This weekend saw Leicester host one of the biggest music festivals in the UK – BBC Radio 2 in the Park, with over 75,000 people packing out Victoria Park over both days.
The city was buzzing with joy and excitement, as festival-goers flocked to the location dressed in their brightest, most colourful attire – smiles locked on their faces as they made their way to the location.
And there were plenty of reasons to smile, as Leicester geared up for one of the biggest and most exciting weekends for quite some time. A wealth of stars were set to grace the stage, including Sam Ryder, James Blunt, Rick Astley, Texas, Tears for Fears and of course, the ultimate showgirl; Kylie Minogue.
As far as highlights go, there were plenty of memorable moments over the two days; James Blunt crowdsurfing in a Union Jack emblazoned dinghy (and rather majestically I might add). Then there was Busted, who brought out 90s pop sensations Hanson for an impromptu collab – a joyful and highly spirited version of the classic ‘Mmmbop.’ And who can forget Rick Astley taking to the stage in a bright yellow suit to belt out the classic ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, complete with an iconic Kylie t-shirt?
“It’s a bit pretentious to say that it doesn’t belong to me because it’s my bloody song, but it’s also become something else,” he told the Leicester Times.
“I’m very, very attached to the song and it means a lot to me, but I sort of have to accept that and let it go a little bit. It’s pretty crazy!” he added.
“I think some artists would be freaked if they had a song that became a meme and all the rest of it, and I just look at it and sort of think; ‘great!”
Opening the show was Leicester’s very own OJ Borg, who also spoke to the Leicester Times.
“For me, someone who grew up in Leicester, it’s literally a trip down memory lane, it’s been wonderful,” he said.
“Opening this show will go down as one of the greatest things I’ve done in my career- whatever I do next, this will be a highpoint.
“The crowd were amazing and so up for it! Whatever you say – they cheer and that is exactly what you want. The enthusiasm here and the excitement is on another level,” he added.
Of course we can’t talk about this year’s Radio 2 in the Park, without talking about a certain Kylie Minogue – the headliner who ended Sunday’s show in such amazing style. Talk about a showstopper! Dressed in shiny ‘Leicester city blue’, Kylie belted out iconic hits like ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head,’ ‘Spinning Around’ and ‘Padam Padam’ – the summer smash which dominated the charts and put the princess of pop, well and truly on the map in 2023.
As a performer, Kylie is captivating and magnetic – she weaves a kind of magic that few artists truly possess – putting the audience under her spell, and holding them until the very last glitter cannon was fired. BBC Radio 2 in the Park, what a blast! A magical memory, and an event that people in Leicester will be talking about for some time to come…