The first day Wireless Festival is a perfect taster and warm-up for the weekend

Wireless 2011 review

published: Wed 6th Jul 2011

around the festival site - Friday

Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH, England MAP
£130 for the weekend, £49.50 Fri (sold out), £48.50 Sat/Sun
last updated: Wed 29th Jun 2011

As I entered the Hyde Park site the first thing that was extremely apparent to me was the sheer multitude of people compared to previous years at the festival. Even though I was aware that tickets for the Friday had sold out I was still struck by just how many more people the festival appeared to be housing this year.

around the festival site - Friday
Making my way over to the main stage the first act I caught was the sweet-voiced Bruno Mars, who started his set with his latest hit, 'The Lazy Song', which saw a big crowd drawn to the stage, and was perfectly timed with the sunshine appearing from behind the standard London clouds, and beaming down on the excited crowd who danced and sang along in the sunshine.

Mars played a crowd-pleasing, chilled out set with his pop vibe going down well with the crowd, especially the younger members.

Next up was Tinie Tempah, who bounced on to the stage with denim shorts and sunglasses, which could not have been more apt for the sunshine now in full force. I've seen Tempah live a few times now, and as always he bounced up and down on the stage with immense energy and tried to hype up the crowd form his first appearance, shouting "Let me see your hands in the air!"

After performing some of his well-known hits he did his party trick of getting the audience to 'go low' and then bounce up again, as his superbly talented DJ played out some of the bigger dance tunes of this year.

around the festival site - Friday
Throughout his performance Tempah demanded that the audience make a mosh pit (as this seems to be the new trend amongst urban artists), and he echoed this request as he played a new song called 'The Mosh Pit Song'.

Tempah's energetic performance came to an end with Labrinth joining him onstage for 'Frisky' and his first hit 'Pass Out', which had the whole park going crazy. I had some time to grab a quick bite to eat before the next act, and realized that the food options this year were much more varied with there being some sort of stall at every turn. I also understood how they had managed to accommodate so many more people this year, as I walked up to the ticket entrance and saw that a lot of the attractions had been axed, such as the funfair, entertainment buses, and the fake beach, amongst other things.

I didn't necessarily think this was a bad idea though, as Wireless festival is quite an intense day of music watching and there is very little time to do other things in between. However, this did mean that there wasn't anything tailored specifically for the kids.

Next up on the main stage was Plan B, who provided a set that actually blew me away a little. There is no doubting that Ben Drew has the voice of an angel (a male one of course), and this was not only proved as he belted out his hits, such as 'She Said' but also when he announced to the audience that it was time for the karaoke section, and sang a medoly of old hits including 'My Girl' and 'Stand By Me'.

A lot of the older couples especially seemed to appreciate the sweet crooning sounds from Drew. The whole set was incredibly vocally strong and it is still fascinating to see Drew switch from his soulful voice to his catchy rapping within a breath, as was illustrated with his final song 'Stay Too Long'.

around the festival site - Friday
The evening's entertainment came to a close as the main stage area packed out with the crowd excitedly awaiting the Black Eyed Peas performance. The quirky foursome took to the stage in an array of sparkling and futuristic costumes.

Will.I.Am was adorned in his trademark jacket complete with lights, whilst the sexy Fergie had an impressive amount of costume changes during their hr and 40 minutes set, starting with a leather cat suit style creation.

The crowd went wild as BEP's put on a show of quite epic proportions for the Hyde Park setting, with flashing lights, strong vocals, and created a general party atmosphere. The foursome played out their hits from the likes of the soulful 'Big Girls Don't Cry' to the crowd- jumping 'Boom Boom Pow'.

Before they played their first smash hit 'Where is the Love', Will.I.Am announced "We love coming to England; this is our second home. We searched all over the world and the first place that showed us love was London!"

Will.I.Am played a solo DJ set for about 20 minutes, which saw him taking centre stage on a platform and donning an even more impressive jacket, covered in multi-coloured lights. He played out a selection of dance tunes that and the audience bouncing about.

The children in the audience seemed to especially enjoy BEP's set and put the rest of us to shame busting shapes in the light of the beautiful sunset and singing along word perfectly.

Near the end of the set the group turned down the stage lighting completely and requested that the audience hold up their lighters and phones, which had the park lit up, and corresponded nicely with the flashing costumed onstage.

They also made the audience members make the sign of a heart with their hands and display it up to their delighted faces onstage.

Their set finished on a high, as the festival was drawing to a close, and punters skipped to the tube station with the sounds of 'I got a Feeling' ringing out into the night air and marking the end of the first day of Wireless Festival 2011.

around the festival site - Friday
review by: Fiona Madden

photos by: Fiona Madden

Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd July 2011
Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH, England MAP
£130 for the weekend, £49.50 Fri (sold out), £48.50 Sat/Sun
last updated: Wed 29th Jun 2011


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