Brighton City Airport
11 - 12 June
Following its inaugural year, Wild Life Festival returned to sprawl over the air field of Shoreham Airport. The festival, conceived with the help of Rudimental and Disclosure, is the biggest event of its kind in Sussex.
On the Saturday, despite a heavy grey cloud that threatened to dampen the festivities, a glitter-specked crowd descended on the site for the opening acts. On the main stage, The Avalanches embraced the buzz about their first new music in 16 years by thoroughly warming up the crowd with a DJ set. They were followed by Busta Rhymes, who proudly announced that he had been partying since Wednesday. With a performance that included him attempting to drop his trousers and drink an entire bottle of champagne, the rapper’s intense charisma and bad behavior amped up the energy.
Day two was colder, and that ominous grey cloud had started to drizzle a little, but this didn’t seem to worry anyone. Refusing to let the chill affect their partying, the audience got out their pac-a-macs for a day that was packed with more diverse acts and big names than the one before.
After Sunday’s line-up had opened with younger acts like Stormzy, it was veteran rapper Ice Cube was one of the weekend’s biggest hitters. Despite the fact that he’s been in the game for almost 30 years, the West Coast legend mustered up the enthusiasm to deliver an absolutely massive performance, playing both N.W.A songs and his own solo hits like Good Day. Having his own music videos playing behind served as a reminder of the massive and long-lasting impact he’s had.
Finally, a closing set by Rudimental clashed slightly with Haitian-Canadian electronic musician and DJ Kaytranada. Many attendees slipped away from what was a massive, extravagant performance on Rudimental’s part in order to make their way to the Big Top tent to check out Kaytranada’s increasingly popular, neo-soul infused sound. If an artist finds themselves booked for Wildlife Festival, they can rest assured that the hype is real.