Around this time last year, as the weather was getting better and the shorts, sandals and wellies were coming out, I was gearing up for my first festival of the summer: Parklife Weekender. I’d never been and after seeing the awesome line-up, which included the likes of Nero, Justice, Everything Everything, Annie Mac and Madeon, I decided this was a festival not to be missed.
I bought my ticket for the weekend fairly early and tweeted about it constantly over the coming weeks, then got a direct message from Promotions Manager of The Warehouse Project, Oli Hackett, suggesting I apply to be part of the Parklife Online Team. Both flattered and excited about the prospect, I thought this was also a sign I tweet too much; but hey, if it brought opportunities like this, why not!
After filling out an application form saying why I’d do a bloody good job, I was accepted and from February to June, used my Twitter @SpamellaB and Facebook to complete weekly tasks to push the festival out and build the hype as much as possible. It was great fun and I really enjoyed knowing about all different aspects about the festival; from exclusive artist and DJ interviews and mixes to information about travel and arena breakdowns. I later spotted another unmissable opportunity to be on the Social Media Team, which I jumped at immediately.
So, to the festival. On the Saturday, I was ‘off’ to enjoy the day/night and had an epic time, meeting up with friends from all over and raving to many of my favourite bands and artists; from Alt_J in the Now Wave tent to Zane Lowe and Nero rocking up the Metropolis arena, the atmosphere of Platts Fields was incredible and a bit of rain certainly didn’t dampen spirits!
Sunday morning, feeling slightly worse for wear but raring to go, those of us on the Social Media Team got down to the venue early to be briefed on the day ahead. Being in charge of the Metropolis tent, the job for the day was to photograph the acts on stage while capturing the crowd and the atmosphere and go crazy with tweeting/Facebooking updates! Armed with our t-shirts, big boards and stickers shouting out ‘I’ve been snapped by the Parklife Weekender Social Media Team’, we split off into pairs as revellers started filling up Platts Fields once again.
Starting early with the likes of Erol Alkan, Will Tramp and later Madeon, it was fantastic to witness both sides of the festival experience; consuming the music and sounds just beneath the artist, while looking forward at the crowd ahead, dancing around in their own zone and photographing every moment. Those right at the front went crazy for the camera, waving to catch our attention, wanting to be snapped with the boards and stickers with their mates which was sometimes a very funny sight!
Another part of the fun was getting out and about, taking shots of the whole area and grabbing groups of festival-goers, or rather, being stopped and begged to take photos. When it came to ‘reporting’, every so often we headed backstage to the Social Media Hut where we frantically took turns to charge our phones and spread the word of the live action, plus the Team were great and kept us fed and watered all day!
I’ll always remember coming out and bumping into Labrinth, who very kindly took a few minutes to chat and get a photo like it was no trouble at all. Then there was being dragged up on the Main Stage from the back entrance, where Annie Mac was DJ-ing and literally had the massive crowd below going mental. After she’d finished and came off stage, I got a chance to meet her and have a cheeky photo taken, which just made my girl crush for her much worse!
The whole weekend came to an end when we finished at about 9pm after an awesome day of experiencing both sides of the festival. Catching Justice perform live topped off one of the best music events I’d been to and left me craving more; which is probably why I’m doing exactly the same thing this year too. Bring on 8th – 9th June at Heaton Park – Parklife is going to be bigger and better than ever before, and I can’t wait to be a part of it all over again!