Wildlife Festival – The Next Big Thing in Brighton?

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With music festivals becoming an ever increasing aspect of modern teenage society, it was only a matter of time before Brighton, with its reputation of a ‘party town’, would host a major one. New festivals of all genres are propping up all around Europe at the moment with Holland’s ‘Best Kept Secret’ one notable example amongst many others. Festivals are very much in fashion at the moment, and they’re one of the main things many a teenager looks forward to when it comes to the summer nowadays.

Having resisted for long enough, the ‘cosmopolitan’ city of Brighton & Hove has finally decided to get in on the action too. It’s exactly the sort of place that you’d expect to host a music festival, and this is exactly what shall happen for the first time ever this year, with the new ‘Wild Life’ Festival making its debut in Shoreham Airport. Technically this isn’t actually within the realms of Brighton & Hove, but it’s as close as you’re going to get. For years, Brighton has hosted smaller, yet still reasonably popular festivals such as ‘Shakedown’ and ‘Great Escape’, but it’s about time it got its very own major event. It should come as no surprise then that all 35,000 tickets for the event sold out within under a week – but surprise or not, this is still undoubtedly an impressive stat for a debut festival.

It will be interesting to see in which direction that the festival goes. As with every new festival, it’s impossible to tell before it has happened yet. Will it be comparable to the famous, magical, rose garden possessing, California-based Coachella?  Or will it go the opposite way – of the drug infused, dirty, sweaty, Manchester based cesspit that is ‘Creamfields’? We’ll have to wait and see, but based on English culture and the country’s general attitude towards festivals, I’d say the latter of the two extremes is more likely.

The festival is based around dance and pop music with a hint of hip hop. Five-week album chart topper Sam Smith is set to headline along with infamous dance groups Disclosure and Rudimental. As far as hip hop is concerned, Wu Tang Clan, the creators of the $5,000,000 Album ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’ are also making a somewhat surprising appearance. The few acts mentioned above represent just a tiny fraction of what is on show at the festival, and there is a lot more on the list that will almost certainly tickle your fancy if you are a fan of today’s dance and/or pop music.

It is very likely the percentage of teenage attendees will be very high, with a lot of very new music on the scene, including a lot of up and coming acts. Hugo Butler, 18 said “It’s about time we got a big festival in near Brighton. The closest festivals have always been London based which makes them hard to get to, so having one close by is very convenient.” Hugo is planning on attending in June, with a weekend ticket. “It’s not really my sort of music, but I think it’s too big of an opportunity to miss out on. This could be an iconic festival in a few years and I’ll be able to say I went to the first. I’m really looking forward to it.”

But what will the festival do for the town of Shoreham-by-Sea? Will it be a help of hindrance? Of course this would depend on who you ask. Shoreham resident Alex Loader, 18, claims “it’s great. Finally something interesting is happening in Shoreham! It’s great news for the town.” However, Julie Danielson, 47, disagrees. “I have to say I am a bit irritated that they’ve brought the event to Shoreham. I can only imagine the mess it will create and what the attendees will get up to.”

You’re never going to please everyone, and opinions on such big events will always differ. But overall it seems that the consensus is positive, with the event bringing business to Shoreham’s shops, putting the town on the map, and adding another summer event to look forward to for young locals. Will the festival flop, or will it blow up? We’ll have to wait and see.

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