Wireless Festival 2023 Recap: Bryson Tiller, Travis Scott, Clavish, Headie One & More

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Wireless Festival is truly unparalleled. Drawing in a crowd of approximately 50,000 fans to North London during a scorching July weekend, it offers a unique experience to witness some of the biggest names in the music industry. The festival’s popularity is such that it requires a complete restructuring of local transportation links to ensure the safety of attendees.

This summer, each day of the festival had its own distinctive theme. On Friday, fans enjoyed the energetic performances of divisive rapper and Opium Records founder, Playboi Carti. His rock-infused hyper-rap resonated with the crowd, while Ice Spice and Yeat made historic UK debuts on the same day.

Saturday’s lineup offered a diverse range of artists. Headliner Travis Scott delivered a visually stunning show, featuring fireworks and a revised version of his performance at the O2 Arena the previous summer. Lil Yachty showcased highlights from his psychedelic album “Let’s Start Here” alongside his well-known trap music. Headie One brought out Martin’s sofa as he performed both old and new bars.

Sunday’s programming had a special focus on female artists. Jamaican talents Dexta Daps and Popcaan expressed love and desire through their unfiltered performances, setting the stage for the singalong moments to come from co-headliners 50 Cent and D-Block Europe.

Wireless Festival offers a diverse and unforgettable experience for music lovers, showcasing a wide range of genres and performers over three exciting day

When it comes to a festival of such magnitude, the logistics can sometimes be a challenge, especially with artists flying in the midst of their international tours. While some artists manage to make the impossible possible, there are instances where things don’t go as planned. This was evident when it was announced that Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Durk, two highly anticipated artists on the lineup, would no longer be performing. This sparked a flurry of rumors and speculation among eager fans, speculating who might be the replacement. Social media sightings of Dr. Dre spending time in London with 50 and former headliner Tyler, the Creator being backstage with Lil Yachty only fueled the excitement. The prominent billboards for J Hus’s upcoming tour also caught people’s attention. And let’s not forget Drake, known for his surprise appearances at Wireless in the past; would he make another unannounced appearance?

Unannounced guests graced the stage over the course of the three days, including Bath-born singer PinkPantheress, who joined Ice Spice for an electrifying rendition of their platinum-certified collaboration, ‘Boy’s a liar, pt. 2’. Byron Messia from St. Kitts took over from Popcaan and delivered a stellar performance of today’s biggest dancehall anthem, ‘Talibans’. And to top it all off, global superstar Future emerged from the wings, creating an unforgettable finale.

UK rap celebrated small victories over the course of the weekend, too. It often proved rewarding to venture out to the Amazon Music +44 stage, tucked around the corner from the main event, as they championed homegrown talent. Stamford Hill rapper Clavish’s set went down a treat; opening with the richly descriptive title track from his debut mixtape Rap Game Awful, the Polydor poster boy proceeded to up the ante with several UK drill songs, earning three wheel-ups for ‘Public Figure’ as his followers moshed with reckless abandon. The following day, multi-talented rapper and singer Dréya Mac – who got her big break with the viral TikTok hit ‘Own Brand Freestyle’ but seems destined for a long and fulfilling career – impressed on the same stage, pulling a commendable crowd despite performing at the same time as Dexta Daps. Oozing with charisma as she introduced each track, the audience was more than happy to oblige with her repeated appeals for their participation, which she at one point jokingly likened to “music GCSE”. Hearing her perform the intro to her new single ‘Better Off’ virtually a cappella, soundtracked only by hundreds of unified clicking fingers, was one of the most moving moments of the whole festival.

It’s safe to say Wireless lived up to its name this year and got its aura back at its rightful home, Finsbury Park.

Tickets for Wireless Festival 2024 are now on sale. With the lineup yet to be announced, let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.