The final day of the festival and I’m going to be honest I wasn’t as fresh faced as the punters who were entering the site for the first time that weekend. This is a good time to point out that there was a lot of walking involved in the festival compared to when they first started at Hyde Park many years ago.
The space is appreciated though as they have increased the capacity. Aside from that it is not the easiest venue to get home from after the last act when everyone pumps into the street as there is only one small station servicing it and as it is just round the corner the officials have to push the crowds in different directions to disperse.
Luckily the weather was improved from the previous day and as I walked through the guest area, which is more expensive than a regular ticket and was circus themed this year with a snake handler, and a lady having her body painted amongst other kooky entertainment, I noticed a change in the crowd once again.
As the day had quite a few poppy acts I noticed quite a few children for the first time as well as a more relaxed, holiday kind of vibe.
J. Cole took to the main stage and like many of the other hip hop acts that weekend he came complete with a live band. The bass guitarist was especially outstanding and gave a real rock vibe to some of his rap tracks.
He gave a very professional performance mirroring that of his mentor Jay Z especially when he individually pointed out people in the crowd in true Jigga fashion. He played his hits starting with and launching into a zealous ‘Who Dat’ and encouraging the crowd to jump and join in at specific moments whilst having a very humble manner about him. "I’ve got so much love for you all. Don’t get it twisted – if you only love one of my songs I love you, I appreciate you."
Festival goers seemed to be very relaxed and in high spirits with blankets and picnics laid out across the park in front of the main stage.
A very excitable Ellie Goulding bounced on to the main stage looking radiant in a cropped top and mesh panelled trousers and began her set in a lively manner, however as good as an effort she was putting in the crowd seemed to be too relaxed at this point to be jumping along with her. It was a pleasant surprise that her band had elements of rock music during some of her tunes, which added a nice bit of razzmatazz to proceedings.
She joked with the crowd throughout and dealt with the news that she was running out of time really well finishing on a great finale of ‘I Need Your Love’ with the crowd more livened up at this point. She was gasping for air understandably at the end and I have to commend her for being a trooper for being able to sing as well as bound about simultaneously like she did.
After grabbing some cocktails from the cocktail bar on site and grabbing some food I found myself with many others enjoying the hip hop hits that the DJ was playing at the Tuborg bar area. This was an unexpected surprise of the weekend and I heard several people commenting that they enjoyed this spot the most during the festival.
Outkast had people running for their lives towards the main stage and they launched straight into their set with a stage suddenly full of personality and character.
I felt like I had been transported back to the golden era of hip hop as they told us to throw our hands in the air like we just didn’t care... and to be fair we really didn’t. It was a really magical performance with Andre 3000, adorned in a white wig, commanding the mic with his excellent flow as they played a mixture of old school tunes by others as well as their own vast back catalogue of material.
During their set the heavens decided to open with people taking cover under ponchos and umbrellas but it didn’t stop the majority of us dancing through as their uplifting vibe was infectious. By the time they ended their set the crowd was screaming and shouting pure love.
Headliner Bruno Mars exploded on to the stage and I feel like if I say too much it won’t do justice to his performance. I’ve heard he puts on a good live show but was blown away. From his band to his team of choreographed dancers and his choice of songs the whole set was exactly the kind of finale a festival commands.
The highlights included him doing a mash up of R’n’B songs in the middle including R Kelly, Ignition and Ginuwine, Pony, as well as his incredible MJ style dance moves with his dancers including tap dancing. At one point the music was stripped back and it was just him singing acoustically which made the crowd even more wild than they were already were if that was possible.
He spoke to the crowd throughout and encouraged everybody to have a good a time as he was having and also had the ladies screaming when he asked them to get off Twitter and Instagram, to put their phones down and hold his hand before launching into ‘When I Was Your Man.’
His set came complete with fireworks which were a beautiful visual touch to the night sky and following the disappointment of the last two night’s headline performances I have to salute Wireless, they nailed this one – it was the perfect act to end a fun-packed day.
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