PARKLIFE 2016 commences at Heaton Park tomorrow (June 11) and many are hoping to soak up amazing mixes in the sun. To round off our annual countdown series, Quays News entertainment reporter Misha Solanki caught up with Nicola Bear one year on from our last chat…

If you’re going to Parklife this year, be ready to listen and party to Nicola Bear’s DJ sets over both days of the Manchester-based festival.

This will be her third year as Parklife’s resident DJ and it seems as if she’s showing even more enthusiasm this year then she has the past two.

“I have to be there quite early, about 10.30am to get everything ready,” she said.

“You get people coming really early and they’re all super excited about being there.”

Nicola seems to know she needs to be in work mode rather than party mode when it comes to her sets, and she doesn’t take choosing the music in her sets lightly either.

She’s a DJ that has certainly done her homework with the acts that she’ll be opening up for this year.

“I always research who I’m going to be playing for because I like to play that genre of music. I find that very important.

“I don’t plan song to song, but it’s playing fun songs that are going to keep the crowds upbeat.”

The Yorkshire-born DJ will not only be playing on a range of different stages over the weekend, she’s also made it her mission to get out into the crowds as much as she can and enjoy Parklife from not only the artists side but from an audience perspective as well.

“After my last set I changed into festival mode. I do like to walk around and see all the other stages, go on the rides and see what food there is, I always like the food!

I feel like it’s a waste if you’re there and you don’t get to experience it. I’m definitely one of the public as soon as I can be.”

Not many acts this year will get the privilege of playing throughout the day on both days of the festival, and this gives Nicola a unique view on the festival overall.

She gets to see the range of people that come over the weekend and how the vibes and atmosphere change.

“On the Saturday people are giddy and excited,” she exclaimed.

“They’re ready for whatever they find and they could just end up staying at one stage for half the day. They seem really excited just to be there. But on the Sunday they know it’s the last day and they know where they want to go and want to see.”

With this year’s line up being the biggest and the best Parklife has ever had so far, Nicola told us what acts she was looking forward too seeing this year.

She said: “I feel like they’ve gone a little bit superstar this time around, with people like Busta Rhymes and Ice Cube. Its like ‘oh my god’ these are legendary people!

“They’re the kind of big ones that I HAVE to see. I do want to see Major Lazer because I think it will be such a party kind of vibe! I’m a massive fan of Kaytranada too, he is like my one right now and he’s just released a new album.”

All music festivals come with their risks of things going wrong and Parklife 2016 is no different. As all the stages are spread over such a huge space, it’s important to be prepared for anything when it comes to actually going on stage and performing, but this DJ seems to be prepared and ready for anything that comes her way.

“I just have to work quite closely with the backstage and the production side of it because sometimes acts can run over or whatever to come on early, so it’s just about being prepared for any sort of disruption like that.”

As this is her third year coming back as one of Parklife’s resident DJ, there is something that Nicola Bear is doing right.

She is putting her name out there over the summer, doing sets in Manchester’s Factory 251, being the resident DJ at Ibiza Rocks and going over to Croatia to play at Hideout. Make sure you catch her at Parklife this year, because as she described it “this year is going to be the best so far!”

By Misha Solanki

Our countdown series also featured Blossoms, Love Ssega, Grace, Izzy Bizu, Dance Lady Dance and Tough Love if you missed any!

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