Headlined by Liam Gallagher and Stereophonics, RiZE Festival's lineup let festival-goers jump from classic indie and pop to urban and dance, packing its debut weekend full of energy and excitement at the legendary Essex site.
We also watched Example, James Bay, Manic Street Preachers, Circa Waves, Bastille, Craig David, Years & Years and many more.
We got the chance to speak to one of the most hyped artists of 2018 and tipped as one of 2018’s most promising young upstarts, Tom Grennan! The singer-songwriter from Bedford has performed on Later...With Jools Holland, the Radio 1 Live Lounge, and became a famous face when he featured as the guest vocalist on the Chase and Status track “When It All Goes Wrong”. Tom Grennan recently released his Debut album 'Lighting Matches' on 6th July 2018.
Here is how our conversation with him went:
Welcome! Are you excited to be here at Rize festival today?
Yes definitely. Actually, the site that this festival is on means a lot to me. I came to what was V festival years ago. I remember coming to V and thinking I just want to be on that stage, and here I am! So yeah, this place has something special about it and means a lot!
As you’ve been to V Festival and this isn’t your first time here, what do you think about Essex?
In Essex, the people are always great! When I came here, it was a sick vibe, it’s just a vibe in Essex isn’t it? Although, I have never been out in Essex, but I definitely should!
So, tell us, what do you have coming up this year?
Well I’m going on tour - in London, I’m playing Brixton academy, then I’m going on to Europe for more shows but I’m just busy, playing shows and more festivals!
Do you prefer playing intimate shows or festivals?
You know what, I just love putting on a proper show! Whenever and wherever!
What do you do before you go out there and perform?
I just relax to be honest, I sit, get in my zen mode and get ready for it!
Do you ever get pre-show nerves?
I don’t get nervous really! I think it’s just because I love what I’m doing so much. Sometimes, I guess I’m nervous, but I just love the whole buzz of it!
What can we expect from today’s performance at Rize?
Expect the new album today! My set is only half an hour but I’ll be doing some cool stuff and making the most of it!
Is there anyone you’re trying to see today or that you're really excited about?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing Liam again, he is amazing. But to be honest, everyone back here knows each other, so it’s cool! Everyone is friends.
3 QUICK FACTS ON TOM GRENNAN
Where are you from?
Bedford in London!
Favourite festival food?
I like a festival pizza! I love that.
Ultimate career goal/dream?
The dream is to play Wembley stadium or Glastonbury festival. I’m at Rize festival first, then taking over the world next!
Make sure you purchase Tom Grennan's debut album 'Lighting Matches' now as his RiZE Festival Essex set was packed with hits from his Top 5 selling debut album, ‘Lighting Matches’ and his charisma oozed from every lyric belted out.
After watching some amazing performances, we then got to sit down with Former Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears, who has just released his first solo album 'Jake Shears' on 10th August 2018. After starring in Broadway in the adaptation of Kinky Boots, Jake Shears has returned to music with this pop-rock fusion of magic!
Here is how Exquisite's exclusive chat with Jake Shears went:
We must say we love the sparkly outfit! Are you excited for today’s performance?
Oh – this is only half on! There is a couple more things to add so this isn’t my complete look! But, my bow tie broke last night and I felt like that was the cherry on the top! The show goes on, to be honest, I could run out there in cargo shorts and a baseball cap, and I will still make sure it absolutely goes down!
The outfit just make it that little bit extra! I just always want to put on the biggest show, I’m a showman and I want to get people excited.
So tell us what you have been up to and what can we expect from today’s performance?
My album came out Friday, a week ago today, and the response has just been totally overwhelming in the most amazing way! I’ve worked so hard on it and people are just flipping out over it! I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made, and I just really want to keep building it.
I have the incredible Mr. Hudson on base, Patrick Thallahan on drums, Craig Pfunder, and just a whole amazing band! It’s a whole show! We have Stephen Gladney on saxophone! He is amazing, and I have always wanted a saxophonist from New Orleans in my band. We ended up magically on stage together in New Orleans and it just happened! We got on immediately like a house on fire and it’s an unusual thing these days to have a saxophonist in a rock band.
Is this your first time in Essex?
No – I mean it’s actually so weird being here, as I was here at V festival 14 years ago. This is my first time back to this particular area and it’s so nice to be back, and now doing a rock festival its crazy!
What do you think of the new Rize festival and being back in Essex?
With festivals, it just comes down to playing on the day, what the weather is like and all that stuff. I just took a stroll around Rize earlier and was talking to people, it’s a great place, great vibe, everyone is in a good mood!
Is there anyone you really want to meet today or really excited to see them perform?
I was so stoked to watch Miles Kane, I just love his record! It’s funny because we are both huge fans of each other and now we finally got to meet, so that was great!
RiZE Festival Essex was full of characters, a fun crowd and a great mix of pop, rock and indie artists giving their all to the people of Essex.
We cannot forget to mention Friday's headlining act, Liam Gallagher. With his trademark parka donned, the famous maracas made an appearance and it wouldn’t be a climatic Liam Gallagher close without a trio of everyone's favourites; ‘Cigarettes & Alcohol’, ‘Live Forever’ and of course, ‘Wonderwall’.Click here to read more about what went on at RiZE Festival Essex!