After an amazing first day at Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, Day 2 certainly had a lot to live up to. How do you follow Saturday’s incredible line-up including Jay-Z and special guests Rihanna, M.I.A, and Kanye West? Not a problem really, just do it all again the next day and cram in as many top artists as possible!
Kicking off Day 2 on the Main Stage was another Hackney Ambassador, Plan B. The east London rapper opened up with ‘The Recluse’ and carried on his set in the rain, despite one or two slips on stage. With a bit of help from the extremely talented beatboxer Faith S-FX, Plan B continued to bang out the hits such as ‘Lost My Way’, ‘Stay too Long’ and ‘Ill Manors’. Hackney local Professor Green continued to raise the roof on local British talent as he performed ‘ Remedy’, ‘Need you tonight’ and his first no1 single ‘Read All About It’.
Next to dominate the main stage was the one and only Jessie J, much to the delight of her ‘Heartbeats‘. (Fans.) Jessie, who is known for giving quite the energetic performance and belting out the high notes, delivered a top class performance that would put other ‘so called live pop stars’ to shame. You can’t deny that this girl can sing!! With an impressive set-list including ‘Do It Like A Dude’, ‘Who’s Laughing Now’, ‘Nobody’s Perfect’, ‘Price Tag’ feat B.o.B, ‘Laser Light’ and ‘Domino‘, Jessie had the whole crowd singing along as the sun finally came out in Hackney.
Yet more local talent took to the stage, with Tinie Tempah opening his set with the massive hit ‘Earthquake’, followed by crowd favourites ‘Till I’m Gone’, ‘Written in the Stars’, ‘Miami to Ibiza’ and the highly anticipated song, ‘Pass Out’ feat Labrinth. The crowd were loving it and were in for a nice surprise, when Tinie took the opportunity to debut a new track from his forthcoming album, ‘Drinking from the Bottle’, produced by Calvin Harris.
Former BBC Introducing artist, Florence + The Machine, graced the stage next with her ethereal quality and beautiful voice. The sun was in full force while festival goers chilled out and fully embraced the amazing live vocals. Florence put on quite a set which included ‘What the Water Gave Me’, ‘Shake it Out’ (which the crowd most certainly did), ‘You’ve got the Love’ and ‘Dog Days Are Over’. The crowd were invited to take part in ‘The Ceremony’, which became a ritual for her on her recent ‘Ceremonials Tour’. A simple idea which involves the crowd jumping in unison at a particular point of the song. The crowd were only too happy to oblige and the atmosphere was at an all time high as they closed the set with ‘No Light No Light’. Such an impressive performance left the crowd wanting more, but also highly anticipating the next surprise act, which managed to stay under wraps for many weeks. Radio 1 DJ, Zane Lowe, introduced the special guest … Dizzee Rascal. Even before Dizzee got to ‘that song’, the crowd immediately went ‘Bonkers’
Dizzee’s performance was the penultimate act of the day. His set included his new song ‘The Power‘ with DJ Fresh and much loved classics such as ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’, ‘Sirens’, ‘Dance Wiv Me’ and ‘Holiday’. Dizzee managed to draw huge numbers to the Main stage and was up against Wretch 32 and David Guetta, due to a clash in stage times. But the crowd were loving every minute and were raving to every infectious number. Only one way to close a set like this for the special guest , and that was with the 2009 chart topper, ‘Bonkers’.
The much awaited headliner and world famous pop star Rihanna, took to her Egyptian-themed stage to close the Hackney Weekend in style. Opening with ‘Only Girl In The World‘, Rihanna certainly seemed to be the ‘Only Girl’, as all eyes were on her … and her outfit! Rihanna has an incredibly long list of hit numbers and kept the crowd entertained the whole night long, belting out hits such as ‘Disturbia’, ‘S&M’, ‘What’s My Name?’, ‘Rude Boy’, ‘Love The Way You Lie’ (which highlighted her brilliant vocal ability, ‘Where Have You Been‘ and ‘Please Don’t Stop The Music‘. Just when you thought, what else can she possibly do?, Rihanna was joined on stage by the one and only Mr Jay-Z, to bring the weekend to an exciting finish. The duo performed ‘Run this Town‘ and making history by performing ‘Talk This Talk‘ together for the first time. This was the second appearance for Jay-Z over the weekend, as he headlined the Saturday main stage, so it was a nice bonus for the crowd to see the King of Rap take to the stage again. Before I get to Rihanna’s encore that brought the curtain down on The Hackney Weekend, lets have a look at the amazing line up through out the rest of the stages.
Over in the ‘In New Music We Trust Stage’, drum & bass duo, Chase & Status, headlined with a few surprises thrown into their set. The duo have broadened their sound and musical genres over the years, by collaborating with artists such as Rihanna, Plan B and Tinie Tempah. They peformed songs such as ‘No problem’, ‘Hypest Hype feat Tinie Tempah’, ‘End Credits’, their cover of ‘Killing in the Name of’ by Rage against the Machine and closing with ‘Fool Yourself‘. Magnetic Man, made up of dubstep DJ’s & producers, Artwork, and fellow Radio 1 DJs, Skream and Benga, took to the stage with tracks such as ‘Mad’, ‘I Need Air’, and ‘Perfect Stranger ft Katy B’. Continuing with the strong line up, we saw American singer-songwriter, Lana Del Ray who slowed the tempo down a bit with mellow hits such as ‘Videogames‘ and ‘National Anthem‘, Enter Shikari, Sub Focus, Ben Howard, who drew an impressive crowd for his intimate set, US success Santigold and former BBC Introducing act Bombay Bicylce Club, who opened up proceedings for the day with ‘How Can You Swallow So Much Sleep‘ and closed with the massive hit ‘Shuffle‘ . As you can see quite an eclectic line up, that had something for everyone!
US rapper Nas, was the Headliner for the 1Xtra Stage. Having built up an impressive career over 21 years, Nas is still considered to be an important figure in hip hop history. His set included recent hits ‘The Don’ and ‘Daughter’s, which drew an impressive crowd, while Rihanna was headlining Mainstage. Wretch 32, who recently supported Example on tour, kicked up a storm with hits such as ‘Don’t Go’ and ‘Tractor’. B.o.B, Gyptian and Taio Cruz also drew in big crowds throughout the day. One artist in particular who had tremendous support, was US rapper Azealia Banks, who has proved extremely successful in the UK. Having previously topped the ‘NME Cool List’ in 2011 and placing 3rd on the ‘BBC Sound Of 2012‘, Azealia has been gathering a lot of interest wherever she goes. Her set list consisted of tracks from her recently released EP including ‘Van Vogue’, ‘Jumanji’, ‘1991’, ‘Liquorice‘ and the one everyone was waiting for, ‘212‘, in which the entire crowd chanted back the provocative lyrics. Expect more big things to come from Azealia. Maverick Sabre, Devlin, Sway, Lethal Bzle, Mindless Behavior and Labrinth completed the 1Xtra line-up for the day.
The Dance Arena saw another top-class lineup. Opening up day 2, was Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, who ensured the crowds enjoyed an energetic lunchtime rave. Up next were the Dubstep beats of Dr P and Flux Pavillion, shortly followed by Radio 1 Dance legend and fellow Radio 1 DJ, the one and only Pete Tong. 18 year old French producer/DJ Madeon, has gained great popularity worldwide after the massive success of ‘Icarus‘. He closed a fantastic set with his new track ‘Finale‘. Andy C was the penultimate act in the dance arena. Considered by many to be the pioneering force in transforming drum & bass, his set drew a massive crowd and geared the crowd up for final act of the day, David Guetta. The French Dj who is responsible for producing many chart topping hits, entertained the crowd with tracks such as ‘Titanium’ ft Sia’, I Can Only Imagine and ‘Without You feat Usher, to name but a few.
The BBC Introducing stage, showcased yet another day of emerging talent. The final day at Hackney saw performances from Kersha Bailey, Pepstar, Savages, Stevie Neale, Lola King and The Kickstarts, Joe Black, Arthur Beatrice. Driving Lolita, ShezAr and Project Hackney. If previous BBC Intoducing acts are anything to go by, we will see alot more to come from these promising artists.
The Outdoor DJ Stage, saw Big Dawg Tim Westwood kick things off with his popular urban beats. Through-out the day, there were sets from Mistajam, Skream & Benga, B Traits, Friction, Toddla T, Robbo Ranx, Nihal and the highlight for many, the ‘Soundclash’ between Charlie Sloth and Vernon Kay. Headliner DJ Edu, closed the weekend with his underground sounds out of Africa.
Back to the Main stage now, as Rihanna brought the curtain down on a fantastic star-studded Hackney Weekend. She closed with the iconic song ‘Umbrella‘ which saw the crowd raise their umbrellas in joyous support. As Rihanna looked out onto the field of umbrellas, she was clearly overcome by the special moment and commented: ‘Oh My God, You all look so beautiful right now Hackney!’ Last but not least, ‘We found Love‘ literally closed the weekend with a bang, as a spectacular fireworks display went off above the stage, bringing the amazing Hackney Weekend to a close.
After months of preparation, the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend, proved to be such a success, with over 100 International & UK artists taking Hackney Marshes in East London by storm. Over 100,000 people enjoyed London’s biggest ever music festival and experienced world-class performers that would rival any top festival line up today. And all for FREE as part of the London 2012 Festival. Thank you Radio 1 for such an amazing weekend!
(Images from www.bbc.co.uk/radio1)