The Wireless Festival is a rap music festival that takes place every year in London, England. It is owned and managed by Live Nation. While it started as primarily a rock and pop festival, in recent years it has focused on hip-hop and other urban music. Headline acts since 2010 have included Jay-Z, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Stormzy.
From its inception in 2005 until 2008, the festival was sponsored by telecommunications company O2, and was called the O2 Wireless Festival. From 2009 to 2012, the main sponsor was Barclaycard and the festival renamed to Barclaycard Wireless Festival. For 2013, the sponsor changed to Yahoo!, and was renamed to Yahoo! Wireless. Since 2015, the sponsor has been the fashion retailer New Look.
The capacity of the 2019 event was 49,000. Adjacent festivals were held in Leeds in 2006 and 2007, as well as Birmingham in 2014. In 2017, Live Nation also established Wireless Germany, in Frankfurt.
The first festival took place in June 2005 and was in Hyde Park only. Tickets were £35 a day. Some of the acts on the line-up were (headline acts in bold):
- Friday, 24 June: New Order, Moby, Hard-Fi, The Bravery, Graham Coxon, The Dresden Dolls, The Dears, Rilo Kiley
- Saturday, 25 June: Basement Jaxx, M.I.A., LCD Soundsystem, Death In Vegas, Lady Sovereign, Killa Kela, Mylo, Roots Manuva, Stereo MCs
- Wednesday, 29 June: Keane, Echo & the Bunnymen, Supergrass, James Blunt, Brendan Benson, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright
- Thursday, 30 June: Kasabian, Editors, The Rakes, The Others, Ladytron, Soulwax, Peter Doherty, JJ72, Cut Copy
In 2006, the festival played in both Hyde Park and Harewood House. Tickets were £37.51 per day.
The Hyde Park festival ran from 21 to 25 June and on the bill were:
- The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, Dirty Pretty Things, Super Furry Animals, The Raconteurs, Gogol Bordello, The Like
- David Gray, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, KT Tunstall, Violent Femmes
- Massive Attack, The Flaming Lips, Pharrell, Gnarls Barkley, Metric, Damian Marley
- James Blunt, Zero 7, Eels, Beth Orton, Paolo Nutini
- Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, OK Go, The Dears, The Fratellis, Mystery Jets
The Harewood House festival ran from 24 to 25 June and tickets were £32.50 for the first day and £37.50 for the second. It featured:
- Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, DJ Shadow, Pharrell, Gnarls Barkley, Terry Callier, Just Jack, Sway
- The Who, Super Furry Animals, The Flaming Lips, The Zutons, Eels