Brighton City Airport laid host to WILD LIFE festival for the second time since its inception in 2015, previously a club night the brand has been built to accommodate thousands of people and saw headliners including curators Disclosure and Rudimental, Hip Hop’s finest Ice Cube, House and Techno legend Carl Cox and the electronic one man fusion of genres they call Jack Garratt, plus of course many other brilliant artists. The two day event took place from 10-11 of June and with a whole heap of different styles of music to enjoy, we joined the festival at around 6pm on the Saturday to find some great weather amongst thousands of festival goers. Our first port of call on arrival after a pint of ale and a burger from the guest area was to join the main stage and then explore the brilliantly laid of site which was very easy to navigate even when busy.
Arriving in time to begin our WILD LIFE adventure with Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac on the main stage for her festival selection we kept things moving throughout the site, exploring each corner as we went. Next up was a House set from two thirds of Magnetic Man and top names in the history of Dubstep Skream and Artwork on The Warehouse Project ones and twos, the stage was built up into the skyline with screens and lights which we found out later the whole build was projection mapped, making for a pretty intense light show.
Navigating the festival site was easy as it was not too big yet big enough not to feel overcrowded even though it was now reaching peak time for ravers. On our tour round the airport UK Garage selector Wookie was doing his thing in the Supercharged tent, reminding us why 2-Step and Garage should be on the come back and Julio Bashmore, headliner in the Big Top tent provided four the the floor house grooves with visuals to enslave the dance floor.
Black Butter and MTA family My Nu Leng kept levels up on the Supercharged stage with their blend of genres, something hard to pin point with these guys but they certainly have a dark energy infused style and after the rumble of their set it was time for the headline act of the main stage for Saturday. Disclosure, curators of the festival entered their spaceship-like stage set through the darkness as the lights went down momentarily to then appear in an Orbital-esque fashion, however this was most probably subconscious and went on to play a brilliant live show.
After a mix of House, Garage and the dark ominous rhythms of My Nu Leng it seemed necessary to finish the first night off with some Drum and Bass so we headed back to the Supercharged tent to catch Wilkinson with Adapt MC on mic duties, as we got into the tent and to the front of the stage “Afterglow” came on and Adapt called for everyone to put up a lighter or flash on their phone and the whole place lit up for the intro, it became a truly united dance floor. Last in the tent was headliner Andy C alongside MC Ton Piper hosting the Drum and Bass general, of course Andy played a killer set and the Ram Records co-founder kept bodies moving on the dance floor till it was time for WILD LIFE to pack up for the night.
Andy C’s set finished and we heard talk of an after party in Brighton at The Arch with him headlining so it was only natural to get involved and we jumped on a golf buggy with MC Ton Piper and friends to the exit of the festival and made our way there. Arriving at the venue you could hear the thump of the Funktion One system inside whilst the DJ and MC before Andy got the crowd warmed up for the man himself. Although the bass was strong enough on entrance once Andy C stepped up to grace the decks for the second time of the night the 12 Subs inside the venue were abused further and you could feel the weight of each tune bulldoze through your body. The night finished off nicely and it was time to get some well earned rest, we arrived back at our camp as the sun was rising in true dirty stop out fashion.
First stop on Sunday was at Billie’s Cafe “the best place in Brighton for Hashes”, after we had re-fueled we headed back to Brighton City Airport for the second and final day of Rudimental and Disclosures festival creation. On arrival main stage was filling up to the soulful tones of Jorja Smith as she was finishing her performance, although the weather wasn’t quite up to Saturday it began to brighten up once Jack Garratt graced the main stage and provided the crowd with the electronic almost Garage and Indie infused sound he is known for.
Electronic production duo Maribou State continued the blurred edges of genres in the Big Top tent as the Counter Records signees started the evening off nice and vibe filled. We continued through the festival halfway through Maribou State so as not to miss the infamous Kurrupt FM in the Supercharged tent, they had swapped times with Logan Sama. The People Just Do Nothing crew covered the crowd in champagne as Chabuddy G brought his Champagne Steamrooms night from the show to WILD LIFE and gave a lively performance of old school garage classics. Soon after it was back to the main stage to catch Bastille with their version of TLC – No Scrubs amongst the rest of their catchy sing-along tracks, the sun really shone through from the back of the stage during their set and the crowd were in high spirits. Although a rather strange transition from the likes of Jack Garratt and Bastille to surely one of the biggest names in Hip Hop, N.W.A’s Ice Cube managed to maintain numbers and his set was incredible.
Rudimental, headliners of the main stage on Sunday gave an unbelievable epic performance, with their live band and guest vocalists it made for a brilliant show. They gave their all performing songs from their debut album and it sounded even better live in the open air. After we had been immersed into the Drum and Bass and Electronic mash ups of Rudimental it was time to make our way down to The Supercharged tent for one of the godfathers of Grime, Kano. With a new record under his belt and a whole set of classic tunes from the London born artist he gave a lively show, almost like he had never stepped back from being at the forefront of a more popular side of Grime and UK Rap music.
An immersive two day music experience in Brighton that keeps popular artists and underground music side by side. We look forward to next years event, but for now – take a look at our Facebook album to see the rest of the photographs we took HERE.