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Parklife Festival

Last weekend I packed my suitcase and headed up to Manchester to go to Parklife, which is held at Heaton Park every year. It was the first festival I've ever been to, and I must say I had a great time; it was so much fun to do something different and be in a little bit of a festival bubble for a couple of days. Plus, I hate camping, and Parklife doesn't have a campsite so I got to go back to my friend Hannah's each night and sleep in an actual bed  result! Here's what happened over the weekend.


Getting There
5:30am wake-up call, ew. I got dressed, ran to the cash point, put some make up on, braided my hair, then legged it out of the door to make the 7:12 train. Unfortunately, it was cancelled without warning because of the One Direction and Manic Street Preachers concerts that took place in Cardiff the day before. I was supposed to get to Manchester at 11:15 but I missed my train from Cardiff, boo.

Luckily, the incredibly helpful woman in the office managed to get me on the next one without my having to pay extra, so I got there at 12. After changing into my shorts and wellies in the Manchester Piccadilly loos (not so glamorous, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do) we caught the tram to Heaton Park and threw ourselves into the fun of the festival.

Ella Eyre

Ella Eyre and Drunk Dancing
After wolfing down a massive cheeseburger and having a wander round the site with a rum and coke in hand, we headed over to the Main Stage to see Ella Eyre, who was absolutely incredible. Amazing live vocals, great energy, and her eyebrows (and entire outfit) were on point. I had so much fun being part of that crowd.

Next stop was the Resident Advisor tent. I will be completely honest with you: I had no idea who the DJ was. All I knew was that the music was so heavy I could feel it in my chest, and it had a good enough beat for me to dance around to (but not too much  there were so many people squished in!)

Pepperoni pizza

Pizza Makes Everything Better
At one point Hannah and I went to see James Bay. I'd been looking forward to it, but unfortunately the people around us were just standing about talking and we couldn't hear a bloody thing, which was infuriating! Why would you pay all that money for a ticket and then stand around and chat? You can do that in the pub any day of the week. We left and ate wood-fired pizza instead (dough, the freshest tomato sauce, lots of pepperoni, and tonnes of cheese) because when in doubt, pizza is the answer.

Ben Howard and My Baby Face
After spending plenty of time enjoying everything by the Warehouse Stage, Elly and I headed over to one of the bars to get more drinks (wine for her and rum for me). The barman told me I sounded like a posh northerner, which is the first time I've ever been told that in my life (I don't, but shoutout to you, Danny! And please don't feel bad about ID-ing me, everyone does. It's the bubba face). We then made our way to the Big Top tent to see Ben Howard and he certainly did not disappoint live. His voice is sublime and there was such a good atmosphere  it was the perfect way to end the day.

[An Interlude About Festival Toilets: EW. I'd braced myself for something gross, but they were just foul. And there were so many used condoms! Why the hell would you have sex in a festival toilet? There's a time and a place, people, and in a portaloo surrounded by other people's bodily waste is not it. I genuinely considered paying a fortune to go in the posh loos at one point, but ultimately thought I'd save my money for food.]

Mexican Food and Unexpected Music
I woke up at 6:20  not quite as bad as the day before  and mercifully I was hangover-free. I was on the rum for the whole of Saturday, but never really got past tipsy because the drinks were so flipping expensive (made prices dahn saaf look reasonable). I was absolutely starving and grabbed an enormous burrito to eat while we caught some of the Fuse ODG set. We also saw Jungle, and although I didn't know any of their songs by name once they started playing I was like 'Oh! Those people!'

I Heart George
The highlight of Sunday was definitely George Ezra's set, he has the most amazing, distinctive voice, and the crowd was absolutely loving it. He kept saying thank you after each song, with a smile about a mile wide as if he couldn't believe what was happening, and then it turned out it was his birthday so everyone sang for him  it was the cutest thing and I've now developed a very little large crush.

Doughnuts and Duke Dumont
I read in an interview with either Edith Bowman or Jo Whiley (I can't remember who!) where whoever it was said that one of the best things about festivals is doughnuts, so when I saw a stand selling them I was over there like a shot. They were hot, fresh, and sprinkled with sugar, and relatively inexpensive compared to a lot of the food on sale.

We caught the start of the Duke Dumont set but the tent was rammed and I got very claustrophobic, plus Elly was feeling sick, so we left and picked a tent at random. We ended up bopping away to Caribou, which turned out to be a great way to end the weekend (I loved all the stuff they did on the drums). There was one horrific minute when we thought we'd lost everyone else, but we ended up being reunited by the Drop The Mustard tent and at that point in time I swear it was the most beautiful moment ever.

Have you been to any festivals this summer, or are you planning to go to any? What was the first festival you ever went to? Let me know in the comments!

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Beth, 23, South East England. I'm a writer with a love of books, lipstick, and the Oxford comma. I love beauty and I also love animals, so I only buy, use, and feature products from cruelty-free brands. (Seriously though, I am the person who stops to fuss over every dog she sees.) You can also expect posts about vegan/vegetarian food, and plenty of musings about life as a 20-something. Want to get in touch? Email me at

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