Field Day 2023 review: 9 Hours of dance music heaven

We sent Laviea Thomas to Field Day to check out one of London's biggest celebrations of dance music.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 21st Aug 2023

Since starting out in 2007 Field Day has made quite a name for itself as a festival championing both emerging and high-profile artists within the dance music scene. This year the festival celebrated its 16th anniversary with a mammoth line-up completed by headliners Aphex Twin.

It has been 48 since we were at Field Day, and the festival blues are real. On Saturday we spent the day soaking up the sun whilst catching some of the filthiest drum and bass sets, vivacious house numbers and innovatively experimental electronica the dance scene has to offer.

As you made your way into the park there was an immediate sensation of feel-good vibes: from the community of thousands of fans in their favourite Aphex Twin T’s to the thudding sounds of dance music booming from one stage to the other. 

Love Remain opened our day with flirtatious house vibes on the L’oreal Paris stage, spinning remixes of Marie Davidson So Right and Alexis Jordan’s Happiness. Later ramping up the energy was none other than the queen of fiddle core, Sudan Archives. A multifaceted artist with a genre-spanning palette, Archives boastfully delivered a punk-rock explosion of alternative meets experimental electronica with her witty lyrics and technical violin moments. “Where my freaks at?” she beckoned before thrashing into her 2022 hit Freakazlizer.

After just a few hours on-site, navigating our way between sets became like second nature. Bolting from the west stage to the other end of the field to catch Jayda G’s set, the artist effortlessly whipped up the most uptempo, feel-good selection of deep house cuts to get lost into.


Image credit: Joshua Atkins

Doing what she does best on the BBC 6 Music stage, electro producer and songwriter Yunè Pinku casually mixed weaponised drum and bass with heavy afrobeat riddims and warped techno dubs. Although clashing with SBTRKT’s set at CUPRA North Arena, Pinku’s audience was a sweatbox of dance circles. 

Swedish cult, otherwise recognised as the futuristic electronic five-piece Fever Ray shut down anything conventional for the next hour, as they put on the most exquisitely odd set of penetrative dubs, spellbinding harmonies and mechanical in-sync body movements. Taking you through an out-of-body experience through a setlist of kaleidoscopic electronica, the group weaved in notable hits To the Moon and Back, Even it Out and If I had a Heart.

From the hyper-focused overproduction on her stage monitors to her jaw-dropping bondage outfit – it’s fair to say there was a real element of performance from Arca’s set Saturday night. A connoisseur of all things quirky and industrial, the artist split her show between a mix of heavyweight drum and bass rollers and sensual avant-pop moments.


Photo credit: Andrew Whitton

The interim between Arca and Aphex Twin was a surreal moment, to say the least. Groups halted, recharging their energies for the set that was soon to come. Some were topping up on beer, whilst others regrouped like penguins. Now pitched black outside, the distorted visuals glitching from the stage monitors only meant one thing. An almost sophisticated stampede swarmed towards the east stage and rampant cheers and drinks were thrown into the air.

Paying tribute to Charli XCX and the late SOPHIE on his monitors amongst distorted visuals, it’s fair to say if you weren’t completely engrossed by the trip-inducing elements of his stage setup, then the tantalising trance of Aphex’s pounding electro selects were bound to spiral you into a hypnotic state. Celebrating 16 years of the festival honing in on some of the best music the dance scene has to offer, Field Day has done it yet again. Until next time. 



Check out our What's On Guide to discover even more rowdy raves and sweaty gigs taking place over the coming weeks and months. For festivals, lifestyle events and more, head on over to our Things To Do page or be inspired by the event selections on our Inspire Me page.








Header image credit: Danny North 

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