New Look Wireless Festival drew to a close last weekend, with over 70 acts performing across 3 stages, all in celebration of their 10th birthday.
Duke Dumont played a packed out tent and got Wireless Festival off to a great start. Playing mainstream house tracks such as The Giver, Need U and Won’t Look Back got the audience in an upbeat mood for the rest of the day’s line up.
Kicking off proceedings on the Friday was ASAP Rocky, who performed tracks including Goldie and Excuse Me. The performance was uninspiring and lacked engagement with the audience, leaving festival goers in anticipation for headliner Drake.
Drake took to the stage, after cancelling last year’s headline appearance due to illness, and was definitely worth the wait being a standout 90 minute performance. The Canadian rapper was appreciative of the Wireless crowd claiming London was his ‘second home’ before being joined by local MC Skepta for track Shutdown.
Drake’s fast paced set, which included a whopping 31 tracks, took a slower pace halfway through the set with Hold On, We’re Going Home, How Bout Now and Take Care giving the audience a chance to sing louder than the music.
Highlights of Drake’s set included 0 to 100 and Started from the Bottom, which got the audience into a frenzy rapping in sync with the 28 year old. A remix of My Way provided a treat for Drake fans with his enthusiasm and creativity being brought to main stage and marking the end for the first of three days.
Day 2 of the weekend saw Avicii headline the day’s line up. The 25 year old was placed on a colour changing cube, bringing his worldwide DJ credentials to Finsbury Park. Performing tracks from his 2013 debut album True, including Levels and Hey Brother, gave the chance for festival goers to dance in the beautiful sunshine by bringing Ibiza to London.
However a particular highlight from the set was Wake Me Up, the song which brought Avicii to everyone’s attention and probably the reason why the Swedish producer was headlining Saturday’s line up. The atmosphere of the first few seconds of the track energized the audience as one of the best dance tracks produced this decade.
Albeit festival attendees would agree American rapper Kendrick Lamar dominated day 2 of the line-up and was a personal highlight from across the weekend with an ambitious set. Lamar’s first UK appearance since the release of his number one third studio album To Pimp A Butterfly received a great response from fans and festival goers, reaching the number 1 spot back in March. The 28 year old’s set featured a mini movie rolling as a backdrop with Lamar and his live band providing some hope for today’s line up, which had been otherwise been uninspiring. Highlights of Lamar’s set included favourite tracks B***h Don’t Kill My Vibe, Swimming Pools (Drank) and I; a set that worked brilliantly live with his raw energy carrying the audience throughout.
Despite a great start, the rest of the weekend most marred by myriad problems. Security at the festival was outnumbered when on Friday outsiders broke into the festival and invaded Lethal Bizzle’s headline set at the Re-wired stage, and on Saturday, a few hundred non-paying ticket holders rushed the main entrance of the site forcing the festival to shut down. Therefore no ticketholders, press or VIP guests were allowed to enter the festival. The final day of New Look Wireless festival saw more controversy with Nicki Minaj arriving 2 hours late, thereby shortening headliner David Guetta‘s set.
Minaj left little to the imagination with her skimpy outfit choice but overall the 32 year old’s personality shone through on stage. The female American rapper was appreciative of her fans, showing love heart symbols following her late arrival, and performing a hit packed set including Super Bass, Anaconda and her recent duet with David Guetta Hey Mama.
Final act across the weekend David Guetta took to the stage giving a short yet sharp performance sending the Wireless Festival out with a bang. The 47 year old French DJ’s raw energy is still present and his enthusiasm for music and performing is still at the forefront.
Overall, Wireless festival marked their 10th birthday with a sold out weekend, beautiful weather and a great line up, bringing hip hop, rap and dance music to Finsbury Park. Avid Wireless festival goers are already counting down to what next year has to bring.
Graduate Multimedia Journalist, Online Editor at CIO UK and contributing writer at Culturefly and Contact Music.