Part of the Live Nation stable of outdoor music events, Wireless Festival has been going since 2005, when it was known as the O2 Wireless Festival (it is now the Barclaycard Wireless Festival) and was held in Hyde Park over four days in June, headlined by New Order, Basement Jaxx, Keane and Kasabian. For the next two years, the festival was also held at Harewood House, Leeds, overlapping on some days, and the acts included The Who, Massive Attack, David Gray and The Strokes. Fans could choose to buy tickets for one, two, three or all four days. Camping was not a feature of either venue until 2007, when the Leeds site offered fields at £25 a time. In 2008, funding could not be secured for Harewood House to stage the event, so Hyde Park was on its own (and has remained so ever since), but still attracted big names like Jay-Z, Morrissey, Fatboy Slim and Counting Crows, and also saw the capacity swell to around 30,000. Since Hyde Park is a public park, camping is not permitted, but transport links are obviously good, and there are plenty of food and drink concessions in the main arena, and good disabled facilities.
In 2009, the festival was cut to just two days, and was headlined by Basement Jaxx, The Streets, Kanye West and Calvin Harris. 2010's event was three days (which remains the standard), and was more pop/dance-orientated, with artists like Pink, Ting Tings, Mr Hudson and 2ManyDJs, but the festival sold out in record time. 2011 changed tack again and became even bigger, with a capacity of nearly 50,000 and a stellar line-up of (amongst dozens of others) The Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, The Chemical Brothers, Grace Jones and, after a ten year hiatus, Pulp.
The 2012 Wireless Festival will be held on 7-9 July, with Rihanna headlining the Sunday and support acts including Jessie J, Calvin Harris and Labrinth. Unusual for multi-day festivals, fans can still continue to buy tickets for single days only, or a ticket covering the entire festival.
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