When Virgin pulled out of sponsorship of V Festival the festival had to re-brand and come up with a new festival which is where Rize Festival came from. Over the years I’ve been to about 3/4 V Festivals and always had a pretty good time but a lots changed for Rize, firstly the northern leg in Staffordshire was cut making it just one weekend in Hylands Park, Chelmsford. Secondly the whole festival site was condensed and made a lot smaller which I really liked as the stages were closer together so it was easier to walk around and it made it feel less overcrowded. The final change I noticed was the increase in more indie acts which is how V Festival used to be.
Rize Festival was headlined by Liam Gallagher on the Friday and Stereophonics on the Saturday which as you can see is a far cry from the last time I went in 2016 where it was Justin Bieber and Rihanna. We didn’t fancy taking a day off work to head up on Friday so bought day tickets for the Saturday’s festivities. Having checked out the lineup a few days before we decided to head to the site for around 2.30pm and I was surprised at how quick and easy it was to get onto site through the car park and also in the arena through ticket exchange.
The weather was a bit up and down all day but I wore my newest Pink Clove dress which is the Wrap Front Polka Dot Skater Dress* because what’s more comfortable than a wrap dress to wear all day? I am totally in love with these styles as they’re not fitted meaning you can indulge in as much festival food as you like without it cutting in and the short sleeves meant that in the sun I could take my jacket off and not feel self conscious due to the style.
When we first walked past main stage I thought it must have been second stage so was quite shocked when we realised it wasn’t, this shows how much smaller the set up was this year. Of course food was a priority and we grabbed some oreo milkshakes and nutella doughnuts before settling down for our first act of the day which was Lewis Capaldi who I’m going to be honest I hadn’t heard of before but I did recognise a song or two. Next up was Maximo Park who were the first band on that we’d been bothered about seeing and they were very good.
Next up was Rita Ora who really impressed me throughout her set. I have seen her quite a few times before but I didn’t realise how many of her songs I’d know, especially her newer stuff as I didn’t realise some of the songs were actually her. I really enjoyed her set but I don’t think Luke was quite as keen, more so because of the people who were around us during the set. For Rag’N’Bone man we moved a little further back which made the experience so much more enjoyable. This was one of the sets I was most looking forward to and he did not disappoint. His vocals were absolutely incredible and despite the fact that his songs aren’t exactly upbeat the crowd were zoned in.
Next up on the main stage were Bastille and I am quite gutted that I didn’t catch their whole set but the half I did catch was so good including ‘Good Grief’, ‘World Gone Mad’ and ‘I Know You’ which was the song they worked with Craig David on. Seeing them live reminded me that I need to get tickets to see them at their own show next time they tour. The reason we only saw half of their set was because we were heading to the second stage to see Sean Paul as it’s one of those experiences I don’t know if I’ll get again. He played a huge mixture of all of the big older tracks like ‘Get Busy’ and ‘Temperature’ alongside all the newer collabs he’s done, so much so that you forget how much great music he’s worked on. It might not have been my usual music tastes but I enjoyed the set so much and everyone got so into it from young kids to the parents in the crowd.
The evening ended with the Stereophonics headline set which we saw before driving home. Considering how long the band have been around I shouldn’t have been shocked at how many good songs they had but I totally forgot. Hearing ‘Have A Nice Day’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ were particular highlights for me.