“The vibes were in the trenches!”: Harrison Brocklehurst’s review of Parklife is withering and a bit funny – and puts dance music press doyenne Annabel Ross to shame…

Whenever you read a review of an event in the dance music press, you can be pretty confident of one thing – it’s going to be really glowing and positive. Yes, you might find one or two very minor criticisms added in a ham-fisted attempt to introduce balance – but the tone will begin and end on the most flattering terms.

Just look at the review posted by dance music press doyenne Annabel Ross of Movement Detroit a few weeks ago. It had the potential to be an interesting article – Carl Craig allegedly banned her from reviewing the festival last year. But Ross failed to mention anything about this in her article – a spectacular fail.

Such was our criticism that the infamously thin-skinned journalist banned Ears To The House across her socials a few days ago – apparently thinking this will stop our team from seeing them. Nonetheless, this has got us thinking – are all the press really this craven when reviewing events?

Mercifully, the answer is no. Harrison Brocklehurst might sound like the most middle-class English name we’ve come across in years – but judging by his review for The Tab of Manchester’s Parklife, he is a writer whom the likes of Ross could learn from.

The article – tantalisingly titled “Inside Parklife 2023, a festival experience that felt like trying to survive an apocalypse” – begins like this…

“Little did I know that all the rumours were true – Parklike 2023 was the worst festival experience I’ve ever had and one of the most dismal days of my life.

Oh dear. After briefly discussing the laborious process of going through security, Brocklehurst noticed one thing – it was very, very hot that day. Then the rain started – gently at first, but soon building up to a storm. All the acts had to leave the stage, with the crowds left to get soaked.

He also couldn’t help but realise the weather conditions were making some of the crowd a little combative, and claims to have witnessed at least one fight taking place. It’s worth reading the review in its totality – it’s searingly honest, sometimes withering and occasionally a little funny.

In other words, it’s exactly the type of review that you’d never find in the dance music press. If Ross had submitted a dreadful review and Mixmag actually agreed to publish it, their access to the event in the future would be withdrawn quicker than you can say Detroit.

Perhaps Ears To The House should start doing our own reviews. Let’s just say nothing has been ruled out…

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