignant as he gave a very emotional performance as he broke down in tears reciting his pain and torment about the killings of Black civilians by the USA Police. The 1975 were absolutely brilliant, getting the whole of the main stage area singing and dancing along to ‘Chocolate’ and ‘The Sound’ as well as promoting a real message of unity and love in the aftermath of The EU Referendum and the shootings and protests in America during their set. Fergie gave a hell of a comeback performance, blending just the right amount of her older solo and Black Eyed Peas material with her recent banger M.I.L.F$, which the crowd went mad for.

For me, though, the highlight of the whole weekend was the one and only Calvin Harris. The boy from Dumfries is now the biggest DJ in the world and already a national treasure. So how do you introduce the biggest DJ in the world? Easy. Bring out Will Smith. WILL SMITH! It was an amazing experience, watching and feeling the crowd all realise at exactly the same time that the man on stage was in fact, one of the biggest stars in the World, introducing the biggest DJ in the world. It was an unforgettable moment. As Calvin dropped tune after tune, the drops became even bigger with smoke, flames and fireworks accompanying the beats and as if that wasn’t enough, he casually brought on Big Sean and the legendary Dizzee Rascal during his set. It was the perfect way to kick off the weekend and he set the bar ludicrously high for the rest of the festival.

So for my first London festival experience, it’s fair to say that Wireless ticked every box and I will certainly keep an eye out for next years line up. There’s not much else to say other than Thank you Wireless. You were incredible.[huge_it_gallery id=”7″]

Credit:
All stills taken by Beth Sells (beth.sells@hotmail.co.uk) for Verge Magazine