Everyone you’ll meet at Parklife this year
Whether you want to or not
It’s that time of the year again. Exams are over, the sun is out and for two days the students and locals of Greater Manchester and beyond will descend upon Heaton Park in a temporary union of sunlit hedonism. Here’s everyone you’re bound to meet if you’re there this year.
The glitter fan
They’ll turn pres into a makeover session and demand that everyone gets glittery, because glitter is FUN and festivals should be FUN. Beware if you disagree as they’ll likely get agitated and make indirect jibes about you for the rest of the day and exclude you from the obligatory group glitter selfie. At least it makes everyone stand out in the dark.
“OMG!” their friends will shout as they lead you, a total stranger, by hand to meet their other friend who they claim looks exactly like you. When you meet them, they’ll probably have the same hair style, eye colour and possibly the same rucksack, which means they’re practically identical right? Soon you’ll be coerced into an awkward photograph together, which will shortly after appear on Facebook, captioned “twins”.
Someone from your sixth form
Over there is Sam from my course. He’s with some guy. That guy looks like Rhys from sixth form. That guy is Rhys from sixth form, except he has grown a beard. What a coincidence. How weird. You go over to say hi. It turns out Sam’s university girlfriend is Rhys’ cousin. Of course she is.
Your university friend’s home friends
They barely introduced themselves and they’ve not spoken to anyone except each other since they arrived here Friday night. Despite your best efforts, you’re losing hope. While your pres are in full swing, they’re huddled in the kitchen with their backs to the door. Half way through Saturday you lose them. You have an amazing weekend and afterwards wonder why you spent Saturday morning worrying about integrating with them. Your friend says they don’t understand why they were so awkward. They stop speaking to them soon after.
Your home friend’s university friends
They tried to imitate niceness on Saturday morning but they’ve spent every minute since then trying to lose you in the crowds. When they insist on having a group photo, you’re the one taking the picture. You stop speaking to your home friend soon after.
The aggressive guy
Accidentally knock into this guy at your peril. Unlike 99% of other people who bought a ticket with the intention to listen to music, dance and have good times, this individual misunderstood “festival” for “fight club”. He doesn’t have a clue who’s playing so can be found pretty much anywhere, but is sure to be coked up and waiting for you to brush against him so he can launch a foulmouthed tirade of abuse at you. Just smile and apologise: it won’t help, but it won’t harm you either. At least you’ll have a septum and working heart in a years’ time.
The one who misjudged it and wore wellies
They’re getting anxious because it’s 20+ degrees, there’s not a cloud in sight and no one else is wearing trainers. They begin complaining they can’t dance properly. They need to stop.
The one who misjudged it and wore trainers
It’s Manchester. It’s outside. And it isn’t the first week of August. It will probably start raining (even if just a teeny bit) at some point. It also takes place in a field, and when thousands of people descend on the most lightly damp patch of grass, it tends to turn into mud. It is a 100% reasonable decision to choose to not wear wellies at Parklife because the sun was shining when you woke up. When it begins to rain at 5pm and there are still 6 hours left, this decision is still totally cool. When people start complaining at 6pm that they want to go home because their feet are wet and they can no longer see the white stripes on their brand new Adidas Gazelles, because they’re covered in huge chunks of dark mud, they are being 100% unreasonable. They have a choice.
The human chain
It’ll begin as one annoying jab in your side as someone elbows their way in front of you during Major Lazer. You’ll scowl but let it go. But then there’s a second elbow attached to the first person’s and then another and another and another… You’ve eventually moved away as the twentieth joined hand pushes through. Do these people have functioning limbs?
Your enthusiastic course mate
You’re minding the time, waiting for your friends to return from the toilets when someone grabs you by the shoulders and screams “OMG Evie AHAHAHAHAHA ARGHHHH – IT’S YOU WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!??” You push them away and are about to scream, but they beat you: “OMG YES LET’S TOTALLY MEET UP LATER LIKE OMG HAVE A GREAT TIME AHAHAHAHA”. Then they leave. You stay rooted to the spot, paralysed with confusion for five minutes. Then you realise that it was the girl you spoke to once or twice in first semester. Okay.
The gym lads
They’ve been going hard on the weights since January, and necking back more protein shakes then vodka red bulls they had in Freshers’ Week. Now that it’s just above 15 degrees, the time has come for them to flaunt the results. They’re likely wearing a vest, although they may have discarded that in the drugs amnesty box on entry and are probably now parading their buff bodies around, wearing only rugby shorts. They’re not keen on dancing but they make up for it in fist pumping.
They looked perfect at 11am. When you meet up with them after at 11pm with mud half way up your thigh and slightly bleary they’ll look just as good as they pose for another Instagram photo. You’ll think life is unfair, but then you’ll ask them how there day was and they’ll murmur something vague about it being “really cool”. Instagram doesn’t lie though: their ten pictures of them smiling with a plastic cup of cider at the back of the main stage prove that you’ve had more fun.
Usually found shuffling in weird directions at the side of a tent stage in the few hours before sunset. This guy really wants to speak to you, in his seemingly never-ending come-up. Expect him to nod vigorously at you and breach your personal space as he tells you once again that Dixon was voted the best DJ in the world for the third year running. His friends keep trying to laugh at him, but they can’t keep their teeth apart long enough to do so.
The music enthusiast
“Who you looking forward to seeing?” you ask innocently on the journey there. Half an hour later they’re still telling you about how great Silas & Snare were at Gottwood last year and how they would actually prefer to be there again this year rather than here, but their friend dropped out on them right at the very last minute “which was a shame because obviously the line-up is so much more independent and the atmosphere is totally incredible compared, like…”
The crazy taxi driver
This year you were sensible. You pre-booked a taxi so that you wouldn’t have to start off your festival experience breathing into a stranger’s elbow on the tram for thirty minutes. Except the taxi is an hour late. Then the driver pulls over halfway there and refuses to go on unless you pay him. Then he doesn’t turn up when it’s time to go back, until an hour later when he shows up but angrily refuses to take you because there are less of you then he expected. Eventually he starts driving the opposite and much longer way back. At one point you think he is kidnapping you. Public transport has never been so appealing.
The guy who pushed the boat out a little too far
The drug dealer
You’re sat down minding your own business when a tall shadow suddenly blocks out the sun. You look up. “You want any mandy mate?” the figure says. No, I don’t. I really don’t want to buy your baking soda, bath crystal mix in the middle of a very crowded public place full of police. “Any coke?” No. Stop asking me. “Weed?” No.