Opening its doors for the first time in over two years, the festival of modern culture Parklife returned in a big way over the weekend.
160,000 music fans came to Heaton Park for the weekend festival, showing live events are very much back with a bang in Manchester.
But the party started early, thanks to a homecoming show by New Order, their first hometown gig in four years.
With support from Hot Chip and Working Men’s Club, it was one of their biggest shows of the past 20 years.
A crowd of 35,000 New Order fans flocked to see the band’s biggest headline show, an older audience than the usual Parklife crowd but no less enthusiastic.
“It’s been a horrible couple of years. Let’s have a party and try and make up for it,” said Bernard Sumner, kicking off a show which featured old and newer material alongside dazzling lasers and graphics on the big screens.
The Friday night gig started the weekend in style, before Parklife saw 80,000 fans each day celebrate the return of live music and festivals.
On Saturday, in a UK festival exclusive performance, Dave headlined his first major UK festival with an unstoppable performance on the Parklife Stage – capturing why he sits at the very pinnacle of UK music right now.
After a jaw-dropping headline set, spanning across his two acclaimed studio albums to date, Dave brought out very special guest Stormzy to join him on closing track Clash.
Stormzy’s special guest appearance wasn’t even the first super special surprise at the festival – with global icon Burna Boy bringing something special to the Parklife Stage as the sun began to set on Heaton Park on Saturday night.
Appearing in his own custom Manchester United shirt, Burna took things to legendary levels when he was joined on-stage by Manchester United’s own Paul Pogba, fresh from a top-draw performance of his own earlier in the day on the football pitch.
Another 80,000 rapturous fans came to Heaton Park on Sunday for another unrivalled festival day full of the biggest and best in the game right now.
Sets included Skepta, Disclosure, Migos, AJ Tracey, Jamie xx, Bicep (Live), D-Block Europe, Eric Prydz, Slowthai, Mabel, Little Simz, KSI and many more.
“Today has been 2 years in the making,” tweeted Parklife founder Sacha Lord on Saturday.
“We’ve done everything we can, through the hardest, most challenging of times to deliver you something special.”
And Manchester certainly appreciated it.
Roll on Parklife 2022.