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Review: Parklife Festival

parklife festival
We headed to Parklife festival 2011 to see what all the hype was about, and to share our humble thoughts on the weekend with you.

Manchester may appear a long way to travel for a festival such as Parklife but we met tonnes of students from all over the country, and a large contingency from Ireland and Wales. You may wonder how such a seemingly small festival attracted such large crowds over the whole weekend, but the Parklife line up as well as the value for money made it a no brainer.

Even the rain all day on Sunday couldn't dampen the mood of the hardcore festival goers, who kept spirits were high despite being caked from head to toe in Platt Field park's mud.

The Save The Student team decided to take a look at the festival in terms of value for money as well as the atmosphere and incredible music.

Is Parklife good value for money?

Parklife ticket prices

As festivals go Parklife is one of the cheapest with a weekend ticket at only £58.50. For two days at a festival the price is hard to contend with and if you live in Manchester, you would have avoided booking costs by buying from a local distributor (tip for next year if not).

A Parklife day ticket for either Saturday or Sunday was  £35, great value for festival goers that wanted to see only a handful of acts or had a day that they preferred compared to the other.

The fact that the tickets sold out in pretty much no time was a clear indication of the festival's value for money, and we all know that every little helps for a student budget.

Parklife drinks prices

What everyone wants to know about a festival: you feel like you're getting a bargain for under £60 for a festival and then you remember that you have to pay for drinks. At a festival the drinks prices are never likely to be on the cheap side.

At Parklife a beer set you back £3.50-£4 for a pint and the same with a Brothers cider. Jaeger bomb's were £3.50 and  a single spirit and mixer came in at the same price.

Although these prices may seem expensive, for a festival they were about average. It may seem a lot for a student budget but considering the price of the tickets you could afford to budget more for drinks.

Parklife food prices

There was a large selection of food at Parklife 2011 ranging from candy floss to good ol' cheesy chips. Prices ranged from around £2.50 for a portion of chips, £4 for a burger, to £8 for some amazing Wagamama noodles.

The Save The Student team headed down to the Wagamama tent on the first day for some noodles (see right). The portions were huge which meant that we were able to share between two and still feel full to the brim. £4 for a good hearty, and healthy, lunch was not bad at all.


As a non-camping festival you'll have to find your own shelter for the evening so ask around, and make sure your friends in the Manchester area know how wonderful a house guest you are in time for Parklife 2012.

Price of Parklife merchandise

There was plenty of Parklife merchandise on offer at the festival from a program to your very own Parklife hoodie.

A program at Parklife would have set you back £5 for the weekend, this contained all of the what time and where-abouts of the acts.

The Save The Student team decided to club together and buy one between us and people all over the festival were asking us “where is the …. tent and when is … playing.”

Parklife overall value for money

The amount of quality acts on offer for Parklife made the ticket well worth the cost. There were acts such as Chase & Status, Annie Mac, Skream & Benga, Darwin Deez, Nero, Labrinth and the list goes on. Aside from the main stage there were smaller acts in the Secret Garden, dance in the Hospitality tent, Chibuku, Now Wave, and Horse Meat Disco that hosted an array of world music acts (see right – Clare Stokes in the Secret Garden).

If you got tired of raving and needed a change of scenery you could get your fortune told, make music out of bits and bobs, have a play on the swings and indulge your senses at the silent disco (see left).

A student festival goer could easily have had an amazing time by budgeting around £100 for the weekend, and that's including the ticket. This is an amazing price compared to other similar festivals whose ticket alone will cost £100+ alone.

All in all the Save The Student team had an amazing time at Parklife and it was great value for money. The rain didn't deter the 20,000+ crowds and the festival was extremely student friendly.

Get yourself to Manchester next June, we hope to see you there.

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