The big one: O2 Wireless Festival

United Kingdom United Kingdom | | 02 July 2008

What is it?

Four days of fun-filled line-ups that range from Jay Z on Thursday to Counting Crows on Sunday. Experience the joys of festival life in the heart of the city as Hyde Park comes alive for the summer. For the second year running, ActionAid will be giving Wireless festival-goers the chance to say ‘Bollocks to Poverty’ and help people speak out against global poverty.

When and where?

The four-day event runs from July 3-6 and is set in one of central London’s most famous green spaces, with doors opening at 2pm on Thursday and Friday and 12pm on both weekend days. This isn’t one for those of you who like to party into the wee small hours, however, with doors closing at 10.30 every night, although with central London on your doorstep, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Five to watch

Hot Chip – (Thursday, Main Stage) – Their star has continued to rise following a record-breaking year for the electronic quintet and their reputation as spontaneous show-stoppers will be given another boost in Hyde Park. Anyone who saw them at Glastonbury will attest. 

Morrissey – (Friday, Main Stage) – The Smiths’ former frontman will take centre stage on Friday night as he makes his only festival appearance of the summer and works towards the release of his new album later this year. Expect plenty of weird and wonderful haircuts and a large slice of moroseness

The Courteeners – (Friday, Sandisk Stage) – One of the best bands to emerge this year are due to appear on the Sandisk Stage on Friday night as the Manchester quartet touch down in London. Their live appearances have been praised for their originality so this is one not to be missed.

Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – (Saturday, Sandisk Stage) – Having announced themselves to the world last year with the notorious ‘Thou Shalt not Kill’, the duo have cemented their place as pioneers of the alternative British sound and with Scroobius renowned as a bit of showman, watch out for fireworks. 

Das Pop – (Sunday, Tuborg Stage) – The guitar pop revolution is in full swing and one of the main proponents of the art are Belgian outfit Das Pop. Soulwax helped to produce their debut album this year and this is a chance to catch the best of it before it hits the streets.

One to miss

Eddy Grant – (Sunday, Vice Stage) – He may be a pop-reggae legend but that advert has ruined ‘Electric Avenue’ forever and there’s not much to write home about in recent years. Sorry Eddy!

Playing a rare festival date

Bootsy Collins – (Saturday, Main Stage) – See the master of P-Funk make a European festival exclusive adorned with his trademark bright colours and crazy moves. Hold on to your yellow hat!

Inside tip

Caged Baby – (Saturday, 02 Stage) – 'The next electro-synth-pop-dance sensation... sounding like the love child of The Pet Shop Boys, Talking Heads, Prince, The Beloved and INXS’. Should be interesting then.

Worst clash

Audio Bullys vs Does it Offend you, Yeah?
– Streetwise British house/rap versus anarchic techno-rock crossover? You decide…

Be at O2 Wireless if you like...

Your bed (no need for tents or blow-up mattresses at this one), beautiful Hyde Park, organised appearances and an outstanding variety of acts

Avoid if you like

Getting muddy, disorganised chaos, taking trips to far-flung corners of the country and consumerism.   

Festival tactics

With four days to get your teeth into, there’s plenty of time to see everything on offer although it is likely to be much busier at the weekend. The lack of camping means that you’ll do well to find accommodation nearby so it might be best to find a bench somewhere.

Fashionista or folky?

With London’s swanky Park Lane just yards away, there’s bound to be some well-heeled types doing the rounds doing the corporate thing but the majority should be there simply to hear some good music.

Alcohol of choice

Take your pick. With numerous bars and drinking dens littering the site, you’ll never be too far away from your favourite tipple. Don’t try and bring your own drinks though – it’s strictly forbidden.

Take your mum score

8/10. She may not be up to date with Jay Z’s latest hits but there’s plenty more on offer to keep her busy. Morrissey’s boyish good looks have diminished over the years although she remains a housewives’ favourite – you’ll be waiting until the bitter end to drag her away.    

O2 Wireless Festival takes place in London from 3-6 July.

by Ed Aarons

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