The festival formerly known as V Festival has rebranded: but the line-up for RiZE is every bit as heavy duty as its predecessor. Taking place at Hylands Park in Chelmsford on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th August, the headliners are your relatively standard fare (Stereophonics, Liam Gallagher), but delve a little deeper and you get an exciting snapshot of what's going on in the UK's burgeoning music scene. You can look at the full line-up here, but do check out our picks below:
UK rap has well and truly come into its own, and blazing at its forefront is young MC Dave. Though there’s been buzz around the South London teen for a while, with his tunes that bang with a certain lyrical prowess, it was his explosive expression of political disillusion on ‘Question Time’ that proved he was an especially striking talent - indeed, he ended up winning an Ivor Novello for the astounding track. With his strikingly emotive, deft and poetic turns of phrase and entrancing, humid beats, Dave was one of our "ones to watch" for 2018 - and, needless to say, he's very much one you have to watch on Friday at RiZE.
Years & Years
If you wanted reassurance that the future of British pop was in safe hands, Years & Years' second album earlier this year was very much proof. A concept record set a few thousand years in the future, Palo Santo is a genderless, android-ruled dystopia which allowed frontman Olly Alexander to explore sexuality and technology under the guise of sparkly pop. The visuals that accompanied the album were stunning, and - from what we've heard about the gigs in support of the release so far - this show should be spectacular. With their euphoric synths and unapologetic, glorious queerness, this Saturday night headline set on the 2nd Stage should be unmissable.
As homegrown talent rises to the fore in the UK, pop-meets-R&B-meets-afrobashment singer-songwriter RAYE is especially an artist you'll want to pay attention to: she knows how to make a tune. Of course, for the older listeners among you, there is something a little jarring about the familiarity of the samples in her biggest hits (it is chilling to remember there's a generation who probably don't know certified classics like '7 Days' or 'Always On Time'), but there's doubtless a lithe bounce to her songs that's very enthralling and very fun. So you want a bop in this unusually sticky August heat, get to RAYE's set on Saturday afternoon and get down.