Festival-goers brave the rain as Parklife 2024 comes to a close with electric sets from Doja Cat, Kaytranada and Anne-Marie

Doja Cat brings Parklife 2024 to a close
-Credit: (Image: MEN)

When the first night of Parklife 2024 came to a close, the sun was setting over the big wheel and it really did feel like summer had arrived. But as we know, British summertime can't officially begin unless there's some showers.

So, as day two arrived, the heavens did indeed open. We're not talking electrical storms like last year, but a smattering of rain throughout the day before a heavy downpour in the evening. But as we've said before, those who go to Parklife are a hardy bunch, and a little bit of rain won't put them off.

Especially given today's line-up. The artist on everyone's lips as you walk around is of course, Doja Cat, the American rapper and singer who is known for bringing her A-game to any live set. And we won't spoil it (you can read below for more), but she certainly delivered closing out the Sunday session of Parklife.

READ MORE: 35 of the best dressed people at day two of Parklife 2024

Before then though, there's plenty to unpack, not least this year's festival attire. On Saturday, it was all about the Bohemian vibes, plenty of flowing fabrics, crochet cardigans and oversized straw hats - plus some cowboy boots for good measure.

-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News

And while it was more of the same on Sunday, the cooler temperature and threat of rain made many rethink their original outfit choices, as they chose to layer up, adding in stylish hoodies, multi-coloured raincoats and clear ponchos.

Mini-skirts were still a popular choice though, with many opting for animal print or denim. And today, this look was styled by chunky boots and fashion trainers.

One of the early performers at the Valley Stage, Children of Zeus drew a small but modest crowd. But you couldn’t blame them as they were competing with the grey skies that had blighted the festival all morning and finally made good on their promise as it started to rain heavily.

-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News

The boys were consummate professionals though and didn’t let that get in the way of putting on a great show with one of half of the duo, Konny Kon praising fans for still coming out despite the weather.

The set design was simple, two vocalists, one DJ and screen behind the three displaying their name in different fonts and styles to match the song. There was very little theatrics from the group, instead they relied on their infectious blend of neo soul, RnB and rap to connect with the crowd which was mainly made up of fans who already knew the songs word for word.

They were also joined by frequent collaborator and Manchester artist Kinkai.

From Tyler Daley effortlessly going from crooning choruses to rhyming intricate bars going back and forth with his band mate Konny Kon. Children of Zeus started out performing to a modest crowd that soon grew but they were able to captivate them and left everybody with a big smile on their faces.

-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Kenny Brown | Manchester Evening News

Like most places he goes to, ShyFX was a must see at Parklife2024. Festival goers came from far and wide to watch the legendary DJ’s set on the Valley Stage and they were not disappointed.

There wasn’t a single still body in the humongous crowd that had amassed as he went behind the decks to give a pleasant assault of jungle, reggae, drum n bass, hip hop and dubstep tunes. A real master of his craft, Shy had the crowd in the palm of his hand, often starting remixes by playing the original as commonly heard before giving the masses what they want and turning it into a remix.

The set was full of guests too like MC Spyda came out to amp the crowd with his deep booming voice for ‘Balaclava’. The London based MC finished his set triumphantly with a reggae version of Wilkinson’s smash hit ‘Afterglow’ which Parklifers couldn’t help but sing all the words to before heading elsewhere for some more fun.

Over on The Valley stage, singer and songwriter Ella Henderson drew in the fans with a spectacular performance as she thanked them for supporting her throughout the last decade.

-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News

She sang one of the biggest summer hits of 2023 'REACT' and had the crowd buzzing and dancing with her classic performances. Ella followed up with Alibi before surprising her legion of fans with her 10-year-old debut single Ghost which in part kick-started her career. Festival goers screamed in excitement at the announcement and sang along during the huge performance.

Rudimental also graced The Valley stage again at Parklife and brought an electric performance. The crowds descended as the drum and bass band wowed the crowd with a long list of hits, including These Days and their remix of Ella Henderson's song Alibi who also performed the song earlier today.

Rudimental praised the crowd by saying, "Manchester every time I come here you're all next level."

-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News

"This is class" one fan shouted as the atmosphere came alive to the song Waiting All Night where a sea of shoulders were seen over the crowd. The sun even broke out temporarily as the tempo and vibes stepped up to the hit Feel the Love. The band closed their stellar act by teasing fans with a new song.

As the evening arrived, French DJ Folamour was tasked with entertaining the Parklife faithful over on the Parklife stage. It was hard to find a single person who wasn’t moving their feet or grooving to his flawless set of disco music.

Folamour fed off the crowd’s energy who were besotted with him. On the giant screens an adoring fan flashed her phone at the cameras which had ‘j’taime Folamour’ in big bold letters on her notes app.

Before long there was barely enough space to dance as more and more people flowed through. Everyone was enjoying their time but none-more-so than Folamour himself who had the biggest smile on his face.

-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News

He completed his set with another rhythmic toe tapper, making sure to point to the thousands who had now gathered and shaking his head as if he couldn’t believe it.

Next was ANOTR, the Dutch house music duo who were immediately ushered onto the stage left behind by Folamour. While the latter DJ’s music was full of live instrumentation and mixing upbeat jazz and disco, ANOTR acted as a nice contrast to that.

The disco elements were there, but the pair played nothing but electronic music with beats of thumping bass overlayed with colourful synths and quirky melodies. It would have taken a lot to outdo Folamour’s euphoric set, and while there were some lulls during ANOTR’s they managed to keep the mood just as high.

Anne-Marie also brought her A-game to proceedings. Dressed head-to-toe in a canary yellow ensemble, from the minute she stepped on the stage she was raring too go, plumes of smoke marking her arrival as she jumped straight into some of her biggest songs - Alarm, Ciao Adios, 2002 and Friends.

-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News

And what's a showstopping set without a bit of audience participation too. Crowd-pleasers include Unhealthy, a country-filled banger where she gets the crowd to wave around their bucket hats or whatever they have to hand, and Friends, which was produced by Marshmallo, which she told the audience that it's about that 'awkward situation, you know, when you just want to be friends with someone'.

She even stopped the set during Rockabye, so she and the dancers can have a well-deserved break. Going from hit to hit, the crowd were also treated to a quick dance break, featuring classic numbers like Rhythm of the Night and Insomnia, before Anne-Marie returned to the stage to sing latest David Guetta cover Baby Don't Hurt Me.

And then, as if the crowd hadn't already been treated enough the start of 2022's PSYCHO kicked in with the singer tinkling on the ivories before she was joined on stage by Moston-born rapper Aitch who joined for his verse.

Aitch, who headlined Parklife last year, appeared on stage in a grey tracksuit and beanie hat to a massive reaction from the crowd. When it comes to a party-pleasing set, Anne-Marie delivered it in the droves and is set to go down as one of this year's most fun performances.

-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News
-Credit:Gary Oakley/Manchester Evening News

With a dazzling light show and wacky visuals to go with it. Kaytranada managed to battle it out with the elements to no feet stomping on the muddy mess that Heaton Park had become.

Not a headliner but definitely like one. Everyone and their mother crammed onto the Parklife stage to watch the Canadian producer and DJ.

It was a stand out set that had the fans moving in unison to the distinctive bounce he’s been able to create. Despite a new album recently released it was his classics that really got the people moving.

By the time Doja Cat comes onto stage just before 10pm the rain thrashes so hard against us that it is almost an understatement to describe the weather as biblical. But the female power house is totally prepared, arriving on the Valley stage in a see through poncho.

This is a woman who knows a thing or too about putting on a spectacle - and she hits every note. You may have seen her random tweets in recent days about Star Wars Wookie, Chewbacca, anyway, he makes a sort of appearance in the form of the set design which initially looks like a load of hay bales but is in fact hair-covered props.

Anyway, back to music and the copious amounts gyrating done by the American rapper. As she ticks off some of her biggest tracks - think Shutcho, OKLOSER, Attention and Say So - she saunters and straddles the stage - it's almost hypnotic to watch.

Camera close up of the stage show that she too is battling the elements with the floor around her also soaked but she goes with it - she is a pro after all. It makes you think that maybe she would be happy to jump into the crowd and roll around with them in the mud too.

As Paint the Town brings the set towards its close, all those fans who braved the elements are rewarded too. It's a energetic, non-nonsense and powerful ending to proceedings and one that feels completely apt as as the rain pours down on Heaton Park for what was an epic end to Parklife 2024.