Review – Fools Paradise Festival

Following an inevitable Fresher’s Week spent traipsing from room to room of Leeds’ Student’s Union, attempting to find newly made friends by wading through a dance floor that resembles a sticky sauna, many incoming Leeds students may have felt they had got the hang of it. But when met with the forest of vegetation and razzmatazz that Good Life transformed the union into, even the most resident Fruity enthusiast would’ve felt lost amongst the rainforests and temples of Fools Paradise.

The familiar LED ‘Good Life’ light fixtures lit up the refectory, framed by a lone standing Alice in Wonderland-feel door surrounded by vibrant mushroom stools and giant plush heart cushions. Posing with this scene seemed to be the people’s highlight, with girls in patterned trousers and glittered faces sprawling across the props for the perfect shot. The Riley Smith Hall became the Rainforest Disco, housing the familiar huge inflatable elephant of last year, camouflaged stage and even a gorilla. Stylus, or ‘the Wild Woods’, particularly stood out; oversized spiders and confetti dangled from the ceiling and the decks had an Indiana Jones style headpiece; the only familiarity was that the ‘woods’ were just as packed and hot as a Saturday at Twisted.

Jungle perfectly captured the spirit of the night, a funky set that lived up to the expectation of a headline act of an event that seemed styled on the themed festivals of Boomtown and Bestival. Ghetts’ high-energy performance was also particularly impressive, his crowd control and manner proving a huge hit with the sequinned festival-goers – standout grime act for the night. And So Solid Crew, who played to more of a sing-along crowd, were also fun and dancey. The music wasn’t the most cool at all times but playing ‘Funky Dee’ to a room full of students at 4 in the morning is always guaranteed to get a reaction.

The success of Good Life’s events comes from the attention to detail; every corner is a photo opportunity, the music is great and everyone gets dressed up to embrace the feel-good vibes.

Amelia Whyman


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