Saturday is a mass of mud & bodies at Wireless dampened further by the headline act

Wireles 2012 review

By Fiona Madden | Published: Tue 10th Jul 2012


Wireless Festival 2012

Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July 2012
Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH, England MAP
£49.50 for Friday, both Saturday, and Sunday sold out
Daily capacity: 30,000

On entering the site there was an immediate huge difference to the previous day, which was the amount of people in the park even though it was just afternoon, which meant that everyone was quite close to each other to say the least.

around the festival site (Saturday 1)
This problem was exemplified during the day as it became apparent that if you were not in the hustle and bustle of the crowds right near the front of the main stage or strategically placed right next to the speakers further back, there was no chance of you hearing what the artists were saying and the music was very muffled and hard to hear.

Tulisa, looking decidedly nervous and chewing gum throughout her whole set (slightly weird), took to the main stage in one of her first major performances since that 'sex tape' scandal. I would never normally mention this but it is important as she referred to it later in her performance. She began with a mash up of N-Dubz classics, which was pleasant enough and then went on to perform a surprisingly dubstep based new track of hers before explaining that she didn't have enough singles released of her own so she was going to perform a cover she did for Radio One Live Lounge, 'Titanium'.

She declared with force "I'm gonna dedicate this to my dickhead ex boyfriend Justin Edwards. Fuck you! I'm still standing!" before telling the audience to stick their fingers up in unity at him. It was actually quite an emotional moment and she seemed quite fragile throughout her set although she did her best in putting on a brave face, downing her vodka and red bull, and bouncing about the stage.

around the festival site (Saturday 2)
Wiz Khalifa, complete with full face apparatus – bandana, sunglasses and hat – looked like he was having the time of his life with his trademark cheeky grin as the crowds flocked to see him on the main stage. Not being able to get too close I missed a lot of what he was saying but he provided a good set to the crowd. Highlights included him playing Maroon 5's 'Payphone' on which he features, as well as the finale of the club anthem 'Black and Yellow' that got everyone involved.

As the crowds in Hyde Park increased (hard to believe that was possible) Example verified his status as festival legend by performing one of his anthem packed sets with his old and new tunes, encouraging the crowd and shouting "There's going to be a lot bouncing. I like to see you guys bouncing", which is exactly what happened in the midst of mud and bodies.

Mikill Pane
A less manic but immense moment of the day came in the form of rapper Mikill Pane on the small Bandstand Stage; for such a crazy, packed festival it was like a little piece of magic amongst all the hullaballoo. He started his set acoustically, which he was able to do and be heard clearly because of the proximity of the layout. When he started he had a solid crowd of loyal followers pressed up against the rails to see him but as his set went on the audience clearly grew as they wandered over hearing him rap.

It was a really versatile set that involved the crowd with him telling us to sing along at certain points and asking what we would prefer to hear when he only had a little time left, and in that short time he managed to bring on singer Ben Clemo for their collaborations, as well as friend XO Man to perform 'Follow Fashion', which Pane features on, and got the crowd excited and bopping along.

Wandering into the tent where Nero was playing was like walking into an underground rave with strobe lights aplenty, massive bass and dubstep sounds, smoke being let off, and lots of people moshing and barging against each other to the beats. There's not much more I can say about this except Nero did exactly what they are known for doing – getting a crowd hyped up and playing a set for the people who really want to get down and grimy on the dance floor.

As the night fell so did the rain, so much so that a few disgruntled patrons actually decided to leave the festival without seeing the headliner Drake. Coming onstage late, he was still greeted by a rapturous reception from the over-excited crowd waiting for him as he declared, "London, if you’re ready to have some fucking fun, make some noise for your boy!"

In a blaze of lights and flashing images the American hip hop star launched into a set of his songs and hits bringing on stars for duet tracks including Nicki Minaj, and The Weekend for duets, who had both performed during the day.

He preached quite a lot during his set referring to people in the industry as well as subtly referring to a recent bar brawl incident with Chris Brown in America.

The rain was pouring down at this point, so much so that Drake requested for the stage to be dried because he was slipping around and needed to jump around for the crowd.

A lot of people began filtering out during his set, through a combination of the rain and the mere letdown of it all; there was nothing big, nothing exciting and Drake's voice live sounded positively monotone.

Disappointed fans were overheard on the way out expressing their dismay at his performance and although the die-hard Drake fans were lapping it up, the headlining set seemed to provide a slight dampener to match the weather.

around the festival site (Saturday 2)
review by: Fiona Madden

photos by: Lawrence Wheeler

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