5 August 2018

These are the Good Times

Festivals are the highlight of summer, there's no doubt about it. Any excuse to cover my face in glitter, put my hair in space buns and sit on a gigantic deck chair and I'm all for it. 

A few weeks ago, Mum and I were lucky enough to attend Lytham Festival. Lytham is a small town on the outskirts of Blackpool and if I'm being honest, it's the last place you'd expect to host a festival. It's not exactly Glastonbury or Leeds but there's something special about the atmosphere at Lytham - it's incredibly chilled and the crowd definitely know how to have a good time. 

Unlike most festivals, it takes place over five nights with each night catering to a different genre of music. From musicals to disco, there's something for everyone. 2018 saw artists such as George Ezra, Steps and Il Divo take to the stage performing hit after hit. However, there was one headliner in particular that we wanted to see and that was Mr Nile Rodgers. 

Nile Rodgers & Chic are one of my favourite artists to see in concert. I've seen them once before and it's a night I'll never forget so you can imagine what my Mum and I were like when we found out that they were headlining the Saturday night at Lytham Festival. I booked our tickets straight away, no questions asked. 

Lytham town was the busiest I have ever seen. As we approached the festival, the streets were full of people covering themselves in glitter and singing along to the classic disco hits that we'd all be hearing later in the night. It was a beautiful atmosphere. Even though the sky was cloudy, the streets were so full of love (and I got so many compliments on my hair!). 

The first act was due on at 7-ish so we arrived at around half past six in order to beat the queues. I'd recommend getting there a little bit earlier as you have to go through security checks. It sounds silly but safety comes first and I've never felt safer at a festival. Once we'd been checked in, we walked onto the field to the sound of Jess Glynne blaring from the speakers. I would have been dancing but I was too pre-occupied by the gigantic deck chair. 

'Shall we do it for the 'gram?' Mum asked. I nodded. 
Have you even been to a festival if you didn't climb on an over-sized deck chair? 

We found our perfect spot - close enough that we could see and enough room that we could dance. The DJ was getting the crowd hyped up for the first act of the night and the only thing I can remember is Mum and I singing along to the Proclaimers and Rick Astley. 

If there's one thing I'm glad we did, it was booking a standard ticket. There are VIP options available and there's a beautiful VIP garden where you can sit and watch the festival with nicer facilities. However, in my opinion, those people really missed out on the atmosphere and the drinks were incredibly over-priced (£25 for a bottle of wine is STUPID). 

Before we knew it, the first act of the night had already started their set. A particular group going by the name of Soul II Soul. I'll be honest, I only knew one song and that's because I used to watch the Fresh Prince of Bel Air religiously up until I was 16. However, they have some serious dancey tunes and I'd go and see them again in a heartbeat. Caron Wheeler has the voice of an angel. 

Next up was Bananarama. 
I've never seen so many men push their way to get close to a stage. At this point, the males in the crowd were definitely more excited than the females. The alcohol was flowing (quite literally, my shoes were full of white wine and prosecco) as the older generation re-lived their youth and danced along to the hits. Again, I only knew one song which had a snazzy little dance move every time they said the word 'Venus'. Here's the best bit, I only knew the song because it was on an advert for a shaver years ago - 'I'm your Venus, I'm your fire, your desire.' 

Nevertheless, they managed to get the crowd hyped up for Nile Rodgers & Chic. As you can imagine,  it didn't take much - I'd been hyped since I woke up that morning

The music in the break got even better - Michael Jackson, Rick Astley and a bit of Diana Ross. Mum and I couldn't stop dancing. It was a feel-good atmosphere and there wasn't one sad face in the crowd. It could've hammered it down with rain and people would've still been smiling. 

Next minute, we look up at the stage and he's stood there. 
THE Nile Rodgers. 

There was no big entrance, no flashing lights and no attempts to get the crowd screaming. Just Nile, his snazzy pink suit and his bass guitar. That's the thing I love the most about him. Apart from the fact he has produced and written some of the greatest songs of all time, he's incredibly humble and you can tell that he loves what he does. 

Then people started to take notice. The band appeared one by one and the famous beat to 'Everybody Dance' started. 

'But it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.' 

From that moment forward, I didn't stop dancing.

They performed hits such as 'He's the Greatest Dancer', 'We are Family' and 'I'm Coming Out' as well as more recent tunes such as 'Get Lucky' and 'I'll Be There'. When they performed 'I'm Thinking About You', which is arguably my favourite song, they had a backdrop showing photos of some of the many musical legends that Nile Rodgers has worked with who are no longer with us. It was a beautifully subtle tribute which just goes to show what a kind, generous being Nile Rodgers is. 

 The vocals were phenomenal, the band were out of this world (even though the drummer had a hard time saying Lytham) and Nile Rodgers is a living legend. I couldn't fault anything. It was hit after hit after hit. My feet didn't stop moving and I could feel my voice going after the third song - if that's not the sign of a good time then I don't know what is. I really could watch Chic & Nile Rodgers for the rest of my life.

They ended the set with 'Le Freak' and then invited a large group of fans from the crowd to join them on stage for 'Good Times'. I remember them doing this at the last show and if anyone knows how I can somehow be asked to go on stage and have a boogie with Nile then please let me know - it'd be a life dream come true. 

The concert seemed to be over in a flash. They took their final bows, Nile played the bass one more time and as much as the crowd screamed and shouted, they wouldn't come and give us another song. However, Nile stayed on stage chatting and waving until the last person left the field. He's the most genuine, talented, lovely man - I just want to give him the biggest hug. 

As we walked back to the car, everyone was dancing down the street, singing on their balconies and continuing the party late into the night. Lytham had turned into Disco Town and I LOVED IT! 

Lytham festival was an absolute blast. Mum and I had a great time and we already can't wait to go again next year.  I didn't stop dancing from the moment I set foot on that field and if this year was anything to go by then it's going to be absolutely HUGE.

You can find out more about the festival here

'It's called Le'Freak, we're doing it Night and Day.' 

Lots of Love,



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