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As the sun starts to shine for more than an hour at a time, festival season is all but upon us. We'll be bringing you coverage from across the UK and abroad over the next few months, but our first stop is not far from home as we head to Heaton Park for Manchester's finest and this year's Parklife Weekender. With it's usual eclectic mix of everything from Hip-Hop to indie, Parklife will be delivering more bang for it's buck than any of its competitors, and we'll be there on the Sunday to catch all of the action. Ahead of the big day, here's our top five not to missed at this year's festivities.

Broke 'N' £nglish

There's a lot of Hip-Hop on offer at this year's Parklife, more than ever in fact. Giants Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar are leading the charge on the Saturday, but for those backpack wearing 90s RPG playing heads among you the Sunday is definitely where it's at. Remaining active throughout the glory years of the UK Hip-Hop scene and refusing to die out with it, Broke N English have become a household name in Hip-Hop gigs around the Manchester area, and for good reason. Frontman Konnie Kon and co. have been delivering phat beats and sharp rhymes for as long as I've been going to Hip-Hop shows, supporting some huge names in the underground scene as well as killing it at their own nights. I've very nearly seen Broke N English more times than I've had hot dinners, but regardless of this I keep coming back for more, and whether it's for the golden era UKHH nostalgia and you've been there many times before or if you've dabbled with some of the big names and want to know what the underground has to offer, I highly recommend you head over to The Collonade for their Sunday afternoon performance. 

Joy Orbison

There are two reasons why you should go and see Joy Orbison at this year's parklife. Firstly, it's the best name on the line up by a country mile. And secondly, his fusing of styles and eclectic mix of influences result in something wonderful that I can only categorise as dubstep for people that don't like dubstep very much, at least in the mainstream sense anyway, which admittedly is a long name for a genre but you get the point. Gaining a passion for his music at an early age thanks to his uncle and DnB legend Ray Keith, Joy(real name Peter O'Grady) exploded onto the scene in 2009 with his highly acclaimed debut single 'Hyph Mngo' and he's been on the rise ever since releasing more forward thinking singles and taking up residencies at club nights across the country as well as forming his own label with Will Bankhead. Sub-headlining the Under 500 stage on Sunday, Joy Orbison's slot is the place to be.

After Parties

No, this isn't the name of your new favourite all girl electro pop group. I am of course referring to Afterlife, the official after parties for this year's Parklife. Few festivals in the world let alone the UK put so much effort and so many resources into their nightlife as Parklife, and with 33 individual offerings happening across the weekend around Manchester this year is no different. With so much going on it's hard to really sum up where to head once the sun has set, so my only real advice would be to make sure you've packed some Pro Plus in your bag along with a copy of this extensive run down of everything on offer, and enjoy.


Since we spoke to frontman Dan Smith last year, his solo project turned four-piece Bastille have shot to worldwide acclaim. Their debut album Bad Blood has gone onto to outperform everyone's expectations and charted around the world as well as spending time at #1 in the UK charts on more than one occasion. Refusing to slow down the pace, the band are already working on their second album in between a relentless touring schedule that sees them head to Parklife for a sub-healing slot at on the main stage on Sunday. Those who haven't seen them live before can expect flawless renditions of the hits you love as well as some brilliant mash ups and covers that will make you forget all about the originals.

Public Enemy

Finally we come to the big guns of the Sunday and indeed the whole weekend as we head to the main stage headliner slot for Hip-Hop gods Public Enemy. Since forming in 1982, Public Enemy's politically charged lyricism and black power movements have seen them at the heights of the rap game, both through their platinum selling albums and Chuck D's one man charge against the corrupt. Last year saw them inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, only the fourth Hip-Hop group to achieve this goal, and Public Enemy have been around the world ever since playing sold out shows and festival slots continuing to spread their message and expose the culpable under the accompaniment of some fat beats and Flavor Flav's giant clock. Whether you grew up listening to Public Enemy pulling a stern face in the mirror with your fist in the sky like myself, or you're just a bit of a hipster looking to feel part of some kind of revolution, Public Enemy's headline performance on the Sunday night is my number one pick for the festival.

Well that's it for our top picks for the Sunday of this year's Parklife Festival. Of course there's infinitely more going on over the weekend than this, and for more information check out their wonderfully designed interactive website here. Keep an eye on what we're up to over the weekend via my Twitter page, and check back for our coverage once you've recovered from the festivities.

Parklife Festival will be taking place at Heaton Park, Manchester on June 7-8, 2014. For all remaining tickets available and all other information, visit the official website and social media pages.

    Nick's posts By Nick Malone



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