Stormzy, Frank Ocean, Zara Larsson and the 1975 were among the highlights conquering Heaton Park in 2017
160+ artists flocked to Manchester’s Heaton Park last weekend (June 10-11), including some of music’s biggest names, for Parklife Festival 2017. The city was united in a sense of togetherness and spirit, in the wake of the recent tragic Manchester attacks. It was a spirit reflected in sets from The 1975 and Fatboy Slim, while the likes of Stormzy and Zara Larsson brought a party atmosphere. Here’s the best of what NME saw at Parklife 2017.
His first UK show since 2014, hotly-anticipated Frank Ocean arrives onstage 40 minutes late and launches into ‘Solo’, from 2016 album Blonde, before stopping it and starting again three times, while complaining about his headphones. It’s followed by ‘Chanel’ – which (you’ve guessed it) he stops and then re-starts. It’s a divisive performance – die-hard fans are reverential yet more casual festival-goers are put off by the meandering nature of the set.
His shirt is emblazoned with the face of Brad Pitt, an apparent nod to recent comments made by the actor that he’d been listening to Ocean in the wake of his divorce from Angelina Jolie. ”Talk about getting to the raw truth. He’s painfully honest. He’s very, very special,” raved the actor in an interview.
It’s well past 11pm when he performs his closing song ‘Nikes’, apologising “The park has a curfew”. It ends up being one of the night’s most hotly-debated sets, all further fuel to Ocean’s enigma image.