Since 2005, the world’s supreme dance, rock, hip hop and pop luminaries have flocked to London’s Wireless festival like well-groomed birds to a corporate-sponsored feeder. Jay-Z and JT headline this year, and A Tribe Called Quest make their triumphant return, but the rest of the line-up is notably packed full of fine up-and-comers, such as south London neo-soul star Katy B, and lauded US rapper Kendrick Lamar. Here are five ways to join in the fun.
1. Feel the love
Unsure about this summer’s musical trend? Well, one glance at the Wireless line-up should tell you what’s up. It’s R&B, baby. Trey Songz and John Legend are sure to slather on the smooth, old-school vibes, but the real emphasis this weekend will be on the alt R&B acts: Miguel, Frank Ocean, Jessie Ware and super-new-schoolers like Etta Bond, Roses Gabor and Jetta will define the summer of skewed soul.
2. Go crazy for Jay-Z
By the time Jay-Z headlines on the festival Saturday, his new album ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ will have been out for a week. This means you’ll have had just enough time to learn the lyrics in order to impress whoever you’re with by knowing when to nonchalantly shout ‘Hova’ mid-verse. Jay’s new tracks show him at his best, and this Wireless slot should find the rapper, entrepreneur and father on unstoppable form.
3. Catch Cara Delevingne
Rita Ora’s bezzie, tabloid-courting hellraiser and beanie-wearing it-girl Cara will undoubtedly be at this year’s event, wearing clothes, pulling faces and furiously uploading side-of-stage Vine videos. The model performed a raunchy routine on stage with Ora last month, so watch out for a wacky, pseudo-lesbian pitch invasion this weekend.
4. Kick it to A Tribe Called Quest
Q-Tip, Phife Dawg and Ali Shaheed Muhammad will reunite for this summer’s ultimate cult comeback – their first UK show in 20 years. Expect lots of men wearing backpacks to lose their minds when ‘Electric Relaxation’ drops.
5. Be awestruck by Iggy Azalea
If you weren’t convinced by singles ‘Bounce’ or ‘Work’ perhaps it’s the Aussie rapper’s live show that will win you over to this star-in-the-making. The butt-length ponytail Iggy usually sports isn’t just a Barbie-like accessory; she wields it mid-track as if it powers her very being, whipping it like a propellor. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t get that at Womad.
Wireless takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from Fri Jul 12 to Sun Jul 14 – find out more about Wireless festival . Get your tickets to Sunday at Wireless (Friday and Saturday are sold out) here.
Looking for more music festivals this summer? Check out our month-by-month guide.