17-18 August 2018
Is it new or is it just V-fest rebranded? In 2017 we were told that after 20 years V-fest was over, but Rize will take place at the same venue and on the same weekend that V-fest did. With a line-up full of big-hitting artists and a name that just maybe, possibly might have something to do with phoenix and ashes you’d be forgiven for thinking all that’s changed is the corporate sponsorship. Still, if your heading over to Essex for the teenage rite-of-passage event of the year, all you really care about is who to see, right?
Friday sees former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher headlining. If he chooses to focus on Oasis classics it will be a great set but his solo output is neither as well known, nor quite as crowd pleasing so it could be a mixed bag. James Bay has been on fine live form this summer and while his music falls firmly into the pop category, he knows how to work a stage and puts on an entertaining show. Manic Street Preachers and Ash are both festival legends and crowd favourites, so on Friday night the main stage is the only place to be.
Bastille are the the outstanding offering on Saturday night, but Black Honey are also worth your time. It may be that I just have a soft spot for people with green hair but Alma is an interesting one, her music feels more like it is made for a nightclub at 2am than a main festival stage but it is important to add a bit of diversity to your festival experience.
If you spent all of Friday at the Main Stage, be sure to wander over to the 2nd stage for Saturday Years & Years offer electro beats that could have been pulled out of the mid-80s and Sean Paul should put everyone in a summer mood with his Jamaican dancehall sounds. London grime outfit The Manor shouldn’t be overlooked, their lyrics are clever, witty and socially aware.
New Music Stage
Cloves is all rousing beats and soul and Feet might just put you in mind of early Blur. Into The Ark can count Sir Tom Jones as one of their biggest fans, so are surely worth a punt. All three perform on Friday.
If you like your guitars fast and hard then Saturday headliners Spring King are for you. Folly Rae has the kind of voice you can’t ignore and 2018 looks set to be the young singer’s breakout year, catch her before she’s everywhere.