In May 2019 Nottingham’s ‘rudeboy techno’ promoter Wigflex showed us there’s many more strings to its bow as it pulled off the unimaginable - its first ever independant, multi disciplinary arts, music and wellbeing festival was a monumental success, spanning two days and taking over numerous venues in the city to fill our minds, ears and souls with its own brand of creative energy, acting as a stage to showcase the grass roots talent here to a national audience (you can read what we thought of it here)
Now it’s time to pen (the new) bank holiday Friday 8 May in yer diaries ‘cause Wigflex City Festival is back for an unmissable second edition, and the first stage of lineups show the momentum’s still rolling strong with a stunning musical programme; from drum and bass to drone, garage to bass and, of course, lashings of house and techno with the odd live-set thrown in too.
Craig Richards returns to Notts, this time joined by the equally as esteemed Nicolas Lutz to show our city why their B2B sets have become so revered. More return performances come from a Nathan Fake live show, Dr Banana and Wookie serving up some garage gems, alongside serious selectors Helena Hauff, Job Jobse and Lena Willikens & Vladimir Ivkovic.
Following the release of their debut album, Giant Swan’s live set has already got us drooling, with Skee Mask, Sonja Moonear and Desert Sound Colony guaranteed to get crowds jumping. For those who preferred to get low in the Lace House basement last year, the drum and bass selection from dBridge and Instra:mental has you covered.
Representing the homegrown talent will be Lone, while a rare DJ set from Nottingham songstress Yasmin Lacey and Greentea Peng offers up a change of pace throughout each dancefloor visit. The Legend of William Onyeabor by Bukky Leo & Black Egypt set also stands out as a highlight, offering up something unique that we imagine will be on the same level as 2019’s James Holden and the Animal Spirits.
Naturally, you can expect to see ringleader Lukas playing too and if his closing set last year is anything to go by, it’ll be one to go down in the history books.
Here’s what he had to say:
Everyone thought I was bonkers to gamble everything I own on the first festival and I'm still undecided as to whether it was the smartest or dumbest decision I've ever made, but the one thing I've always been 100% set on is that there had to be a second instalment.
The first festival came together in a way that I could have only ever dreamed of...It was like seeing every single thing that I know and love about Nottingham come together in one big beautiful way and to have that experience shared by so many people and artists that I love and respect was just incredible. Putting it into words seems silly, but seeing the whole city come alive was really special and I think it's exactly what Nottingham needs more of, so I'm determined to keep going and making each year more memorable than the last. It's that feeling that's kept me in this game for over 13 years.
The business side of things have been testing, but I'm hoping that all of the lessons and hurdles we've come across have brought about positive growth and I'm so excited for 2020. The support that we've received across the board for this festival has also played a huge part in giving us the confidence to keep going because it's not exactly the best time / climate to be a DIY, independent party promoter...but we've got no plans of stopping any time soon.
Focussing on more than just the music, Wigflex is no doubt cooking up the usual display of audio-visual delights throughout, with the cultural talk and workshop programme also to be revealed alongside new spaces to explore, promising “experiences in old Nottingham caves, car parks, basements, hidden streets and out of sight warehouses”. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for an announcement of local DJ crews soon to follow.
Grab your tickets, and watch this space.
Update, as of April 2020: Wigflex has announced a date reschedule for the City Festival. Currently, it's still going ahead on a new date of 10 October 2020.