Wireless is throwing a virtual festival this weekend with Skepta, Stefflon Don and more

Wireless is throwing a virtual festival this weekend with Skepta, Stefflon Don and more


If you’re missing festival season, Wireless is providing some consolation by putting on the first ever 360-degree virtual reality festival, with the likes of Stefflon Don, Skepta, Lady Leshurr and Saweetie on the bill.  

Wireless has become the UK’s defining underground festival, attracting massive US hip hop stars and under-the-radar UK acts from the worlds of grime, drill, hip hop and afrobeat to its Finsbury Park stage. Although you won’t be able to experience it in real life this year, the fest is serving up an inspired digital line-up across the weekend the festival would have been taking place. 

While many online festival experiences have stuck to replaying archive footage, Wireless Connect has put together some brand new sets filmed this month at Alexandra Palace. Expect fresh performances from rappers Stefflon Don, Mist, Jay1 and Lady Leshurr, producer Steel Banglez and singer Ray BLK.

The fest will still be very much an international affair with exclusive sets from US-based rappers Saweetie, Iann Dior and 24kGoldn, filmed earlier in June in a state-of-the-art VR studio in LA. 

You’ll also be able to see past performances from Skepta, Young Thug and Rae Sremmurd, which were all filmed in 360​-degree virtual ​reality at Wireless 2019. So, if you have a VR headset knocking about, you can watch as if you’re actually there – minus the heat of 10,000 bodies dancing alongside you, of course. 

If you’re not lucky enough to have such mod cons to hand, you can still watch the fest in 360-degree mode on your smartphone via Facebook Live or on Wireless’s YouTube channel. 

What’s more, the online fest will be totally free to watch. Instead, the organisers are encouraging viewers to make a donation to Black Lives Matter via a crowdfunder, which will be live from 5pm today (Monday June 29).

Crank up your speakers, neck back some lager and it’ll feel like you’re at the festival – almost! 

Watch Wireless Connect via Facebook Live or on Wireless’s YouTube Channel between Fri Jul 3 and Sun Jul 5. 

After more festival action? Glastonbury’s Shangri-La is going virtual this weekend with an epic line-up.

Or, stick to the park. Takeaway pints in London: pubs near parks serving beer on draught.



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11 Best Hikes In Wales To Experience

11 Best Hikes In Wales To Experience



You could say I’m biased about Wales. You wouldn’t be wrong either. Wales is an absolute beauty and having lived there for so many years, I’ve gotten to know and explore this beauty first hand. Indeed, some of the best hikes in Wales once completed will leave you equally as biased as I am about … Continue Reading



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All Roads Lead to Nelson: The History of London’s Roads

All Roads Lead to Nelson: The History of London’s Roads


Prior to the arrival of the Romans, there were no real roads in London or the United Kingdom; in fact, there wasn’t even a London.  The Romans founded the city in 43 AD, and as was usual for their expansion of the Empire, they brought roads with them.  Being the center of Roman Britain, roads began in London and stretched out to the remainder of Great Britain, facilitating the movement of troops and supplies.  The primary hub of the roads was where the City of London is today, and while they formed the basis of the city’s road system, virtually everything that remains of Roman London (apart from the walls) are entirely underground.

When the Romans left in the 5th Century, the knowledge of road construction and maintenance went with them.  It took invasions by the Angles and the Saxons to begin new roads in the city.  From isolated farms, Anglo-Saxon villages appeared that became linked to London by new roads.  The Anglo-Saxons nearly doubled the number of roads in the area that now comprises Greater London, and unlike the straight roads preferred by the Roman military, Anglo-Saxon roads tended to follow river beds and valleys, making them more winding.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much in the way of historical record to document the growth of the city’s roads between the Roman invasion and that of the Normans.  Some Saxon charters offer ideas of how the roads expanded, but it wouldn’t be until the Normans that more detailed accounts were made.  During the Medieval period, roads grew in their importance, permitting the king’s ministers and armies to travel to remote parts of the kingdom while also bringing trade into and out of London.  The 14th Century map bequeathed by Richard Gough to the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford showed a national road system that centered on the city.

The city started to grow significantly in the Tudor period, with some 200,000 people flocking to London from other parts of the country.  Perhaps one good thing to come of King Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries was that it provided new land for London to expand, which in turn meant creating more roads to link redeveloped areas.  The next major development occurred with the several Turnpike Acts beginning in the late-17th Century.  These acts marked the first time that tolls were instituted on major roads leading out of London in order to provide funds for their maintenance.

Going into the 18th and 19th Century, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution swelled London’s population from 630,000 to 2 million people.  During this time period, a very dense and complex network of roads connected many villages in the surrounding counties to London.  Roads continued to grow and connect with one other, leading London to become an incredibly congested city for road traffic, even though that traffic was mostly horse-driven.  This was not a problem that was addressed as London grew, leading to increased traffic issues as the years passed.

It wasn’t until the early 20th Century that London’s transport organizations began to see the need for road planning.  Between 1913 and 1916, several conferences were held amongst the local authorities to unite London’s road plans.  These talks led to the construction of the North Circular Road, the Great West Road, and several bypasses.  Several more ring roads were constructed in the early part of the 20th Century, but it was in the 1960s when the scheme really took off, resulting in the construction of Ringways 1, 2, 3, and 4, which either created new roads or expanded previous connections such as the North Circular Road.  These effectively became part of the motorways.

While no formal plan was ultimately adopted for the city, some experts believe this has been to the city’s benefit.  Making it difficult for cars to operate within London, they feel, has turned many towards using public transport.  During his time as Mayor of Greater London, Ken Livingstone instituted a congestion charge that served to reduce traffic within parts of inner London.  While work on roads is ongoing, making it easier to move within the city appears to be currently antithetical to London’s goas to reduce traffic.

All Roads Lead to Nelson: The History of London’s RoadsLondontopia – The Website for People Who Love London



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Chee Dale: A secret alternative to the Monsal Trail in the Peak District

Chee Dale: A secret alternative to the Monsal Trail in the Peak District


Today’s hidden gem about Chee Dale in the Peak District is by Rob Haggan from The Outdoor Adventure Blog. Rob thinks Chee Dale is the perfect alternative to the busy Monsal Trail. The Monsal Trail is an undoubtedly gorgeous trail to walk or cycle along but […]

The post Chee Dale: A secret alternative to the Monsal Trail in the Peak District appeared first on The Travel Hack Travel Blog.



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Sir Ian McKellen will play Hamlet in a new age-blind production – and rehearsals begin next week

Sir Ian McKellen will play Hamlet in a new age-blind production – and rehearsals begin next week


Theatres are facing an extremely tough time right now, but a glimmer of hope is on the horizon: it’s been announced that Sir Ian McKellen will star in an age-blind production of ‘Hamlet’, with rehearsals starting next week. 

The show will see the 81-year-old national treasure play the title role of the Danish prince, which is usually associated with younger actors, and it is set to be the first new major theatre production to start rehearsals in the UK since lockdown began in March. 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden published a five-step roadmap to reopening theatres in The Stage on Thursday. The first step allows ‘rehearsal and training, with no audiences and adhering to social distancing guidelines’ to take place immediately. 

In this new ‘Hamlet’, produced by Bill Kenwright and directed by Sean Mathias, McKellen will return to the role he played 50 years ago. The play will be Mathias’s first production in his first season as artistic director of Theatre Royal Windsor. 

Although rehearsals will start on Monday June 29, under Dowden’s roadmap it is not clear when the show will be allowed to open. 

Theatre Royal Windsor’s co-directors Jon and Anne-Marie Woodley said in a statement: ‘Performance dates and tickets will be released as soon as we have government guidance on how and when we can safely re-open Theatre Royal Windsor. 

‘As always the safety and welfare of our audiences, performers and staff is of paramount importance and we will ensure we follow all government guidelines to be Covid-secure. As of course the actors will be in the rehearsal room!’ 

The rehearsals are welcome news, as dire predictions for the theatre industry continue to be announced. Last week, musicals producer Cameron Mackintosh said he’d been ‘forced’ to push back the reopening of  ‘Les Misérables’, ‘Mary Poppins’, ‘Hamilton’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ in the West End until 2021 due to a lack of ‘tangible practical support’ from the government. While, West End and Broadway theatre producer Sonia Friedman predicted that nearly three-quarters of performing arts companies could close down for good by Christmas 2020 unless the government intervenes to save them. 

Despite all the doom and gloom, McKellen remains optimistic. He said on Twitter: ‘I feel lucky to be working again, thanks to Bill Kenwright’s inspiring optimism and Sean Mathias’s invitation to re-examine Hamlet, 50 years on from my first go. So now we will meet again. Don’t know when but do know where – Theatre Royal Windsor!’

Read more about when theatres might re-open in London

Check out the best theatre streaming online right now.



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