The British summer made its long-awaited entrance on the weekend on of 8 – 10 July and some of music’s biggest stars came along with it. The second weekend of Wireless Festival 2022 took place at Finsbury Park and Birmingham’s NEC. Its London offering showcased a glittering line-up of Hip Hop golden girls like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion. Variety is what draws a crowd so festival goers also enjoyed the likes of Dancehall legend Popcaan, Atlanta favourite Lil Baby and popular newcomer Jack Harlow.
As the sun beat down on London, so did the rhythm of artists who are shaping their respective genres as we speak. Artists like Lucky Daye serenaded crowds with his viral single Over and Ayra Starr brought the pulse of Africa to the heart of London. On the main stage, weekend highlights included Megan Thee Stallion whose stamina and stage presence is unmissable. While SZA channeled some of her greatest hits through adventurous set design and expressive choreography. A pregnant Summer Waker even broke into tears as the crowd sang her lyrics back to her word for word. “I’ve never felt love like this,” weeped the R&B songstress.
When it comes to rap, there was no lack of choice for fans. Nicki Minaj kept Barbs waiting but when she did take the stage, she inevitably had the audience nailing every lyric. Special guests were also in abundance with Cardi B bringing out her partner Offset. Her comedic and friendly connection with the crowd shined, even through slight technical difficulties that occured through out the festival in general. Like the mic cutting off at the end of multi-talented R&B artist H.E.R’s set. Perhaps it was the plague of the heat, as the previous weekend went on without a glitch.
When it comes to the ambiance outside of the music, it doesn’t take long to find videos on social media of huge crowds trying to get into the venue on the final day of the festival. Similarly inside festival, the crowded queues were a struggle for the cautious and careful staff. So, all in all, there was a lot of waiting around that could be avoided with better entry strategies as crowding and long wait times were not an issue the weekend before at Crystal Palace.
A particular festival experience that can’t be ignored is for attendees with disabled tickets who took to social media the weekend before to complain about their assigned space being at the back of the Crystal Palace park, making it hard to enjoy the artists they came to see. At Finsbury Park, although disabled festival goers got a clear view of the main stage, there were a notable lack of shade from the searing July sun. Organisational shakes aside, the lineup of Wireless Festival 2022 was a welcomed highlight for Londoners craving the live music experience again.