Parklife returns to Manchester’s Heaton Park from 10 to 11 June. Headliners The 1975 and Frank Ocean step up to the bar, following last year’s performances from Major Lazer and The Chemical Brothers. Presented by The Warehouse Project, Parklife 2017 boasts a star-studded lineup heavy on dance and electronic music. Read on to discover our pick of five must-see acts from across the weekend.
Sälen’s brassy, brazen brand of synth-pop has provided a peppy backdrop to much of the past year, and makes the London-based three-piece one of the small bands we’re most excited to catch at Parklife. From the kitschy cuteness of debut “IILWMBF” to the playground-esque chant of this year’s “Pretty, Fake”, Sälen make punchy, straight-talking pop that’s sure to knock their audience for six. Now with over two million streams on Spotify, fan favourite “Diseasey” is also certain to make an appearance in their Saturday set on the Parklife Stage.
Irish/American artist bonzai deals in hectic electronic music that’s a perfectly formulated mix of engaging and disorientating. Last year, she supported Mura Masa and Flume on their European tours, winning over audiences with her choppy synths and - of course - that unmistakable voice. Recent single “I Did” is bound to be a crowd-pleaser, though whether the cutlery and Allen keys used for percussion on the record will surface in her Sunday set on the Sounds of the Near Future Stage is yet to be seen.
This year saw the release of Highly Flammable, the nine-track debut EP from Croydon-based rapper Nadia Rose, who delivers her tight, playful bars over an addictive blend of dancehall-influenced grime. It’s a wonder she’s still so underappreciated, considering her uniquely ballsy delivery netted her a spot on the BBC’s Sound of 2017 shortlist. Don’t count on her languishing under the radar much longer - catch Rose at the Temple Stage on Sunday, before she follows in the footsteps of her cousin, ubiquitous chart-topper Stormzy.
With angelic vocal acrobatics in the realm of FKA twigs, East London singer-songwriter-producer triple threat NAO brings her self-described “wonky funk” to the Parklife Stage on Sunday. Not afraid to pull away from the glacial cool of the current R&B mainstream, Nao embraces syrupy instrumentation and genre-mashing influences across her already burgeoning catalogue. While smash single “Bad Blood” is bound to be a highlight of her live set, Nao’s discography looks set to yield plenty more life gems - not so surprising considering her debut album All We Know comprises a whopping 18 tracks.
Sure, it’s an obvious one, but missing the headline slot from these rose-tinted pop troubadours would be a huge festival faux pas. Their Brit Awards performance of euphoric single “The Sound” left fans wondering if Matty Healy and co.’s performance had been hacked, as their backdrop flashed up words from some of their harshest critics. Expect plenty more self-deprecating touches alongside some utterly unabashed pop tunes from the band behind the most convoluted album title of 2016.