This year’s WILD LIFE Festival took place over the weekend for the second time at Brighton City Airport (which is actually situated in Shoreham-by-Sea… It’s all about the branding, innit).
Co-hosted again by headliners Disclosure and Rudimental, the festival sold out on Saturday and reached very close to capacity on Sunday with more than 5,000 tickets sold to residents within a five mile radius.
We arrived at the festival early Saturday afternoon and the place was already packed and buzzing with hip-hop, grime, dance and house fans who probably arrived early because the line-up and set times were not released prior to the festival. To know exactly who’s playing where and when festival goers needed to say goodbye to £7 for an official festival programme, or just ask around.
With four different stages constantly populated by artists from all over the globe we didn’t have a dull moment all weekend and loved every second. One of our highlights from day one included De La Soul, who ruled the Big Top stage in a way that made even the photographers in the pit put their cameras aside and dance along. Australian electronic music producer Flume did not fail to impress the crowd and left everyone talking about his set for the rest of the day.
With no chance of rain on Saturday, the Main Stage was on fire with performances by Busta Rhymes, Skepta, Annie Mac and, of course, the cherry on top – Disclosure.
The party was far from over when Disclosure exited the stage and music was still blasting from every corner of the festival, but we had to be good and save our energy for Sunday – which we had high hopes for.
Despite a gloomy weather forecast and much to our surprise, it DID NOT RAIN on Sunday! Well, not after the doors opened, at least. We were getting live updates from people who were at Download Festival and completely soaked, and so we were very pleased with the fact that we’d left our wellies at home and remained dry and happy.
Sunday’s Main Stage saw a line-up of more versatile performances, which included a short yet powerful set from ex-Rudimental singer Anne-Marie, a powerful one-man show by Jack Garratt, kicking performances by James Bay and Bastille and deep, strong grimey sounds by Stormzy and the legendary Ice Cube. We were extremely impressed by Stormzy’s dedication to the fans standing in the front row, when at the end of his set he practically high-fived each and every one of them on his way out of the stage.
To top off a great day of performances and an amazing festival overall, Rudimental finally took over the Main Stage and gave us that sweet ending we’ve all been waiting for.
WILD LIFE has brought a refreshing, strong vibe to our little region. The surprisingly good weather, impressive line-up, easy to access location and a well-organised production left us impressed and longing for more.
We’re still playing the playlist from this year’s WILD LIFE on repeat.
Words & photos by Gili Dailes