Highlight of Parklife Weekender
The Juan Maclean - Desperados Factory, Parlife - Saturday

There's plenty on the bill as revellers crowd into Platt Fields at the end of Manchester's curry mile for the opening day of Parklife Weekender 2012. The bill is so swollen with talent that many artists will miss out on performing due to delays in opening the main festival site. Looking across the stages there's enough to overwhelm the most fleeting of audience and with the mud, no one is going anywhere fast!

Unbeknownst to the thousands of revellers there was an extra stage, the Factory stood facing the main stage, boasting a line-up featuring some of the biggest artists of the weekend; as Clash walked in, this sleeping beast was already stretching its powerful form into action.

Arguably, The Juan Maclean would be one of the biggest DJs to perform at the festival, and it was amazing to think that at that point, many would miss out. With the vast majority of the crowd finding their footing, their friends, and the bar, the set would open to a dozen bewildered free spirits unjaded by the prospect of listening to a big name operation, instead watching on as a gentleman of scientific prowess spoiled them with an hour of teasing, undulating sound and rhythm, ranging from deep house to Latino infused techno. The soul-infused set, loaded with unexpected twists and turns would not only prove to be a highlight of this little cavern of a stage, but a highlight of the whole weekend.

Unlike the festival-fronted stages which were entrenched by organisations, restricted to serving the needs of their respective genres by reaching out to different corners of culture, there was a heady mix of sound at the Desperados Factory with the passing crowd connecting with certain flavours and sounds above others.

With perfect timing, as the legendary Chic finished on the main stage, droves of people gravitated to the camp brilliance of Horse Meat Disco, a duo unafraid to drop massive tunes, one after the other. The set would teasingly build, working though classics until a slow intake of breath in some kitsch-Diva forays before finishing in HI-NRG, up-tempo stompers. For all the other artists performing at the festival none would top the euphoria of Horse Meat Disco. For all the unexpected twists of the Factory, none would be less surprising than HMD reigning as Queens over the festival.

Photo by Jessica Beveridge
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