Playground Festival 2021 got underway with a bang yesterday as 10,000 fans flocked to Glasgow’s Rouken Glen park for day one of the delayed weekend of music, street food, craft beer and family fun.
With a packed line-up of international superstars performing across the three days and nights in the stunning Glasgow park, on a massive site with loads of free space, seating and bars and facilities, it really is a playground for all ages.
Festival marketing director Ashleigh Elliott said: “It’s been a superb start to the weekend and the majority of festivalgoers seem to be loving our efforts.
“We were gutted to lose the planned DJ sets from Leftfield and Hot Chip due to illness, but we still believe our line-up is strong enough to rival any festival in the UK or even Europe.
“The main thing is, after two years without live music, we are BACK – and to welcome those smiling families into this beautiful site is a privilege.
“We hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend and we can’t wait to see you again today!”
The Forty Clothing VIP arena was a big hit, with a huge line-up of carefully programmed DJs over the course of the weekend and craft beer from the likes of Hidden Lane Brewery – whose frozen fraison cocktail bar in the artist village backstage proved VERY popular indeed.
Fans went wild for the stunning Forest stage, a woodland wonderland which looked beautiful, with lights and disco balls strung through the trees and DJs pumping out the best in electronic music – look out for it!
On Friday evening, Glasvegas kicked off a three-band run of mammoth names on the main stage, with James then The Libertines following the Glaswegians – and frontman James Allan was very happy to be back on a festival site playing to his home crowd, with artists he loves and respects.
James told us: “Playing gigs, playing to big audiences, is something you would assume bands would get used to but you don’t, it is always really special. It’s special when you start playing songs with the band in a wee room but it’s something that gives it a different life, it lights the songs up with the audience – that’s what they do. I feel lucky tonight.
“It’s nice playing with acts like James and The Libertines – James are so good and there’s lots of bits in their songs you feel are magical.
“Carl Barat is my pal, but you see him play guitar and he’s so good, he’s a talented guy. Hearing other bands play and sharing the stage with them is really cool.”
And cousin Robert – Glasvegas’ guitarist – said backstage: “This is the friendliest festival ever, everyone is so lovely. We feel really welcome.”
James romped through a hit-packed set which attracted a huge crowd, the iconic Sit Down sparking a memorable singalong.
And The Libertines – with Carl wearing pal James Allan’s iconic vintage Marilyn Monroe biker jacket onstage – brought the opening night of Playground Festival 2021 to a thunderous close with a storming run-through of their back catalogue.
The chemistry between Barat and Doherty was as powerful as ever and they were clearly delighted by the reaction to their show, as the main stage’s other big acts watched from side of stage.
Pete told fans: “It’s nice to get out again – we have come a long way to see you!”
Orbital – brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll – turned in a sensational closing set on the second stage, with industrial containers creating a club-like environment outdoors and generating an atmosphere that would be tough to beat for ANY act.
No wonder the delighted brothers told fans: “Glasgow you never let us down, every time – we love you”.