Day festivals are tricky, aren’t they?
Between navigating hot and sticky public transport and the general exhaustion associated with getting said transport, sometimes it is seriously debatable whether the whole effort is worth it.
On day one of Longitude Festival, it sure didn’t seem it. Having come to see godfather of grime and founding member of the Boy Better Know collective Wiley do his thang at the Heinken tent, it was disapponting to hear that he’d cancelled at the last minute.
Except for the fact that he hadn’t.
Wiley appeared before several thousand excited grime fans on Friday night, significantly later than his advertised slot. Fans tweeted their confusion – which Wiley sneakily ‘liked’ – but did not acknowledge his delay.
So far, so grim.
You find other ways to occupy yourself though – the Coca-Cola lounge has every type of soft furnishing available for all attendees, and it was a great spot for (minor) celeb spotting (howya Lorcan from Fair City and Rob Lipsett!)
Dua Lipa, by all accounts, is the star of Friday’s affairs. It’s been a hard slog for everyone involved in getting her to establish some kind of pop star status, but her early Main Stage slot is proof that she’s making progress. It was also refreshing to hear hyper masculine teenage boys on buses talk excitedly about her. Latest release New Rules proves to be the highlight.
Not content with appearing before thousands at their Main Stage slot at the festival, Picture This have just announced two arena gigs in Ireland. Still, it’s s satisfying endeavour for everyone involved by all accounts, and a marked improvement on some of their smaller gigs during the year. This review won’t encourage hardcore haters to pick up tickets for the newly announced gigs – rather, it will affirm their untouchable status among their “army” of fans as they’re now calling themselves. For You and newest single Never Change are the scream-along sunset anthems of beige youth – let’s just stop the begrudgery and let them get on with it, yeah?
Putting the Lukaku debacle firmly behind him, tricolour draped over his shoulders, hip hop’s hot young thing Stormzy is as manic as you’d imagine. Offering a slimmed down setlist in comparison to his Olympia Theatre show earlier his year, (bar the addition of his remix of Ed Sheeran’s Shape Of You), it’s the solid performance we’ve come to expect of him. Even when he seemingly makes a haims of it, restarting several songs, he’s apologetic and he seems sincere in his words.
“I know if there’s one city where I can forget my words and you’ll forgive me, it’s Dublin,” he says before giving 21 Gun Salute another go.
And he’s right. Maybe it’s the demographic; maybe it’s the fact that it’s late in the evening and people are willing to let a lot of things slide. Or maybe it’s because this man – and his most recent album – has seen him earn his God-like status out rightly.