Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
Those who attended the Ultimate 90s event at the 2023 Darley Park Weekender were transported back in time to the decade that left such an indelible mark on popular culture. As someone who appreciates the music and culture of the 1990s, I was looking forward to this event, and I can confidently say that it greatly exceeded my expectations.
I was unsure of how I would react to reliving my “youth” alongside my teenage daughters, but if anything, it made it even more special; I was able to share my memories as we sang and danced to E17, Liberty X, 5ive, and the legendary Peter Andre. It immediately brought me back to dancing in my bedroom and, later, in nightclubs when I was a teenager.
The bands performed a number of backflips and high-energy moves, allowing us to remember the original VHS videos and Top of the Pops in Derby’s stunning park. Darley Park is an ideal site for the concert, which has more of a festival-like atmosphere and allows attendees to bring their own chairs, food, and beverages. (Please note that there is online guidance regarding what can and cannot be taken into the concert).
I was astonished by how much I enjoyed DJ Mark Angel’s set; it truly stirred up the crowd, with everyone, regardless of age, singing along. He was playing 90s music with various overlays of dance music, and it was pure genius.
We arrived approximately an hour prior to the event’s start and did not need to wait in line; we obtained our tickets and entered the security area without any delays or lines; it was a seamless experience that enhanced the evening.
Once inside, you can “pitch your chairs” around a standing area, which was ideal for us, as we like to dance and sing, but also have the luxury of sitting down in between performances to have a good chat!
As soon as I entered the concert “field”, I could sense an electric buzz of anticipation. The organisers clearly put in a great deal of thought and effort, as the entire venue was reminiscent of the 1990s, complete with illuminated signs at the back of the stage, hair braiding, and a double-decker bus that transported us back in time.
This meticulous planning created the ideal backdrop for the weekend’s outstanding performances.
The audience, led by 5ive, Liberty X, East 17 and Peter Andre sang and danced along to every classic song. The stage erupted with rousing renditions of the decade’s most popular songs. The seamless transitions between performances united the audience and kept the excitement level high, with the event’s interactive components allowing attendees to relive their favourite ’90s moments in an entirely new manner. Everything at the festival (as this what I feel the concert was) was intended to keep the audience occupied and entertained, including “interval” quiz activities, Cassette Roulette, and Mark Angels’ DJ set.
The carefully selected roster of food vendors added to the festival atmosphere by offering tasty dishes at reasonable prices. The Churros are recommended by my daughter!
After residing in Derby for 22 years, this was my first time attending the Darley Park weekender, and the attention to crowd management and security ensured that everyone could enjoy the festivities without worry, making this a must-attend event for our family next year!
As the sun set over the weekend, the event culminated with a spectacular finale performance by Peter Andre that united the entire audience in a celebration of an era that will never be forgotten. The Ultimate 90s at The Darley Park Weekender was a tremendous success, as evidenced by the enthusiastic applause, the sea of smiling faces, and the strong sense of community.
Overall, this is a must-attend event for the entire family.
The Ultimate 90s is the first day of the 3-day ‘weekend’, followed by 80s on Saturday, August 26th, and the Derby Concert featuring classical music and fireworks on Sunday, August 27th. This is something I cannot wait to watch, and will make sure I bring my glow sticks with me!
Tickets for Saturday and Sunday are still available, in addition to early bird registration for next year’s weekender, which I cannot wait for, as my children have declared this an annual event now!
Further information can be found at:
tickets can be purchased from:
• Phone: 01332 255800
• Email: email@example.com
• Typetalk: 18001 01332 255800
• SMS text number: 07812 301233
Prices start at £15 up to £35 on the door, but there is a discount for advance booking. For next year (2024) there is a £10 discount on adult tickets, if booked by the end of September.