Header Photo: Ashley Verse
It was a given that 2018 would see the biggest Wireless festival yet. Tickets were sold out months in advance, an unexpected heatwave has given us the most sun in decades and the England team were riding high in the World Cup finals.
The best thing about this years line up was that the majority of the acts were from the UK and all different stages of their careers. Wireless Festival started in 2005 and since then has undergone a re-invention from an indie/rock fest (with a splash of rap) to a champion of the leaders of the new UK dance and urban sounds.
This years lineup was strong – over the three days headliners included J Cole, Post Malone, Stormzy, Giggs and DJ Khaled but it was the UK Rap scene that really brought it home. This years UK Rap additions to the lineup included established players like J Hus, Mist, MoStack, Giggs and Kojo Funds in addition to plenty of cutting edge artists that have been racking up millions of views on YouTube.
Kicking things off was Capital XTRA DJ and prenter Yinka, followed by DJ Semtex. Semtex shut it down, bringing out rising stars AJ x Deno (London), EO (German), and Manchester rapper Just Banco who got the crowd moshing with “Soo Yung” and “Ashleigh”.
Things went up a notch with MoStack taking to the main stage, switching his set from Saturday to Friday so he didn’t miss the England game. As one of the biggest artists of 2018 it was inevitable he’d get the crowd going mad with “Liar Liar”, “What I Wanna” and all his fan favourites.
Football fever was in the air – Kojo Funds paused his set to do a quick rendition of “Its Coming Home” and Belly Squad had the crowd doing the mad ting – moshing and jumping. A lot of trainers got destroyed that day.
Wiley is a Wireless veteran – but he still did his thing showing why he is one of the UK Music scenes legends, with a shut down Grime set.
As Friday drew to a close Post Malone took to the stage with all his biggest hits sending the crowd into random moshpits left right and centre. Finally closing things out J Cole took to the stage – proving theres still a place for good solid lyrical hip-hop.
The madness continued on Saturday – Charlie Sloth brought out rappers D Block Europe, Camden’s Ambush, Yung Fume, Chip, Romzy and M Huncho.
There was a break for the England v Sweden game. Watching England win on the big screen in the sunshine with 50,000 people was an awesome experience.
International acts performing included Migos – who showed why they are the leaders of the new wave of hip-hop culture, French Montana and OVO singers and Drake collaborators Majid Jordan.
Last up, it was the headline set by Stormzy. Almost single handedly he has taken the UK music scene to new heights rising from corner MC to major festival headliner. He went all in with fireworks, choirs and big screen visuals. There was also a powerful tribute to Grenfell.
Usually on Sunday, Wireless goes out on a high and this year was no exception.
The day did start with the bad news that DJ Khaled would not be attending his headline set – blowing a huge hole in the lineup.
Giggs came in for the final – the UK Rap juggernaut just kept on going with hit after hit. Whipping Excursion, Lock Doh, Active, Talkin the Hardest – all the fan favourites were dropped. The mosh pits were just incredible. Finally he launched into KMT and left the stage.
So Wireless 2018 closed on a massive high. Out all the replacement acts Drake had to be the biggest and best you could possibly get – and we are definitely big fans of Drake – he has done more than any other foreign rapper to promote the UK music scene. Nando’s even made a special Scorpion sauce to celebrate the occasion
Other highlights of the weekend included the the Equalizing Music stage – championing new Female UK Rap and Grime talent including artists like Trillary Banks, C Cane, Lady Leshurr and Bad Gyal.
Wireless 2018 was the biggest and best yet – they had all the movers and shakers in urban music – from established industry artists to new generation ‘Soundcloud’ and Youtube rappers.
Wireless 2019 cant come soon enough.