Parklife 2019 was already shrouded in controversy before the gates opened at Heaton Park, Manchester, M25. The days of rumours of Cardi-B will she, won't she play was confirmed to be true only a few days before the event.
The bad weather forecast for the weekend and then the lack of an announcement on her replacement for the top billing on the main stage on Saturday (Mark Ronson was announced on the Friday evening) meant some were already moaning about the weekend before it had even started and trying to flog their tickets.... (really)!!!!
I attended last year and the sun was shining, the line up was more my kind of line up, but still nothing was going to stop me from enjoying this one, and despite all the negatives before the weekend, the shitty weather, the nightmare mud and the god awful loos (yes we all love those) I had an EPIC weekend!
Having met the lovely Wayne and Lorraine earlier in the year I was also going to be attending this years festival with others also which was rather nice.
We arranged to meet in the town and go for a big slap up breakfast before heading over to the park. An unplanned night out the night before, forgetting phones and weather dramas meant we met at the park... (more later) but that meant I got to head over to the park with the masses on my own.
Being single means I get to go to gigs a lot on my own... a lot.
I've always loved my own company and it also means you get to chat to some really cool people. On the bus ride over to the park I met a bunch of young Americans and they were awesome. The beast from the east "Cardi-P" and I especially hitting it off discussing gender, sexuality and identities...... not what I was expecting it but nevertheless it was a great start.
After the searches on entering the event we said our goodbyes and I bumped into a bunch of Geordie lads so naturally started singing, "Who's that team they call united....." they joined in and throughout Saturday after a Canny Coffee (best festival coffee ever and also Geordies) I met people from Newcastle, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and County Durham so I felt very much amongst my people.
Loads of people headed to the sheltered music tents and hangars first off as the weather was biblically bad. I caught the end of Rimon on the main stage before I headed over to hangar to meet Lorraine and Wayne, and we then saw Mason Maynard and Icarus a dance start, but I was a raver in the 90's so it was a great start for me.
After grabbing some food and beers we saw Moodyman in the hanger before heading to the platform at the side of the Valley (new for this year and much needed) for Annie Mac. I was soaked but I didn't care, I danced my heart out and so did the rest of The Valley - Annie was so good the rain even cleared during her set. She ruled the Valley on Saturday for me!
The guys and I split for a bit then and I went and caught Fredo and then Loyle Carner in the Sounds of the Near Future (both incredibly talented), before they guys rejoined me for what was my highlight of the day Christine & The Queens.
I saw her last November at the O2 Apollo and she was amazing then but this time around she was even more magical. For Saturday the stage extended out into the centre of the crowd bringing the performance even closer and if you've ever seen Chris and her dancers you'll know what I'm on about when I say her moves, their moves, their whole performance was magical.
Staying to the end, of course meant leaving with thousands of others and so getting back to town took a while. I even had hassle on the tram from some moron but luckily for him, his friends intervened.
Sunday the weather wasn't as bad and we actually managed to breakfast before getting to the park. Everyone seemed chirpier and the journey less stressful than the previous days.
The mud was dreadful and the organisers had put wood chip on the approach to the main stage, but it had little effect and by then no one really cared.
Sunday wasn't as eclectic as Saturday for us but that said I still got to see: Greg Lord, Hammer B2B Cromby, Kero Kero Bonito (who were friggin brilliant), Lord Kemoy Walker, Mabel and Stockports own Blossoms... I danced so freely and happily that their set seemed to pass in minutes, despite the heavens doing their best to dampen our spirits. We then headed over to the VIP section and saw DJ Paulette before I said to the guys I'd had enough and needed to head home.
I arrived home about 9.30 having danced for many many hours; having walked over 25 miles over the weekend nor having not seen so many mud covered people since my army days.
Parklife was eclectic, full of all sorts of people.
The best kind of people.
People who love music.
My kind of people.
Music is my religion..... and for the weekend of 8th to 9th June 2019 Heaton Park, Manchester was my temple.
I took many photos and have shared the best ones as well as the videos I've managed to do over the weekend.