Music / Feature

Here’s what we learned from Wireless Festival 2018

This year’s Wireless Festival was packed full of surprises.

Building on the success of last years incredible line up was never going to be easy for the guys at Wireless, but they did not disappoint. Huge names such as Stormzy, J. Cole, Big Sean, Post Malone, Migos, Giggs, Rick Ross and many more came to show Finsbury Park what they were made of and what they delivered was immense. A number of surpises from Avelino, Krept and Konan and Chipmunk (joining Charlie Sloth) were slotted into the weekends schedule too.

Oh yes, and Drake casually filled in for the absent DJ Khaled and caused a minor earthquake in Finsbury Park by joining Giggs to perform KMT and proceeded to play headline set.

Check out what we saw at Wireless in our gallery

Photo by Jordan Hughes, courtesy of Wireless Festival

With so much going on, here are a few of our favourite moments of this years festival.


Huge North American presence delivered on the bill

All weekend there were chart toppers left, right and centre, but this weekend we were snowed under with talent from across the pond. Starting the weekend off for the stade-siders was Big Sean. With his backdrop depicting a rooftop sign saying ‘The Detroiter’ he came through for his city electriying the crowd with Mercy, Clique, Dance and Bounce Back to an outrageous ovation.

J. Cole was up next for the Americans, bringing a phenomenal energy to his set. Performing new tracks from his latest album KOD, as well as crowd favourites, Cole was the perfect end to a massive Friday.

Throughout Saturday the US contingent continued to pull out all the stops. With Post Malone killing the main stage with his latest album Beerbongs and Bentleys to Finsbury Park, he didn’t forget crowd favourites from his first album Stoney such as I Fall Apart and Congratulations.

Migos followed on the main stage and bought a different vibe to North London. The trio of Quavo, Offset and Takeoff walked it like they talk it for the galvanized crowd, performing their modern classics such Stir Fry, Bad and Boujee, Versace and many more.

Kicking things off for the North Americans on the Sunday was Lil Uzi Vert. Coming straight from Philadelphia, the 23 year old made sure that throughout his tracks there was mayhem, calling for mosh pits all across the crowd.

Then finally, after hours of suspense throughout Sunday the crowd were getting anxious as DJ Khaled’s replacements slot was fast approaching. After Giggs had just annihilated the main stage, a large flag baring the OVO owl with a Union Jack on the wing was dropped down covering the backdrop of the stage.

And the crowd erupted. Hoards of people came flying forward to get closer to Drake who then (after about 6 wheel-ups) performed the entirety of KMT from More Life with Giggs and then performed a curated selection of tracks, whilst being incredibly humble throughout. Asking the crowd if they wanted more (which was of course rhetorical, as even he wanted more) Drizzy soaked up his fans admiration and love to close out a fantastic weekend and conclude a tremendous international effort that did not come to battle or rival the UK scene, but to support it.

 

It’s coming home

The whole country had a bad case of World Cup fever and Gareth Southgate was being spoken about on the grounds of Wireless Festival as if he were a Patron Saint. There were an array of England shirts worn throughout the whole weekend and impromptu chants of ‘Its Coming Home’, ‘Vindaloo, Vindaloo, Na, Na’ and ‘We Still Believe’ were being belted out at any opportunity.

England were facing Sweden in the Quarter Finals of the World Cup and thousands gathered at the Main Stage to watch The 3 Lions take another step closer to bringing football home. The tremendous scenes as hundreds of wasted beers were thrown around and the euphoria around the crowd when Harry Maguire put England ahead is a memory we will never ever forget.

But then we got to see at all over again half an hour later when Dele Alli made it 2-0 and cemented England’s place in the Semi Finals!

Click here to see the full crowd reaction when Dele Alli scored to send England to their first World Cup Semi-Final since 1990.

 

Talent from all across the UK delivered the goods at Wireless

MoStack stepped up first for the UK on Friday, then the Godfather of Grime followed him. Wiley bought summer vibes to Wireless with tracks such as Can You Hear Me, Heatwave and Wearing My Rolex. Easily showing why he is at the top of the grime family tree, he brought out Lethal Bizzle to perform Fester Skank and generally delivered his tracks to an almost CD quality. He shone on the Friday by providing an atmosphere like no one else!

Krept and Konan blessed the Main Stage with a set that was added in last minute due to J Hus being unable to perform. Kicking things off with Don’t Waste My Time, and arriving on stage with huge England flags, they ignited the crowd on an already scorching day.

Bringing out MoStack for Crepes and Cones, their new track about their new crepe shop in Croydon, the boys bought a great energy to the crowd and looked slick whilst doing so with eye-catching visuals behind them.

 

Get tickets to see Krept and Konan live at Alexandra Palace on 25 October 2018 here

Four flamethrowers kick into action besides the stage and Stormzy arrives performing Cold from Gang Signs and Prayer faultlessly. Throughout his performance Stormzy was humble and thankful for the opportunity he had headlining the Main Stage. Performing hits from Gang Signs… he also threw in a cover of Shanks and Bigfoot’s Sweet Like Chocolate which was simply magnificent.

Photo by James Briddle, courtesy of Wireless Festival

Watch Stormzy’s cover of Sweet Like Chocolate on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge here

Giggs bought an incredible set to Wireless with him, hot off the heels of his UK and European tour for his newest mixtape Wamp 2 Dem. Giggs went through the highlights of his repertoire with classics such as Look What The Cat Dragged In and Talkin The Hardest but also performed a significant number from the new album including Peligro, in which he bought out rapper Dave to a ridiculous response. Finally at the end of his set, proving that the landlord really does have tenants, he bought out Drake for KMT. And the rest was history.

 

The Pepsi Max Stage

With an incredible line up on the Main Stage, the Pepsi Max stage had one option: Go big or go home. Starting things off on the Friday was Donae’o, wearing an all green tracksuit he captivated the crowd with favourites such as I’m Fly and Bingo.

Following Donae’o was Mabel, who was highly anticipated by the crowd who were chanting her name before her arrival on stage. The Pepsi Max crowd filled up rapidly as she took to the stage with her six back up dancers and shut it down.

Photo by George Trantham

Get tickets to see Mabel on her UK tour this October here

One of the highlights of the whole festival was Goldlink. The 25 year old from Washington, DC was unstoppable from start to finish. Bringing tracks like Crew and Fall in Love to life, dressed all in white, this rapper knew how to get the crowd on his side. Everything from the flow of the setlist to the relaxed yet receptive crowd made this such a special set. Raised high in the air on a platform throughout the performance he really confirmed it’s going to take something special to knock him off his perch.

Representing the UK scene from 2 different cities were Jaykae and 67, the other standout performers on the stage. Jaykae, the Birmingham based rapper from Small Heath, brought his huge following to the Pepsi Max stage. Hailing from South London, 67 bought a thunderous drill sound to the festival, performing tracks such as Lets Lurk, 67 and Waps, the guys got everyone involved from the front to the back. Props to the great energy from 67’s masked man, LD.


Wireless Festival proved to be another incredible time this year. With so many surprises along the way, with England winning, Drizzy turning up out of nowhere, Stormzy setting the Main Stage alight and so much more, Wireless never failed to deliver. Once again fans are left buzzing after another thrilling weekend in Finsbury Park.

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