Summer is here and the sun is catching us off guard, leaving its mark on our sun-starved, pale skin. We couldn’t believe our luck last weekend when we woke up to bright, blazing hot sunshine and 25-degree heat. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off festival season than a long overdue trip down to the Brighton seaside for Wild Life Festival. This year played host to an unparalleled line up of our favourite DJ’s - to say we were excited is an understatement.

We raced down to Victoria ready to jump on the train down to the coast, quickly setting up camp in a carriage with a table, gin, beer and cider in hand and our mini speaker blasting out hits from Melé and Maya Jane Coles. Although we did receive some disapproving looks from some fellow passengers, British Comedian Ross Noble turned around to see what the fuss was about and nodded at us with approval – what a guy!

As we arrived at Preston Park train station, we followed the herds of glitter clad, fake tanned crowds for the ten-minute walk down to the bus station. Here, we were directed quickly onto a red London bus and set off with Brighton Airport in our sight. The atmosphere on the bus was electric and we quickly fostered a new friendship with a group of lads from Essex over a joint love of house music and day time drinking.

Immediately upon arriving at the airfield we were teased by the unmistakable tribal beats of our boy Melé over the festival walls at the WHP Presents stage - we couldn’t wait to get inside. We were ushered through the guest list queue into the “Heaven For a Day” VIP area. This turned out to be an absolute God send (no pun intended) throughout the day, with clean blocks of toilets and a huge bar area with minimal queues. Given that the site was walkable within 15 minutes, it was easy to loop back round to this area when we needed to pit stop and re-stock.

Melé took the first shift of the day for us, playing a mixture of disco and tribal house beats, including the classics “Ambience” and “Queens Day”. Having successfully warmed the crowd up, he handed the reigns over to Moxie who showcased her talents for mixing old skool 90’s Ibiza classics with modern house bangers. There was no sign of this stage slowing down,

We finally tore ourselves away from the WHP Presents stage in desperate need of a cider top up and dived into the thick of the Kopparberg Urban Forest to catch “Horse Meat Disco”. 

We carried out a quick loop of the festival site and indulged in a little face painting – the ladies kindly transformed my festival comrade into a David Bowie lookalike and covered me in glitter champagne colored sparkles. Now we were festival ready.

It was time to check out the self-proclaimed “Craziest Party in The World”, Elrow. We’d heard rumors of Elrow being a complete spectacle of music, color and happiness and couldn’t wait to dive in and show off our new looks. On our way to the stage we were distracted by a packed out cocktail bar – not a stage- a cocktail bar, accompanied by two large glitter balls playing some Kisstory-esque tunes including R. Kelly, Ja Rule and Nelly. The crowd were going absolutely wild for the simple pleasures and we couldn’t help but join in as they pumped out Ginuwine “Pony”!

Hauling ourselves away from the early 00’s R ‘n’ B, we quite literally toppled right into the middle of a parade of huge inflatable wild animals protected by a tribe of spear wielding men! I was spiked out of the way by a particularly aggressive looking warrior and into the Elrow tent for Sambodromo Do Brasil. As we anticipated, it was absolutely insane. Inflatable palm trees, bikini clad women dancing on stage and more balloons, glitter guns and smoke machines than you can imagine!

After a little salsa session and commandeering our body weight in inflatables, we tagged out of Elrow to catch the last part of Rag‘n’Bone Man’s set. As he blasted out “Human”, we reveled in singing the lyrics back to him amongst the packed out crowd.

Next up, we rushed over to Sounds Of The Near Future stage to finally catch a live set from one of our favourite artists – Tom Misch. After having narrowly missed him at Field Day and Omeara in London, we were desperate to see if he lived up to the hype. As he performed “Watch Me Dance” and “The Journey”, we were blown away by how incredible he was live. We couldn’t believe our luck when he brought out Laura Misch to perform “Follow” and she accompanied on the saxophone.

My housemates and I have a somewhat eclectic taste in music - between the three of us we like at least 4 different types of house, “and in my house, there is only house” Fingers Inc, 1988. It required a minor amount of coaxing from my housemate to get me to Artwork’s purely disco set with Denis Sulta but I don’t think I’ve ever made a better decision. From start to finish the pair had the crowd smiling playing classics like The Supermen Lovers’ “Starlight” to Bronski Beat’s “Tell Me Why” as the sun slowly set in the distance.

As we jumped back on the train back to Blackfriars, we watched my Instagram Story and re-lived the magic of our favourite acts. It’s safe to say over the course of this two-day extravaganza at Brighton City Airport, festival goers enjoyed blazing sunshine and music from an incredibly diverse line up which championed both up-and-coming and established talent across a host of stages, with an electric atmosphere for the crowd throughout the whole weekend. We’re already looking forward to next year!

Author: Caroline Tester