This year for the first time ever, UHH is covering a UK festival. But not just any festival. Wireless has been a stalwart of London summers since 2005 when it started in Hyde Park. Since then it has moved to the Olympic Park, and has now settled at Finsbury Park in North London. We have press access for Day 1 where we get to see Bryson Tiller and Miguel, so cue the swaying, loud singing and tears.
But what Wireless has perfected over the years is a curated line up of mainstream and upcoming artists, from both the UK and the US. From the States, we’re very much looking forward to witnessing Vic Mensa live. Speaking with NME, Mensa says he’s debuting his new EP ‘There’s A Lot Going On’ for the first time outside of the US. He’s got that edge which means anything is possible – see the video below of him at Coachella last year going right into the eye of the crowd. He’s certainly got a few bangers that fans and general festival-goers will be into, so I have no doubt he’ll get the crowd pumped. Catch him at 17.55-18.25 on the Pepsi Max Arena Stage 2.
From the UK, we’re definitely hyped to see Yungen. On his latest single with Angel, Take My Number, he’s on an RnB tip making the most of summer in London. However, the Yungen we’re used to is a bit grimier, either solo on Comfy or with Sneakbo on Ain’t On Nuttin. He’s definitely got a lot of noise around him at the moment and we don’t think it’s unfounded. He’s on the come up, so performing at Wireless should be the perfect setting to elevate him to the next level. Catch him at 18.10-18.40 on Stage 3.
Lady Leshurr is another UK artist whose 2016 is already looking strong. She’s just dropped a new single with Wiley, the godfather of grime, where she keeps bringing those witty lyrics and heavy one-liners. Fresh off performing at this year’s Glastonbury as part of the ‘grime takeover’, Wireless is part of her summer of festivals, making appearances at other major events such as Reading & Leeds and Bestival. But the best news? She’s coming to NYC for the Roots Picnic on 1st-2nd October, so you should definitely see her whilst she’s in town. Catch her at 16.15-16.45 on the Pepsi Max Arena Stage 2.
Big Narstie and Kurupt FM are two acts we want to see for sheer comedy value. Big Narstie is a grime MC who is lyrically very talented but his ability can sometimes be overshadowed by how he carries himself in interviews and on stage. Both are so hilarious that sometimes you forget that he’s actually really good. His biggest hit so far was this year with Craig David ‘When the Bassline Drops’ which came about by chance when they were hosted by Kurupt FM at BBC 1xtra for a live show. I strongly urge you to watch the full video below to a) understand the power and beauty of Craig David’s vocal cords, b) witness how he and Big Narstie linked up, and c) be introduced to Kurupt FM. The collective originated from the TV show ‘People Just Do Nothing’ in 2014, which is a satirical comedy based around a pirate radio station by the same name. Since then, they have rapidly gathered a cult following and have hit the mainstream with appearances at larger venues and now, at Wireless. Who knows what guests either act will bring out but fingers are crossed for Craig. Catch Big Narstie 19.00-19.30 on Stage 3, followed by Kurupt FM at 20.00-20.50.
In and amongst the grime acts, we can get lifted to Kwabs. You can’t help but close your eyes and feel transported to a place far, far away when you hear this artist sing. He released his debut album Love + War earlier this year to high praise and no doubt he’ll be focusing heavily on that, although he has a fair size discography which hopefully he’ll dip into as well. With an RnB and gospel sound, we are praying the sun will come out for Kwabs’ mid-afternoon performance. Catch him at 16.00-16.30 on the Main Stage.
Although we won’t be there, here are some of the smaller acts to look out for at the rest of Wireless:
SATURDAY 9TH JULY
- Jorja Smith
- Nadia Rose
- Bugzy Malone
SUNDAY 10TH JULY
- Elf Kid
- Newham Generals
- Sy Ari Da Kid
- Section Boyz
- Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
- Vince Staples
We’ll be on our Twitter and Instagram all day using #WirelessFest, so look out for updates as we bring you the best of Day 1.
If you can’t wait until then, check out all of the updates from Wireless in the run-up, including their Spotify playlist: