With Glastonbury, Isle of Wight, Parklife and Lovebox festivals already come and gone, the British festival season is fast coming to an end.
The likes of Reading & Leeds and Creamfields are still on the horizon, but it’s already clear who this year’s star performers are.
CelebMix casts an eye over the 10 artists who have made this year’s festival season their own.
When CelebMix caught Lizzo’s 1am set overlooking the Mediterranean at Primavera Sound in Barcelona, the singer couldn’t quite believe the size of the crowd, her biggest ever as far as she’s aware.
Fast forward a month and that crowd has tripled, quadrupled even, as Lizzo rattles out the empowering lyrics to ‘Truth Hurts’ on Glastonbury’s West Holts stage. That set at the U.K.’s most prestigious festival sent social media into meltdown as celebrities and fans alike flocked to pay their tributes to what they were witnessing.
Lizzo’s 2019 breakthrough with her third studio album Cuz I Love You is pop music’s most warranted success story of the decade and the 31-year-old’s high-energy, heart-warming festival sets has cemented her name at the top of the game… oh, and sold out her upcoming U.K. tour in a heartbeat.
The name on everyone’s lips this festival season, the ever-endearing Lewis Capaldi and his self-deprecating humour seems here to stay – much to the displeasure of the industry’s grumpy grandad Noel Gallagher.
Strutting out at BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend in a pimp jacket with dollar bills raining down around him to performing at Glastonbury with a Gallagher t-shirt and arriving on stage to sing ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ with a Chewbacca mask at homecoming TRSNMT festival – Capaldi has all the stunts.
Sure, there’s probably the PR team of the year behind all the moves, but it’s hard to deny that the bruising Scottish belter hasn’t owned this year’s festival season.
The 40-year-old queen of electropop is one of the genre’s most hailed names. Deservedly so too; the list of artists who claim ‘Dancing On My Own’, ‘Hang With Me’ and ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ inspired their own songbooks is as long as your arm.
Taking to festival stages such as Primavera Sound, Rosklide, Mad Cool and NOS Alive!, Robyn’s mix of new hits from latest record Honey (an album that flew under far too many radars in 2018) and previous pop bibles Body Talk Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 has made for hour-long sets of non-stop foot-tapping and head-bopping fun. And have you heard crowds yell back the chorus to ‘Dancing On My Own’? Spine tingling.
Christine and the Queens
Currently making the rounds as a feature on Charli XCX’s ‘Gone’, which she debuted with the Brit at Primavera Sound this summer, Christine and the Queen’s boundary-defying festival sets have turned many heads.
After a re-birth to just seeing herself as ‘Chris’, the singer’s androgynous sets see her unique taste of French-influenced pop come alive with presice flicks and kicks that are fast becoming the ‘Tilted’ singer’s trademark. A groundbreaking headline slot at All Points East kicked it all off, and Glastonbury, Parklife and Rosklide all followed in falling at the star’s twinkling toes.
A few years ago, a Mura Masa festival performance often left fans content, but ever so slightly underwhelmed. Now, as the producer makes his way around a handful of Europen festivals including Primavera Sound, Forbidden Fruit and Parklife, there’s a new confidence about his show.
Fronted by the effervescent Fliss and backed up with 2018 hits ‘Move Me’ and ‘Complicated’, Mura Masa has fast marked himself as one not to miss. A headline slot on Reading & Leeds’ BBC Radio 1 stage later this month sees him compete with Post Malone to draw in a crowd, and it’s a battle he might just impress some by winning.
Mixing hispanic sounds with contiental pop is a guaranteed recipe for success in 2019, see ‘Con Calma’, ‘Despacito’ and ‘Échame La Culpa’. However, Barcelona-born Rosalía does everything very much her own way.
Not budging from her Spanish lyrics, even singing on Catlan in latest smash ‘Milionària’, her flamenco-inspired pop sound has been untounched by the hands of record labels wanting her to cater to the English-speaking masses.
Her own homecomeing headline show at Primavera Sound was a momentous moment in her career, before she went on to take Glastonbury’s John Peel stage by storm, The Independent publishing the headline, “The exhilarating, dramatic and startingly accomplished set of a future headliner”.
Honest, fresh-faced pop music. That’s been Sigrid’s mantra from the start.
Blow it up onto Glastonbury’s Other Stage and let the camera man cut regularly to superfan and then internet sensation Nina on her dad’s shoulders and you’ve got wholesome pop music at its finest.
Ricocheting vocals and ferocious cries for the crowd to “sing it with me” are all regular fixtures in the Sigrid show as the Norweigan rattles through an outrageous catalogue of hits including ‘Strangers’, ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ and ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying’. Labelled as a future Glastonbury headliner by many, Sigrid’s ready when you are.
Last week’s Mercury Prize nomination for the bold, outspoken slowthai comes as no surprise. Debut record Northing Great About Britain was dropped earlier this year and is as crticialy-acclaimed as they come.
The 24-year-old’s festival set is one from the streets, he rocked up to Glasonbury in a pair of shorts and a pair of socks, and one for the people. He’s wowed at Parklife, Longitude and Lovebox too as a show at Reading & Leeds remains in a wholly succesful summer of sets.
Festival mainstays The 1975 have truly done it all this year. Open’er, Benicàssim, Lollapalooza Paris, Mad Cool, Pinkpop and more have all been checked off this summer with their new setlist dominated by last year’s Brit Award winning A Brief Inquire Into Online Relationships.
Drop a few hits such as ‘Somebody Else’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘Chocolate’, and they’ve got crowds eating out of their hands. A huge headline show at Reading & Leeds is still left and looks to be THE big one in the band’s summer. Guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
For some, Miley Cyrus’ rebirth this summer may be easy to overlook.
The importance of it for Cyrus, however, cannot be understated. Her latest EP, SHE IS COMING, sees the 26-year-old find a middle ground between her gloriously disruptive attitude and a sound she can really get behind.
The rocky ‘Mother’s Daughter’, tongue-popping ‘Cattitude’ and groovy ‘Party Up The Street’ have made up half of Cyrus’ festival sets before she bursts into the hits of ‘Party in the U.S.A.’, ‘Wrecking Ball’ and always a cover of godmother Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’. Glastonbury, Primavera Sound and Tinderbox are just some to be treated in a summer that Cyrus has made her own.
Which festival sets have you enjoyed the most this year? Let us know @CelebMix on Twitter.