This event was the best thing I have attended and after limping out, shoes heavy with mud I felt as though I could have died right there and then and been happy to go.
I was one of the lucky 50,000 that managed to see the likes of Santigold, Azealia Banks, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Dizzee Rascal, Rihanna and Jay-z all for only £2.50. There were so many highlights through out this day I just don’t know where to begin – Let’s try the beginning.
After being going through three sets of security we had finally made it though the gates and the sun had actually decided to briefly show its face before the rain came (and the left again). First stop was Santigold on the ‘In New Music We Trust’ stage. Lucky for us we had seen her just months before (refer to band 8), we knew exactly what to predict and sure enough as soon as the beat for ‘Creator’ began we knew what had to be done! I screamed at the security guard and he pulled me over the barrier, I was free to lose it on the stage with Santigold for one track only (highlight one).
Next it was an hour or so wait through the set of some dude called Maverick Sabre before our beloved Azealia Banks came our in her hot looking leather bikini. Let’s face it everyone was there for one song and one song only: ‘212’. Never in my life have I been so into screaming out ‘Kunt!’ with a bunch of strangers chanting along with me (well not that I remember, but it has been a long time since broadcasting school) (highlight two).
Next it was time to get a touch emotional with the love of my life Lana Del Rey. I had heard from a few people that her set at Lovebox the weekend before was not great, however she must have stepped it up a notch when taking to the stage at Hackney Weekend, either that or I’m just a super fan. I swear I couldn’t help but get taken to another place by ‘Blue Jeans’ and ‘Video Games’ I wish that moment lasted forever. (Highlight three).
The giant main stage was calling as Florence Welch’s angel like tones were ringing out though Hackney. I had seen Florence back in 2010 at Splendor in the Grass and she just seems to get better with age, it was great to hear some songs from her new-ish album as well as the classics ‘You’ve got the love’ and the finale ‘The dog days are over’. (Highlight four).
The mud started to get deeper as more and more people packed around the main stage in anticipation of the special guest that was the next to perform but had not yet been announced. We spent the time between acts speculating as to who it might be, the question we were asking each other was ‘who is the biggest band in the world right now?’ Rumors were flying around like seagulls on crack. I heard U2, Coldplay even David Bowie but finally (and randomly) a Kiwi guy came out and announced DIZZEE RASCAL. Now I have seen Dizzee twice before and luckily knew to reserve my energy for the crazy numbers he saves till last ‘Dance with me,’ ‘Holiday’ and ‘Bonkers.’ (highlight five).
As the sun began to set, Rihanna and her Egyptian themed set up came to life with hit after hit after hit after hit. She is just of those artists that constantly has a new album coming out or more than one song in the top ten. Anyway we were all expecting some kind of special guest to come out, but I still have to admit I was a little lost for words when Jay-z came on stage for a few tracks, one of which was umbrella. Now if you knew me in 2007 you would no that this was MY song. I don’t know how it started but every time it would come on everyone would expect me to be the one raving out to ‘eh eh eh, under my umbrella.’ I would constantly be awoken by drunk friends calling me from a club when that song would be playing, screaming into the blower ‘it’s ya song!!!!!’ For my 21st Birthday I got not one but two copies of the single, so that kind of puts it into perspective just how excited I was. Finally she ended the day with the most pumping track ‘We Found Love,’ the whole crowd was jumping and the moment was made even more magic when fireworks began erupting in the sky, concluding the best day of my life.