PARKLIFE PREVIEW: Nicola Bear

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MANCHESTER’S Parklife is now no doubt one of the biggest festivals in the UK, with it being a sell out over the past few years. The festivals huge rise to fame means that the roster is getting bigger and better every year. But someone who has been there long enough to see the growth is DJ Nicola Bear.

Parklife 2017 will be her third year as a resident there and she show no signs of loosening her grip on that main stage residency! “I always love being involved with events that bring together all types of musicians and sounds,” she explains of her consistent fondness for Parklife.

The main stage in the past has hosted the likes of Ice Cube, Mark Ronson and Annie Mac, and Nicola has been one of those special few who has been there throughout. This year boasts performances from Frank Ocean, Two Door Cinema Club and Zara Larsson and this is something that has Nicola more excited than ever this year.

“If it is possible I feel like the line ups get bigger and bigger each year, I always say how the diversity is the best part with such a wide range of music available from Chaka Khan on one stage, Anderson Pakk, Stormzy and then DJs such as Armand Van Helden, Moodyman.”

Being a resident of the main stage means that it is Nicola’s job to keep people entertained and in that party mood while the stage is in between acts. Having such a big role means that preparation is key!

“Music preparation is just the key and knowing your itinerary, even though I have definitely been to busy before watching an act and totally forgot where I was and then had to sprint to make it on time for my set.”

With there being such a huge range of artists on the main stage this year, I wanted to know how she keeps her sets exciting and how she was able to keep the vibe and energy up, when the artists coming onto the stage vary so much.

“The artists I am playing along side keep my sets fresh and different every year, the diversity on the main stage this year is so good as it means I can switch up the genre of music for each set.

I make sure I’m up to date with my music, like new tracks that are coming through but I always make sure I throw in classics. I usually research any acts I’m not too familiar with that are on the same stage as me and make sure I am complimenting their sound with my sets before.”

Spending a weekend at a festival as big as Parklife is enough to tire out the festival goers, never mind the acts themselves. And to make sure that Nicola is full of praise for the Parklife team, as they are a big part of keeping her going.

“It’s in the city I live so been able to get into my bed after a full day helps! The team that runs the event and the stage team are always the best and of course, being part of such a big event showcasing incredible musicians is amazing.”

Even though she’s there to work, there are certain acts this year that, like the thousands of those people going, won’t be missed!

“Where do I start obviously Frank Ocean is the big one on the main stage with me, and I think Sampha set will be special. I am a big Anderson Pakk, Tom Misch fan-that sound is my type of music and throwing some disco in there I won’t be missing Chaka Khan! I’m planning on popping in for a dance at the Elrow stage which is always a great party and the Boy Better Know lot know how to put on a show.”

If you’re going this year, then take note of Nicola’s recommendations as a seasoned Parklifer she knows the ones to watch out for.

With it being this close to Parklife, there is only one questions in the minds of the ladies that are going: what shall I wear? And we all know Manchester is famed for one specific type of weather, rain.

“I think the weather determines that for everyone, usually a good boot is an essential. I am up and down off the stage so I need to comfortable so I can’t go too crazy. Fingers crossed for the sunshine!”

If you’re going to Parklife this year, be sure to keep an eye out for Nicola’s sets on the main stage, this is her third year as the resident DJ so she is surely doing something right!

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