CGuk | Wireless Festival 2021
When it comes to festivals and events in the UK there are not many that are as eagerly anticipated as Wireless Festival. It is the highlight of many UK Rap fans summers, and this year the line up did not disappoint.
With a change of location from the infamous Finsbury Park to South London’s Crystal Palace Park, the festival carried a refreshed atmosphere. After having our freedoms restricted due to the pandemic, the thousands in attendance welcomed the new approach and it is safe to say that the festival lived up to the success of previous years.
The 2021 Headliners this year were Future, Skepta and Migos, who were accompanied by a strong bill of acts from both the UK and US. It seems that Wireless always orchestrate the perfect blend of our favourite acts from the UK and overseas with the likes of Meek Mill, Central Cee, Young Thug and Headie One all featuring over the course of the weekend.
The structure and layout of the festival this year followed the same format as previous years, the only change being the rebrand of the ‘Pepsi Max Stage’ to the suitably named ‘Palace Stage’. Home to some of the UK’s most exciting talents.
Tucked away behind the main stage, the Palace Stage created a much more intimate affair. A more confined space which allowed the artists to really feel the presence of the crowd. We saw M1llionz, M24, Abra Cadabra, and K-Trap all shut down the stage, but it was ArrDee who made a huge impact. Bringing energy with some of his biggest hits whilst also bringing out special guest Tion Wayne to perform the ‘Body’ remix and the recently released ‘Wid It’, ArrDee was in his element. But, Tion was not the only special guest the the Brighton raised talent brought out. The festival happened to fall on his Mom’s birthday, who joined him on stage for a real celebration.
Both stages this year were packed with some exciting names, and those who were privileged enough to get the main stage booking most certainly took advantage of it. It is many artists top aim to be featured on the main stage, and this year we saw the likes of Fredo, Rick Ross, Tion Wayne, Meg The Stallion, Swae Lee, AJ Tracey and more all come correct with some top performances.
2021 saw a real shift in the demand for UK artists from the fans. The past few years have seen our homegrown acts become a dominant force within the global music industry, and the response at the years Wireless Festival confirms that statement.
Central Cee was the only artists to have two bookings across the weekend and on both Saturday and Sunday he was welcomed by a rocking crowd who were gripped by his energetic performance and huge entourage. Highlights of his set included smash hits ‘Day In The Life’, ‘Loading’ and ‘Little Bit Of This’.
Another UK Rap star who executed his biggest tracks with finesse was Headie One. Teasing a new project with the stage set up, Headie One blended his shut down set with the announcement of his brand new project ‘Too Loyal…For My Own Good’. This in itself shows the level of development of the UK scene, and Headie was most certainly shown how appreciated he is by the audience.
More standout UK acts from the weekend include M1llionz, Abra Cadabra, ArrDee and K-Trap.
Every year when the Wireless lineup is announced, all eyes are on the overseas acts, as we don't get to see those artists much throughout the year. It's also an insight into which UK/US collaborations we could be hearing this year, last Wireless we heard the D-Block Europe and Lil Baby record.
The two US headliners this year, was Future and Migos! There was high expectation for both sets, Migos have had a strong year with the release of their ‘Culture 3’ album back in June. Then as you probably all heard the hype when fans spotted Future landing in the UK with the man himself, Drake. Another artist who was building up a great hype was Meek Mill, as he geared up for his first ever performance in the UK! For fans it is always good to be able to come to Wireless and see overseas acts, but the UK artists will no doubt thrive off the opportunities and doors it could open for them. Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert, Swae Lee, Rick Ross, Meg Thee Stallion and Young Thug were amongst some of the American acts this year.
As Future’ headline set on the Friday came to close, you could immediately feel the atmosphere change from the crowd, they was on edge to see the Certified Lover Boy. The stage went pitch black and the rapper continued his clever billboard campaign in Crystal Palace Park… “Hey Wireless, The Boy Is Home” appeared on the screen and by this time everyone knew what was about to happen. The 6ix God appeared to “Life Is Good” as the crowd went crazy, secretly waiting on the first ever performance for “Way 2 Sexy.” Which is another reason why Wireless is such an important part of the culture, to have exclusive moments like that happen here in the UK.
As expected, Migos brought nothing but strong energy, they certainly had one of the best performances of the weekend. Emerging out to their hit new single “Avalanche” and following up with old school bangers like “Fight Night,” they truly had the crowd in the palm of their hands.
"Once again, Wireless delivered. Blending some of our biggest acts with the most exciting overseas talent, the line up had those in attendance torn for choice over the weekend. The atmosphere created by the fans, with everyone just glad to be back outside, and the energy of the performers served as the perfect welcome back to festival life, and we hope that the Wireless team continue to deliver for years to come." - Sam Rasmin
"Despite the change of location, I think the festival lived up-to expectations and delivered a weekend filled with good vibes and performances. For years, the game has been trying to build that bridge between US & UK rap culture and I think this is the best festival we have for this here in the UK. It was great to see everyone back outside enjoying themselves again and I think this atmosphere was felt throughout the weekend, there was no trouble, just people enjoying the range of acts and each others company. Big up Wireless Festival for continuing to deliver and serve as one of the UK's biggest festivals." - Luis James