Chase and Status are confirmed for this year's Wireless festival
Published: 29 April, 2016
by ROISIN GADELRAB
WIRELESS 2016 has had a tough time of it lately – and it may still have to face a legal challenge before it can take place.
When the line-up was first announced last month, there were a few moans that the festival, which is due to take place between July 8 and 10, hadn’t attracted the superstar names of the past. While former headliners have included Rihanna, Drake, Kanye and Jay-Z, this year’s line-up features the likes of Calvin Harris, Chase & Status, Boy Better Know, The 1975 and Jess Glynne.
If the disappointed reaction from some quarters was not enough, the festival’s return to Finsbury Park for the third year running, may well be blighted by a campaign by neighbours and friends of the park who believe the volume of people it attracts per day is too much and want to take court action to stop it. There were some problems last year, with complaints about people rushing the fence and the park left looking a little arid, but festival organisers have put in extra measures such as installing a new specialist security team and making additional site improvements to prevent a repeat of this, and to stave off the crowd-funded legal challenge.
All of this risks overshadowing the fact that the festival is one of the highlights of the year for many fans of urban and dance music – which make up the majority of the acts on the list. And, while a noisy few may have bemoaned the initial line-up announcement, is this just a case of fans not valuing home-grown talent, instead choosing to be dazzled by our overseas neighbours? It might be an idea to give due credit to acts such as Calvin Harris – aka Mr Taylor Swift – and Chase & Status who regularly sell out huge shows internationally, and to appreciate the talents of Skepta and Jme’s grime collective Boy Better Know, who recently won a surprise signing in Drake, a longstanding fan of the BBK name, so much so that he has their initials tattooed on his shoulder. Other notable acts worth a mention as the festival enters its 11th year include platinum-selling rapper J. Cole, Norwegian superstar Kygo – apparently one of the 25 most played artists in history – Craig David and his TS5 show, London-Irish musician Maverick Sabre, MOBO award-winning duo Krept and Konan, and grime queen Lady Leshurr.
Jess Glynne, (pictured, above) who seems to have had a run of summer hits, trapsoul artist Bryson Tiller, US hip-hop and R&B singer Miguel, EDM DJ Martin Garrix and US chef-turned rapper Action Bronson, who knows well how to entertain a crowd, are also on the list.
While Wireless has previously featured a number of guitar bands, indie-rock group The 1975 are conspicuous in almost genre-isolation this year. Also joining the line-up are Yelawolf, singer and rapper TyDolla $ign and Sigma.
• Here is the line-up so far, listed by day:
Friday, July 8 – Calvin Harris, The 1975, Miguel, Bryson Tiller, Kurupt Fm, Kwabs, Disciples, Vic Mensa, Big Narstie, Anne-Marie, Yungen, Geko, Petite Meller;
Saturday, July 9 – Chase & Status, J Cole, Future, Sigma Live, Krept & Konan, Craig David’s Ts5, A$Ap Ferg, Wilkinson Live, Wstrn, Maverick Sabre, Bugzy Malone, Lady Leshurr, Jahkoy, Nadia Rose, Dj Semtex;
Sunday, July 10 –Kygo, Boy Better Know, Martin Garrix, Jess Glynne, Action Bronson, Kehlani,Section Boyz, Young Thug, Jeremih, Vince Staples, Yelawolf, Ty Dolla $Ign, Dillon Francis, Newham Generals, Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Bomba Estéreo, Logan Sama.
• Tickets are now on sale at www.wirelessfestival.co.uk.