30 May Remembering the blissful chaos of Young Thug’s performance at Wireless Festival 2016
Moments before Young Thug took to the Pepsi Max Arena stage at Wireless in 2016, the few thousand-capacity tent was filled out twice, prompting security to say something along the lines of ‘Young Thug won’t be performing because there are too many people in the tent’. A large wave of unfortunate souls left that tent and five minutes later Young Thug graced the stage for what only described as a personification of blissful chaos for thirty or so minutes.
That tent was stuffed full 15 minutes before Thugga was even due on. Not only full at the front or empty around the sides, but filled to the point where people were plotting which point outside the tent offered the best view. But everyone knows the prime real estate is found in the middle onwards and reaching that lucrative land was a battle. One of them where you hold an arm out, look forward assertively and call out a fake name for a friend who doesn’t exist until you’re somehow where you need to be.
The organisers were right in calling for a crowd reduction meaning you were left with a choice. Stay and wait for the half-hearts to filter out knowing Thugga didn’t come all the way to Finsbury Park for his show to be cancelled because too many fans showed up, or leave with a sense of misguided satisfaction as if you had dodged some kind of bullet. Many left and then Thugga came out and sent the already-hyped crowd into overdrive.
The conditions for this procession of chaos were far from ideal, but as Fyre Festival showed, luxury and festivals haven’t yet found common ground. Everywhere you turned you saw sunglasses, sweat, flying elbows and the occasional person screwing their face, puzzled as to why people at a festival in a packed tent were showing any form of movement. But none of that really mattered.
Not knowing all the lyrics to a song had never felt so good, as the whole crowd recited their renditions of ‘Best Friend’, ‘Digits’, ‘Power’ and ‘With That’, among other bangers. The energy throughout is what sticks out, because everybody who remained in that tent, basically went to war to remain there. Every song Young Thug performed had people going nuts, unleashing an inner-power nobody knew they had through the form of dodgy skanks and mosh pits.
Whilst Thugga’s lyrics aren’t the easiest to remember word-for-word, there are certain phrases that are only too recite-able, like ‘HUNNID BANDZ HUNNID BANDZ’ and ‘FIRST YOU GET THE MONEY THEN YOU GET THE POWERRR’. Those gems rang loud throughout that tent and all surrounding areas, providing those burger van vendors parked outside the tent with a mid-day dosage of lyrical wisdom.
Throughout the set, Thugga’s stage presence was immense. Not once did the energy levels dip, or did the crowd lose interest, just pure carnage from start to finish as bounced around the stage to a recital of his lyrics. Whatever song played, banged, and if you didn’t know the words, enough people mumbled whatever they thought Thugga said and the vibe was consequently sick.
It was one of those moments that justifies the purchase. In the same way you never remember the spacious tube ride home after leaving a football match early, in years to come, you won’t be reminiscing on that time you dodged the aggro of a crowd that was basically a giant mosh pit. Nobody remembers what didn’t happen, only what did, and what happened on July 10 2016 at Finsbury Park in that Pepsi Max tent when Young Thug graced the stage, was historic.