Last weekend Shoreham Brighton welcomed Wildlife Festival for its third year. With the weather in their favour, festival curators Disclosure and Rudimental boasted a diverse mix of genres across 6 visionary stages, creating an unforgettable experience for both festival-goers and performers alike. The festival’s impressive line up included, Jess Glynne, Dizzee Rascal, Stormzy and Fatboy Slim, so it’s no surprise over 45,000 people ventured down to Brighton’s scenic venue.
Friday – Wildlife Stage
Kicking of the weekend was the festivals Wildlife stage, treating the audience to a diverse range of music including grime favourite Giggs, pop sensation Zara Larsson, and soul legend Chaka Khan, drawing in a varied and vibrant crowd. Clean Bandit proved why they deserved such incredible chart success with a spirited and timeless performance which reached a climax as Zara Larsson returned to the stage to perform their collaboration and UK number 1 hit ‘Symphony.’ George Ezra continued to stun the crowd with his effortless and distinctive vocals, and was the perfect setting to showcase his new release ‘Dont Matter Now’. Finally headliner Jess Glynne took to the stage. The brass band accompanying her were sensational and an integral part of igniting the venue, as Glynne belted out chart successes ‘Right Here,’ ‘Take Me Home’ and ‘Hold My Hand.’ Her stunning outfit shimmered as it caught the light off festival goers phones, attempting to record the night in fear they would forget even the smallest detail. Jess Glynne’s quiet confidence and relatability, teamed with her soulful and raw tone, make it clear to see why the crowd adore her.
Saturday – Elrow Presents: Sambodromo do Brasil
With a philosophy which states that they aim to create ‘an experience where spectacle, music, colour and happiness are essential elements of Elrow’s DNA,’ the Elrow stage – like all its UK events, was highly anticipated and delivered beyond expectations. The Barcelona born brand presented a Sambodromo de Brasil theme; imagine an explosion of colour chaos enough to encourage a psychedelic trip, a gigantic gorilla guarding the decks, and an array of dancers weaving through the uncontrollable crowd equipped with the most random of inflatables in true Elrow fashion. The stage also featured an impressive line up, including house favourite Jamie Jones, Jackmasters who is currently ranked number 2 on the Resident Advisor Top DJ poll, Solarado, The Martinez Brothers and Joris Voorn just to name a few. Elrow offers a sensory overload and unique experience whose focus is having a good vibes making it a stand out stage at Wildlife festival.
As always Warehouse Project did not disappoint, presenting a dynamic and progressive stage that rivalled the festival’s main stage. Boasting a spectacular visual display, WHP entranced the crowd throughout the weekend with its production visibly upgraded from last year. South Coast favourites My Nu Leng, Pete Tong and Gorgon City were just some of the names to grace the stage, as well as Hannah Wants whose innovative mixes of vocal house and deep techno beats allow her personality to shine through way beyond the decks. House and electronic legend Fatboy Slim continued the party with a collective mix of classic and modern tracks. Fatboy Slim has perfected his ability to build tension, producing unforgettable drops and innovative remixes making him the ideal act to end the festival’s first day.
The Tropical stage was home to some of the best UK Grime acts on Friday. J Hus, AJ Tracey, Wiley and JME were just some of the acts performing under the canopies of the blue tent. Dubbed as the ‘Sounds of The Future’ stage, the music showcased the grime vibes that are taking over music channels, radio airtime and the top 40 chart by a storm. New kid on the block, J Hus, has already been nominated for a MOBO award, collaborated with Stormzy and had a top 10 hit. The crowd lapped up his set and sang along to ‘Did You See’ as the sun shone throughout the afternoon. Grime veteran Wiley played a mix of rap classics, as well as his much-loved ‘Heatwave’ and ‘Can You Hear Me’ to hype up the crowd before welcoming JME. Throughout the day, the tent was buzzing with up and coming music that truly showcased the sounds of the future.
The Kopparberg stage was where the real party was at. Free tasters of apple cider, a pop-up photo booth and countless props to play with – including bath tubs filled with potted plants – created the perfect festival vibe in the urban forest. Shadowchild, Bondaz and DJ Zinc were just some of the acts that crafted the faultless mix of dance, electronic and hip-hop jungle fusion that captivated the crowd. Brighton is known for its eclectic mix of people and this was apparent at the Kopparberg stage. Students, middle-aged couples and OAPs alike all enjoyed the faultless staff and banging tunes, as well as countless bottles of the Swedish cider.
The headline acts graced the Wildlife stage to bring the festival to an end. Rag’N’Bone Man had the crowd crooning along with him as he belted out his chart-topping hits ‘Human’ and ‘Skin’ to the Brighton mass as the sun beat down on festival-goers. Stormzy then graced the stage and turned up the tempo with his classics ‘Shut Up’ and ‘Big For Your Boots’. As the sun started to set in Shoreham, Stormzy treated the crowd to his remix of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’ and watched on in amazement as we sang the lyrics back to him. As night descended, English hip-hop superstar and headliner, Dizzee Rascal took to the stage. His music spans grime, UK garage, bassline, hip-hop and R&B and he made sure to play it all. His number-one hits ‘Dance Wiv Me’, ‘Bonkers’ and ‘Holiday’ had the crowd singing along and creating numerous mosh-pits which Dizzee lapped up. The lighting and special effects were an added bonus and were the cherry on top of a great set.
This was nonetheless a fitting finale to an incredible weekend that was a massive credit to Wildlife organisers. Should curators Disclosure and Rudimental continue to attract such a wide range of incredible music talent to the Brighton venue from such far afield, Wildlife is surely destined for further critical acclaim and huge future success.