everyone's in high spirits on opening day of Wireless until Kanye West has a rant

Wireless Festival (London) 2014 review

By Fiona Madden | Published: Fri 11th Jul 2014

around the festival site (Friday)

Wireless Festival 2014

Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July 2014
Finsbury Park, Endymion Rd, Haringey, Greater London, N4 2JF, England MAP
£65 - Sunday only
Daily capacity: 49,000

Once again this year London’s most popular festival had upped and moved – this time to the North London location of Finsbury Park.

The sun was scorching when everyone arrived on site with people in high spirits drinking and lounging on the grass outside before entry.

Iggy Azalea took to the main stage backed by an entourage of sexy backing dancers and gave a performance that suited the weather and time of day. Highlights included Rita Ora popping up onstage with her for a duet and the finale of Azalea’s more poppy hit ‘Fancy’ which had the audience excitedly wailing along with the lyrics andshaking their behinds in the sunshine.

Although there were a fair amount of places to get drinks onsite the bars did get crowded in between acts causing people to queue for a bit longer than patience allowed in the heat.

Tinie Tempah, a seasoned veteran on the festival circuit, came on to the stage with the gusto that he approaches his performances and provided a crowd-pleasing set filled with his hits. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the man or not it was undeniable that he knows how to deliver a zealous show and by the time he dropped his hit ‘Trampoline’ everyone was bouncing about.

The outside Tuborg bar area complete with a DJ seemed to draw more people than some of the acts did during the day with all the latest and best in dancehall and hip hop tunes being played out to a crowd of shape-makers providing a real summer party vibe.

Pharrell Williams took to the main stage as calm and collected and quite frankly as cool as f*ck as, well as Pharrell. Complete with trademark hat he launched into an eclectic set that had some people in the crowd really quite unable to contain their excitement. I was standing next to a ginger bearded fellow who had a special bottle of vodka he had somehow smuggled in ready just for Pharrell to come on and basically dashed his girlfriend to one side when the big man came on stage and proceeded to lose his mind through the medium of dance as the set progressed.

It was an almost perfect set starting with Daft Punk’s hit that he features in ‘Lose Yourself to Dance’ and launching into a mash up of old school hip hop hits as well as his other classics, finally ending with the happiest version of ‘Happy’ possible. He was his charming self throughout - and at one point he sent out a positive message to the women in the crowd about being themselves.  

There was a hubbub of activity preceding Kanye West’s headline slot with people rushing to the toilets (which were aplenty and with fast-moving queues) and grabbing food.

His set started with a lot of old school hip hop tracks played out by his DJ including a remix of ‘Cold as Ice’ that enthused the older hip hop fans amongst us. Oddly enough, as usual, Kanye was wearing a ‘quirky’ outfit involving some sort of futuristic full face mask of bobbles. Some might say it looked stupid – actually I will say it – it looked stupid.

About halfway through his set just as we were all having a great time Kanye decided to launch into a self-involved rant about the hardships he has had to face as an artist and the way in which people have put him down but hey, it’s ok because he’s great and he knows that.

Now we put up with it for a while but then we all turned on him like the pack of music hungry wolves that we were – even the biggest fans. The crowd started booing about ten minutes into his rant wanting him to play the music they had paid to see him play. The rant lasted TWENTY MINUTES by which point we were really quite annoyed and riled up before he decided to grace us with his tunes again.

Don’t get me wrong, he finished with his biggest hits with a personal favourite of mine being ‘All of the Lights’ and those of us that had stayed to watch were dancing away into the night but there was definitely a sour feeling that the egotistical headliner had once again taken advantage of his position on the Wireless stage by spouting crap into our ears.

Not quite the ending to a great day we were hoping for but luckilly an artist of that size has as many great tunes as he probably does photos of himself in his wallet and enough money behind his synthesised tracks to mean that we were able to end the night enjoying the rest of the set.  

review by: Fiona Madden

photos by: Fiona Madden

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