Amidst a wash of red, white and blue and other regal paraphernalia, thousands of people took time away from the Royal Jubilee celebrations to descend upon Victoria Park, The sixth annual Field Day Festival took place this weekend and I visited as a punter and as the eyes of Phestival to give you my views on the day event. The event’s main pulls included Franz Ferdinand, Beirut, Django Django, Grimes and Modeselektor – more than worth the £45 price tag.
Upon first impression, it dawned on me that I just did not feel fashionable enough to attend – the event a showcase of hipster fashion and spring/summer beauties who braved the quite frankly freezing-for-June weather. The site itself was as beautiful as the people there, with numerous tents and stages surrounded by trees, grassy areas and the odd fairground attraction. So far as layout goes, I must say that I’m impressed. Tents and stages were generously spaced and so did not suffer from interfering noises, yet were close enough to make the next act in a five minute gap. Already, the festival was on to a winner. Dotted between these were a number of food stalls and bars and again, my approval goes out to the fact that waiting time in queues was minimal. Chips in one hand, Kopparberg in the other and it was time to enjoy the festival itself.
Around the site, you could stop and have a massage, jump on a swinging carousel, climb aboard the Pimm’s bus, partake in some school sports day-esque egg and spoon races on the ‘village mentality’ green, or take the day at face value and take advantage of seven stages worth of eclectic music. Needless to say, the atmosphere was a pleasure to be part of, even when the rain was pouring down in the evening. My day went as follows:
Django Django – Supreme in sound, proved whole heartedly by the fact it was near impossible to make our way in to the tent. 6Music have been pressing these regularly for a good while now and for good reason, from what I heart I was impressed and am looking forward to checking out properly. I fear I may have been living in the dark so far as these go – I can see what I’ve been missing and am quite gutted, I must admit.
Liars – Ultimately loud and a bit shouty, but I loved it. The New York three-piece showcased something new from their album due to be released in June in co-ordination with their older material, and over all seemed to satisfy an eager London crowd.
Afrocubism – The Village Mentality tent went, well, mental to this eclectic ensemble. Quite possibly the best gig crowd I’ve experienced in a long time, full of faux samba jives and chanting. The sheer talent that exuded from the fingertips of Afrocubism was breathtaking, and for a typically indie festival, I was surprised at how well received they were. Easily a highlight of my day, and no doubt many others.
Grimes – Whilst I (again) couldn’t make it in to the tent to see Grimes, this girl is a must for keeping an eye on. The crowd went wild at her appearance on stage and the music pumping out of the tent was as overflowing as the people surrounding it.
Metronomy – Now, I must have seen this band more times than I can count – and they only get better. The Devonshire four piece blend their English Riviera material seamlessly with 2008′s Nights Out, providing each artist a chance to showcase their talents. A particular highlight was hearing Anna Prior (drums) sing ‘Everything goes my Way’ and the revival of ‘You could easily have me’, something missing from past sets. A true delight.
Sleigh Bells – Oh. My. God. I’ll be honest here and say that having checked out their live sets on YouTube, I was fearful that their incredible music wouldn’t translate well on stage. In fact, part of me was worried that I’d feel so disappointed that I’d regret my choice of seeing them. How wrong I was. Sleigh Bells were on fire and their set, faultless. Alexis Krauss in particular stole the show with the sheer energy that was oozing from her movement, leaping in to the crowd as part of her climactic set ending.
Beirut – It seems that prancing, as a dance form, was designed for Beirut. As the rain started to pour, crowds of people started skipping along to the music, especially during ‘Nantes’ which was undeniably a crowd pleaser. Field Day booked a piece of solid gold in adding Beirut to the line up and they were the perfect subbing act for Franz Ferdinand.
Franz Ferdinand – Having disappeared off the charts and from the face of music lately, you’d not be blamed for forgetting the incredible amount of hits Franz Ferdinand have under their belts. No amount of pouring rain could deter the crowd from stomping along to ‘Take Me Out’, ‘The Dark of the Matineé’, ‘No, You Girls’, and ‘Do You Want To?’ Not only this, but the band showcased their new material, ‘Fresh Strawberries’ which seemed to be a homage to The Beatles, and ‘Trees and Animals’ performed with a background film of someone drawing a giraffe, to then destroy it. The new stuff worked well amongst the old, perhaps indicating that the band will well and truly settle back in to the forefront of music with the release of their new album, soon. Teamed with ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’, mixed with Donna Summer’s ‘I feel Love’, I can only end on the fact that the band were the perfect end to a damn good day.
A fantastic selection of music, with just enough vintage jubilee action to tie the day in with Jubilee celebrations. Decent crowds, favourable layout and a well thought out line up. What more could you want from a day festival? Well, a decent ending time that gave us just enough time to hop on the tubes, avoiding the need to navigate our way to the other side of the river on night buses. Excellent. Here’s to attending Field Day Festival 2013, who’s joining?
Let us know what you thought of Field Day if you attended via our twitter: @Phestival_Com!