With rain anticipated from 7pm onwards, I donned my wellies, threw a raincoat in my bag and headed down to Victoria Park for Field Day – the East London one-day festival that has been branded as a hipster’s paradise.
Having never previously attended, despite living in London for nigh-on six years, Field Day was somewhat of an anomaly; however, with an intriguing (if not dazzling) line-up, I was up for throwing myself in at the deep end (if not the mud). What I found was a crowd that was less hipster and more post-rave, although this could have been down to the dance acts on the bill, the number of which exceeded previous year’s line ups.
Here are Skiddle’s highlights from the day:
2pm at a one-day festival is a slightly surreal time; with hundreds of people still trickling in, unsure of their surroundings, the odd intoxicated reveller and sounds wafting from half-empty tents, you’d be forgiven for sunbathing rather than trying to catch some beats. As we passed the Bugged Out! stage’s periphery, we were enticed away from the sunshine by the sounds of Eats Everything, aka Dan Pearce, a Bristolean that likes his food big and his beats bigger (so we hear). The set was a hearty mix of house, electronic and light rave – perfect for those of us who were still in the throes of afternoon-had-a-couple-of-ciders-and-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-myself syndrome. Daft Punk and Roy Davis Jr remixes were set highlights, with the latter’s ‘About Love (Eats Everything Rework)’ the first truly magnificent track of the day I laid my ears upon. If there is any justice, this guy will soon be top of the music food chain.
As we headed to the Village Mentality stage later on in the day for Gold Panda’s set, we were overcome both by the smoke that engulfed the tent and sheer size of the crowd. It was like stepping into Narnia, albeit with raincoat-clad drinkers and over-sized tent pegs rather than talking lions and snow-capped trees. This laid the foundations for what was to be my personal highlight of the day, with Gold Panda’s chilled out brand of electronica wrapping us up like a warm blanket, with the opening sitar-infused bars of ‘You’ whisking us away somewhere that was far more exotic than Tower Hamlets’ Victoria Park. Other high points in the 45-minute set were ‘Marriage’ and ‘Vanilla Minus’, with the British producer’s ethereal sounds making us leave the Village Mentality tent feeling distinctly more harmonious than when we entered.
Modeselektor had a tough job on their hands, with their headline slot on the Bugged Out! stage running parallel with that of guitar heavyweights Franz Ferdinand. Having seen The Franz on two previous occasions, I plumped for the German duo; and boy, was I glad I did. The band’s sound is a difficult one to pin down as their style deviates from track to track, spanning from electro to breakbeat with a side order of rap, with tracks such as ‘Pretentious Friends’ giving us a heady dose of the latter two. Within a matter of bars, the pair transported us from a muddy tent in East London to an illegal underground rave in Berlin. The Squarepusher-esque ‘Grillwalker’ had the soundsystem working at full pelt to keep up with the track’s bassline, with the ground shaking from the stomping crowd that was attempting to dance in time. A truly electric atmosphere.
Words: Wendy Davies
Photo: Lauren Keogh
Tickets are no longer available for this event