At the weekend, pop royalty including Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Sia and more descended on Hylands Park, Essex and Weston Park, Staffordshire for the two-day pop extravaganza. From every corner of the site a chart-topping single was playing filling the airwaves, with the punters lapping up every second of it – despite the dreary weather. Check out the best pics from this year’s festival including Stormzy, Craig David, Bieber and more.
Playing the MTV Stage, Tinie Tempah provided an ample warm-up for rave legends Faithless, who headlined the festival’s second stage against Justin Bieber. He dropped chart-topping single ‘Pass Out’ early on in the set to a rapturous response from the Essex faithful, but they went fully mad when he performed 2016 single ‘Girls Like’ featuring Zara Larsson.
Justin Bieber headlined the first day of the Hylands Park leg of the event, but was riddled with accusations of ‘miming’ by disgruntled fans – something that has since been denied by his camp. Nevertheless, his set was packed with hits such as ‘Baby’, ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘Sorry’, despite the Canadian singer admitting that he was hungover.
Years & Years provided a masterclass in dance-pop during their set on the main stage as they cemented their place as one of 2016’s most festival-ready bands. With heartbreakers (‘Eyes Shut’) and club bangers aplenty (‘Desire’, ‘King’), their superb set which was anchored by charismatic singer Olly Alexander, suggests that they could headline the entire festival in years to come.
Hot on the heels of his second album ‘Wrong Crowd’ entering the charts at Number Two, piano man Tom Odell attracted a rather large crowd for his set on the MTV Stage on Sunday evening. ‘Magnetised’, the lead single from the new album, proved to be the highlight of the set as it was bulked out with a full band who maximised the rhythmic piano to thrilling effect.
Over on the Dance Stage during Rihanna’s set, R&B man Craig David brought his wildly-succesful touring club night TS5 to Hylands Park as he rave classics, provided some onstage banter and even sung a couple new tracks for the crowd. Later this year David will release his new album ‘Following My Intuition’, his first full record for six years.
On Sunday night Rihanna closed out the festival with a spellbinding 80 minute set. Despite arriving 25 minute late on stage, she still found time to race through some of her biggest hits like ‘Umbrella’, ‘Where Have You Been?’ and ‘Diamonds’, as well showcasing some of her best features on other artists’ work – including Kanye West’s ‘All Of The Lights’, Drake’s ‘Take Care’ and her collaboration with Calvin Harris ‘We Found Love’.